Hitler’s plan for all German families to have an affordable car to travel the Autobhan, explore the country-side and connect with nature
The Volkswagen was a center-piece of the National Socialists desire to benefit ordinary Germans. Hitler proposed to build a cheap car that almost anyone could afford. He gave it the name “KdF Wagen,” which we know as the Volkswagen. KdF was the abbreviation for ‘Kraft durch Freude’ (Strength through Joy), a subsidiary of the Deutsche Arbeitsfront (German Labor Front), headed by Robert Ley.
The enormous expansion of the German high system, particularly the Reich Autobahn system, which like the growth in automobile manufacturing, came from the Fuhrer’s orders and looked far into the future. Both projects go along with each other, and today hardly anyone does not cheerfully support Adolf Hitler’s work in these areas. The Fuhrer’s will, that the entire people should benefit from their common labours has repeatedly shown itself in recent years. It was only natural that it was always close to Hitler’s heart that this also include those with limited incomes.
At the automobile exhibitions during the first years after Hitler became Chancellor, he clearly expressed his wish for a Volkswagen that the automobile industry had to consider it, an order or a commission. As is known, in prior years, the German automobile industry was barely able to produce enough of its own models in a reasonably timely fashion, even when fully using all its labor, plants and machines.
It was thus no surprise that early in 1937 the Fuhrer gave the leader of the German Labor Front, the order to use all the means of his organisation of millions of workers, along with the NS Community ‘Kraft durch Freude,’ to realise his dream. As early as 1934, he had talked with the most famous German automotive engineer, Dr. Porsche, about carrying out his ideas, and had given him the commission to undertake the construction of the German Volkswagen.
Early in May 1937, Dr. Ley carried out the Fuhrer’s commission to found the ‘Society for the Preparation of the German Volkswagen.’ The manufacturer, Dr. Porsche, the automotive expert, J. Werlin and the Reichsamtsleiter ‘Kraft durch Freude’ Dr. Lafferentz were appointed the leaders of this organisation.
The three party comrades worked hand in hand to determine the immediate tasks, and then to take up the factories, methods, and distribution of this new car. Dr. Lafferentz was responsible for a large part of the plan to construct a large factory to build the Volkswagen in Fallersleben, near Braunschweig.
After long efforts, the whole plan took final form. The whole project had been organised. For years, one had heard little about the project until the Fuhrer’s speech at the Automobile Exhibition in 1938, where he revealed the happy secret.
Among other things, Adolf Hitler said…