How VW Beetle Overcame Its Nazi Past Joshua Keating , Foreign Policy April 10, 2013 It ”seems like the only good idea Hitler had,” says one vintage Volkswagen hobbyist quoted in Bernhard Rieger’s The People’s Car: A Global History of the Volkswagen Beetle, an engaging history of how a failed Nazi prestige project became a national icon in three …
May 23, 2013 · When Volkswagen expanded its export business, it profited from the booming U.S. economy of the 1950s. Rapid suburbanization fueled demand for a dependable and modestly priced second family car. The VW cost just $1,495 in 1955, and soon gained a commercial foothold.
Yet the Beetle was the most successful car of its time. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, when one car in three on West German roads was a Beetle, sales exceeded one million each year. In 1972, total sales of the Beetle—a truly global vehicle—passed those of the century’s most popular passenger car, Henry Ford’s Model T.
‘Making the Beetle Cute: Volkswagen in the United States in the Fifties and Sixties’ is part of Dr Rieger’s wider research into the cultural history of the Beetle. The Beetle successfully overcame its Nazi past to become, by the mid 1950s, the biggest selling car in Germany and a potent symbol of the West German ‘economic miracle’.
The Volkswagen, as the “people’s car,” was seen as one key step in making Germany a workers’ utopia. Rise of National Socialism in Germany. With its roots in militant, racist nationalism, the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party arose from the political and economic instability suffered by Germans in the early 1920s.
All About the Volkswagen Beetle; Hitler stole idea for iconic Volkswagen Beetle from a Jewish engineer, historian claims; How Beetle Overcame Nazi Past to …
The VW Beetle has the Nazis to thank for its existence. Adolf Hitler laid the cornerstone of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg 80 years ago. The Beetle was able to shake off its Nazi past
Volkswagen, as the company was renamed, produced just one model for a beleaguered West German population struggling to get back on its feet: the Volkswagen sedan, dubbed the Beetle by VW’s US branch, was a slightly modified version of Porsche’s people’s car.
Volkswagen sales in the United States were initially slower than in other parts of the world, due to the car’s historic Nazi connections as well as its small size and unusual rounded shape. In 1959, the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach launched a landmark campaign, dubbing the car the “Beetle” and spinning its diminutive size as a distinct …
In 1945, a rare and curious Volkswagen car was shipped from its bomb-damaged German factory to England. Here, a commission of leading British motor manufacturers, chaired by Sir William Rootes, inspected the small, streamlined saloon. It would be “quite unattractive to the average motorcar buyer”, the commission reported.