Without Hitler there would never have been a VW, so like that is one good thing.
Volkswagen, Founded and Popularized at the Direction of Hitler and the NAZI Party
Although the concept of peoples’ car started before Hitler, Volkswagen (VW) was founded by the German Labour Front under Adolf Hitler. Hitler then helped to popularize the Volkswagen or “people’s car.”
In short the story is this:
- The idea of a peoples’ car started before Hitler.
- The Labour Front, the NAZI answer to trade unions, started the VW car factory under a different name.
- Later Hitler got involved and promoted the idea of a peoples’ car that every German could afford (this resulted in a name change).
- Later Hitler and the NAZIs started WW2.
- And today VW doesn’t like to talk about its early history.
So, was VW founded and popularized under Hitler? Yes. However, is the story that simple? No.
Check out the full story here: The Real Story Behind The Nazis And Volkswagen.
FACT: Hitler had a hand in most German companies around at the time, including other automakers. Mercedes being another example.
FACT: The NAZIs used slaved labor to build cars. In a way then the story of the popularization of VW is indicative of the story of the NAZIs. On one hand you have Nationalism and Socialism combining to form a Labour Front and build a peoples’ car, on the other hand you have slave labor, bigotry, and a militant police state.
FACT: Volksgemeinschaft or “the people’s community” was a general concept under the NAZIs. The idea was a people’s state, a people’s community, a people’s car, etc.
FACT: VW, somewhat ironically, became a favorite brand of car for hippies and hipsters in the decades after the war. As Volkswagen of America helped popularize the inexpensive vehicles in America.
FACT: Adolf Hitler and Ferdinand Porsche were the main people behind the Volkswagen Beetle.
- Volkswagen. Wikipedia.org.
- Hitler and ‘his Volkswagen’: Tracing the 80-year history of the Beetle. DW.com.
- The Real Story Behind The Nazis And Volkswagen. Jalopnik.com