Krag deur vreugde

Krag deur vreugde

Strength Through Joy (KdF) is op 27 November 1933 gestig as 'n filiaal van die Duitse Arbeidsfront. van die regering. Robert Ley beweer dat "werkers krag vir hul werk sou kry deur vreugde in hul vrye tyd te ervaar". (1) Die skema word beskryf as 'geregistreerde ontspanning' en dat Hitler dit 'noodsaaklik geag het om nie net die werksure nie, maar ook die vrye tyd van die individu te beheer'. (2)

Die skema is sterk beïnvloed deur die teorieë van die Belgiese fascis, Henri de Man, wat die teorieë van Karl Marx en Sigmund Freud wou versmelt. Dit bevat ook 'n paar idees agter die Italiaanse Fascist Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro, die organisasie vir ontspanning en ontspanning, wat konsentreer op sport en ander uitstappies vir volwassenes, wat in 1925 deur Benito Mussolini bekendgestel is. (3)

Albert Speer was 'n groot voorstander van Ley se plan om fabriekseienaars te oorreed om die werkplek te verbeter: "Eers het ons fabriekeienaars oorreed om hul kantore te moderniseer en 'n paar blomme te hê. Maar ons het nie daar gestop nie. Lawn was om asfalt in te neem Wat 'n woesteny was, moes in klein parke verander word waar die werkers tydens pouses kon sit. vrae oor beligting en ventilasie ... Almal het hulself toegewy aan die verbetering van die lewensomstandighede van die werkers en nader aan die ideaal van 'n klaslose volksgemeenskap. " (4)

Sedert die laat 19de eeu het die Sosiaal -Demokratiese Party (SDP) en die Duitse vakbonde sportgronde en stapkoshuise gebou. Hierdie is nou deur die Duitse Arbeidsfront oorgeneem en vir sy lede gebruik. Met hierdie hulpbronne kon dit ontspanningsaktiwiteite met afslag aanbied wat binne die finansiële bereik van baie werkers en hul gesinne was. Teen 1934-1935 neem meer as drie miljoen mense deel aan die aande vir liggaamlike opvoeding en gimnastiek, terwyl baie ander voordeel trek uit die goedkoop afrigting wat dit bied in tennis, gholf, ski, seil en ander hoër-middelklas-sportsoorte. (5)

Strength Through Joy het aandklasse, amateur -kulturele aktiwiteite, voordragte en reisende kunsuitstallings bevorder. Toneelstukke is opgevoer in fabrieke en spesiaal georganiseerde KdF -konserte, met belangrike klassieke dirigente en soliste, soos Carl Bohm, Eugen Jochum en Wilhelm Furtwanger, wat vir Duitse werkers gespeel is. (6) Die KdF het sy eie simfonieorkes van negentig stukke wat deurlopend deur die land getoer het en in 1938 het meer as twee en 'n half miljoen mense die konserte bygewoon. Een waarnemer het daarop gewys dat die KdF "kaartjies vir die teater, die opera en konserte teen billike pryse beskikbaar gestel het, en sodoende meer vermaak vir die arbeider beskikbaar gestel het." (7)

Die sukses van die KdF het Ley in konflik gebring met Joseph Goebbels. Volgens sy biograaf, Toby Thacker, het Goebbels beswaar gemaak teen die idee dat die professionele verenigings van Duitse kunstenaars deel van die Arbeidsfront moet wees. (8) Goebbels het 'n vergadering met Adolf Hitler gehou en uiteindelik het hy ingestem dat hy vry moet wees om alle persone te organiseer "wat tot die aktiwiteitsgebiede behoort wat onder sy jurisdiksie behoort". (9)

In Desember 1935 het Strength Through Joy gereël dat 10.000 Duitsers na Londen reis om te sien hoe hul span teen White Hart Lane teen Engeland speel. Dit was 'n eienaardige plek om te kies, want in die voetbal staan ​​Spurs bekend as 'die Joodse klub' vanweë die ondersteuning van die Joodse gemeenskappe in Noord -Londen. Daar was ook Jode onder die spelers. Op die dag van die wedstryd het 'n demonstrasiemars op White Hart Lane saamgedrom. Pamflette wat in Duits gedruk is, is deur betogers uitgedeel en daar was 'n paar klein stryery met pro-Nazi-simpatiseerders. Voor die wedstryd het die Duitse spelers die Nazi's gegroet en die hakekors is oor die grond gevlieg. Engeland wen die wedstryd met 3-0. (10)

Die gewildste aspek van Strength Through Joy was die voorsiening van gesubsidieerde vakansiedae. Groot dele van die arbeidsmag het vir die eerste keer die geleentheid gekry om weg van die huis af vakansie te hou. Die vakansie wissel in prys van 'n week in die Harzberge (28 punte), 'n week aan die Noordsee -kus (35 punte) en twee weke by die Bodensee (65 punte). Aangesien die gemiddelde loon van 'n nywerheidswerker ongeveer 30 punte was, kon 'n derde van alle werkers met vakansie gaan. (11)

Die KdF het begin met die bou van sy eie modeloord op die Baltiese eiland Rügen. Die konstruksie het op 3 Mei 1936 onder toesig van Albert Speer begin. hulle het 'n gesamentlike demonstrasie van entoesiasme vir die regime en sy beleidsrigtings getoon, dit was doelbewus bedoel vir gesinne om die gebrek aan fasiliteite in ander Strength Through Joy -ondernemings te herstel, en dit was goedkoop genoeg vir die gewone werker om bekostig teen 'n prys van hoogstens 20 Reichsmarks vir 'n week se verblyf. " (12)

Die beter betaalde werkers kon na die buiteland gaan. 'N Reis na Italië het 155 punte gekos. Strength Through Joy het die bou van twee spesiaal geboude skepe van 25.000 ton opgestel en tien ander gehuur om seevaarte te hanteer. Die Robert Ley 1600 passasiers kon vervoer. Dit het slegs veertig toilette en 100 storte, maar 156 luidsprekers wat propaganda aan boord oorgedra het. (13) Die voering bevat ook 'n gimnasium, 'n teater en 'n swembad om te verseker dat deelnemers gereeld gesonde oefening doen en ernstige kulturele geleenthede beleef. (14)

Hierdie vaartuie seil tot by die Noorse fjorde, Madeira, Libië, Finland, Bulgarye en Turkye. 180 000 Duitsers het in 1938 op 'n vaart gegaan en die omvang van toerisme het verdubbel. (15) Net in 1939 het 175 000 mense georganiseerde reise na Italië gegaan, waarvan 'n groot aantal op 'n vaartuig gereis het. (16)

William L. Shirer, 'n Amerikaanse joernalis, het op 'n KdF -vaart gegaan: "Alhoewel die lewe in die buiteland deur Nazi -leiers gereël is, het dit gelyk asof die Duitse werkers 'n goeie tyd gehad het. En teen winskopies! 'N Reis na Maderia, vir kos byvoorbeeld slegs $ 25, insluitend treintariewe van en na die Duitse hawe, en ander uitstappies was ewe goedkoop ... In die winter is spesiale ski -uitstappies na die Beierse Alpe gereël teen $ 11 per week, insluitend motortarief, kamer en raad, huur van ski's en lesse van 'n ski -instrukteur. " (17)

Die regerings van ander Europese lande het belang gestel in wat die KdF doen. Die Britse ambassadeur in Berlyn, sir Neville Henderson, het daarop gewys: 'Daar is eintlik baie dinge in die Nazi -organisasie en ideologie wat ons kan bestudeer en aanpas by ons eie gebruik met groot wins, sowel vir die gesondheid as die geluk van ons eie nasie en ou demokrasie. ” (18)

Terwyl hy in die tronk in Adolf was, het Hitler baie boeke gelees. Die meeste hiervan handel oor die Duitse geskiedenis en politieke filosofie. Later sou hy sy betowering in die gevangenis beskryf as '' gratis onderwys op die staat se koste '. 'N Skrywer wat Hitler in die gevangenis beïnvloed het, was Henry Ford se outobiografie, My lewe en werk (1922). Dit is deur Curt en Marguerite Thesing in Duits vertaal. Dit was een van 'n klein versameling boeke wat ná sy dood in die Nazi -hoofkwartier in sy kantoor gevind is. (19)

Hitler lees ook 'n artikel getiteld die Motorisering van Duitsland. Dit was gedurende hierdie tyd dat Hitler die idee ontwikkel het dat hy verantwoordelik sou wees vir die Duitse model T. Volgens Richard Evans, die skrywer van Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005), "aan die begin van die dertigerjare het hy ruwe sketse geteken van 'n klein gesinsvoertuig wat vir minder as 'n duisend Reichsmarks sou verkoop en dus binne bereik van die oorgrote meerderheid van die bevolking sou wees". (20)

Kort nadat hy in 1933 aan die bewind gekom het, kondig Adolf Hitler aan dat die "redding van die Duitse werker in 'n enorme en allesomvattende aanval op werkloosheid". (21) Destyds was ses miljoen mense as werkloos geregistreer en drie miljoen meer het heeltemal uit die indiensnemingsstatistieke verdwyn, baie van hulle vroue. In 1929 was meer as 20 miljoen aan die werk, teen die tyd dat Hitler die amp aangeneem het, het dit tot 11,5 miljoen gedaal. (22)

Hitler was bewus daarvan dat dit noodsaaklik is om die aantal werkloses te verminder om die mag te behou. Een van sy eerste besluite was om die bou van nuwe snelweë onder leiding van Fritz Todt te beveel. Sy doel was 'n netwerk van 7 300 myl snelweë met vier bane. Todt het bereken dat die bou van die snelweë 600 000 werkgeleenthede sal bied. Teen Junie 1935 werk meer as 125 000 mans aan die bou van die snelweg. Hitler het aangekondig dat hierdie padbou -prestasie ''n overture tot vrede' was, maar ook onderneem is om die vinnige beweging van troepe in oorlog toe te laat. Hitler was veral geïnteresseerd in oos-wes snelweë om te voldoen aan die eise van 'n tweefrontoorlog. (23)

Hitler wou hierdie snelweë ook vul met Duitse motorvoertuie. Destyds was daar slegs een motor vir elke vyftig persone (vergeleke met een vir elke vyf in Amerika). Duitse mense moes 'n fiets of openbare vervoer gebruik om daaroor te kom. Hitler het leiers in die private industrie genader en geëis dat hulle 'n motor vir ongeveer $ 396 vervaardig (dit was die soort prys wat betaal word vir goedkoop motors in Amerika). Hulle het gesê dit is onmoontlik en daarom besluit Hitler dat hulle deur die staat vervaardig moet word. (24)

In 1935 kondig Adolf Hitler aan dat die regering planne het om 'n "People's Car" (Volkswagen) te vervaardig. Hitler het sy tekeninge van sy 'kewermotor' aan Ferdinand Porsche gegee, 'n man wat bekend geword het vir die ontwerp van renmotors. Porsche se prototipe -ontwerp was egter eers aan die einde van 1937 gereed. (25)

Op aandrang van Hitler is die motor se produksie gefinansier deur die Duitse Arbeidsfront as deel van die Strength Through Joy -skema. Robert Ley, die leier van die beweging, moes 50 miljoen mark aan kapitaal voorsien om die motor te vervaardig. Op 2 Augustus 1938 kondig Ley aan dat: "'n Volkswagen vir elke Duitser - laat dit ons doel wees. Dit is wat ons wil bereik." Hy het ook besonderhede gegee oor hoe werkers hierdie nuwe motor kan bekom. "Hiermee verkondig ek die voorwaardes waaronder elke werkende persoon 'n motor kan bekom. (I) Elke Duitser kan, sonder onderskeid tussen klas, beroep of eiendom, die koper van 'n Volkswagen word. (Ii) Die minimum weeklikse betaling, versekering ingesluit , sal 5 punte wees. Gereelde betaling van hierdie bedrag sal na 'n tydperk wat nog bepaal moet word, die verkryging van 'n Volkswagen waarborg. Die presiese tydperk sal by die aanvang van die produksie bepaal word. " (26)

In teenstelling met die algemene huurkooppraktyk, was die skema slegs beskikbaar vir aflewering na betaling van die laaste paaiement. William L. Shirer, die skrywer van Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) het geskryf: 'Die vindingryke plan van dr Ley was dat die werkers self die kapitaal moet voorsien deur 'n' betaal-voor-kry-dit-afbetalingsplan '-vyf punte per week, of as 'n werker het gedink hy kan dit bekostig, tien of vyftien punte per week. Toe 750 punte inbetaal is, het die koper 'n bestelnommer ontvang wat hom op 'n motor geregtig maak. " (27)

'N Groot advertensieveldtog is van stapel gestuur om werkers te oorreed om 'n deel van hul lone opsy te sit om vir een te spaar, met die slagspreuk "'n motor vir almal". Dit was 'n groot sukses en meer as 330 000 werkers het aansoek gedoen om 'n Volkswagen -motor te koop. In 1938 is 'n fabriek by Fallersleben gebou om dit te vervaardig. (28)

Een Duitser het gesê: "Vir 'n groot aantal Duitsers is die aankondiging van die People's Car 'n groot en blye verrassing .... Die motor was lankal 'n gespreksonderwerp in alle dele van die bevolking in Duitsland. Almal ander dringende probleme, hetsy binne die binnelandse of buitelandse beleid, is 'n rukkie op die agtergrond geskuif.Die grys Duitse alledaagse sak onder die indruk onder die indruk van hierdie musiek van die toekoms. word in Duitsland gesien, trek menigtes om hulle saam. Die politikus wat 'n motor vir almal beloof, is die man van die massa as die massas sy beloftes glo. En wat die Strength-Through-Joy-motor betref, glo die Duitse volk wel in Hitler se beloftes. ” (29)

Die eerste voltooide Volkswagen -motors is op die hoogtepunt van die Sudetenland -krisis in Oktober 1938 in München en Wene uitgestal. (30) 'n Ander een is op 17 Februarie 1939 aan Adolf Hitler op die Internasionale Motorskou in Berlyn oorhandig. Hitler het dit aan sy vriendin gegee Eva Braun as verjaarsdaggeskenk. Dit het bekend geword as die 'kewer' van die afgeronde vorm wat Hitler dit in sy oorspronklike ontwerp gegee het. (31)

Kort daarna het die Volkswagen -fabriek by Fallersleben opgehou om motors te vervaardig. In plaas daarvan het dit gegaan oor die vervaardiging van goedere wat deur die weermag benodig sou word in die binnekort van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Nie een motor is vervaardig vir die 330 000 werkers wat hul geld aan die Duitse Arbeidsfront inbetaal het nie. (32)

Tydens die oorlog het die Volkswagen -fabriek die Kübelwagen en die amfibiese Schwimmwagen vervaardig. Sommige van die arbeidsmag kom uit die Arbeitsdorf -kamp. Die maatskappy het later erken dat dit tydens die oorlogspoging 15 000 slawe gebruik het. Duitse historici het beraam dat 80% van Volkswagen se arbeidsmag in oorlogstyd deur konsentrasiekampe voorsien is. (33)

Vanaf 1 Augustus (1938) begin die groot besparingsprogram vir die People's Car 'Strength-Through-Joy'. Hiermee verkondig ek die voorwaardes waaronder elke werkende persoon 'n motor kan bekom.

(1) Elke Duitser kan, sonder onderskeid tussen klas, beroep of eiendom, die koper van 'n Volkswagen word.

(2) Die minimum weeklikse betaling, versekering ingesluit, is 5 punte. Die presiese tydperk word bepaal met die aanvang van die produksie.

(3) Aansoek om die Volkswagen -spaarprogram kan by enige kantoor van die Duitse Arbeidsfront en by 'Strength Through Joy' gedoen word, waar ook verdere besonderhede verkry kan word. Fabrieke en winkels kan kollektiewe bestellings indien.

'N Volkswagen vir elke Duitser - laat dit ons doel wees. Dit is wat ons wil bereik. Sal julle almal daarin help; dit sal ons manier wees om 'dankie' aan die Fuhrer te sê.

Adolf Hitler se vroeë lewe (antwoordkommentaar)

Die sluipmoord op Reinhard Heydrich (antwoordkommentaar)

Heinrich Himmler en die SS (Antwoordkommentaar)

Die laaste dae van Adolf Hitler (antwoordkommentaar)

Vakbonde in Nazi -Duitsland (antwoordkommentaar)

Adolf Hitler v John Heartfield (antwoordkommentaar)

Hitler se Volkswagen (The People's Car) (Antwoordkommentaar)

Vroue in Nazi -Duitsland (kommentaar op antwoord)

Duitse meisiesliga (antwoordkommentaar)

Kristallnacht (antwoordkommentaar)

Die politieke ontwikkeling van Sophie Scholl (antwoordkommentaar)

The White Rose Anti-Nazi Group (antwoordkommentaar)

The Hitler Youth (antwoordkommentaar)

Night of the Long Messes (antwoordkommentaar)

Britse koerante en Adolf Hitler (antwoordkommentaar)

'N Evaluering van die Nazi-Sowjet-verdrag (antwoordkommentaar)

Lord Rothermere, Daily Mail en Adolf Hitler (antwoordkommentaar)

Adolf Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch (Commentary Commentary)

Adolf Hitler en die Eerste Wêreldoorlog (Antwoordkommentaar)

Adolf Hitler en die Duitse Arbeidersparty (Antwoordkommentaar)

Adolf Hitler die Redenaar (Antwoordkommentaar)

Sturmabteilung (SA) (Antwoordkommentaar)

Wie het die Reichstag aan die brand gesteek? (Antwoord kommentaar)

Versoening (antwoordkommentaar)

Vakke in die geskiedenis

(1) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 466

(2) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsy 330

(3) Michael Burleigh, Die Derde Ryk: 'n Nuwe Geskiedenis (2001) bladsy 248

(4) Albert Speer, Binne die Derde Ryk (1970) bladsy 99

(5) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 466

(6) Michael Burleigh, Die Derde Ryk: 'n Nuwe Geskiedenis (2001) bladsy 250

(7) Richard Grunberger, 'N Sosiale geskiedenis van die Derde Ryk (1971) bladsy 255

(8) Toby Thacker, Joseph Goebbels: Lewe en dood (2009) bladsy 156

(9) Ralf Georg Reuth, Joseph Goebbels (1993) bladsy 186

(10) Paul Sorene, Toe Nazi -Duitsland Engeland op die White Hart Lane van Spurs groet (28 November 2014)

(11) James Taylor en Warren Shaw, Woordeboek van die Derde Ryk (1987) bladsy 167

(12) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 469

(13) Michael Burleigh, Die Derde Ryk: 'n Nuwe Geskiedenis (2001) bladsy 250

(14) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 468

(15) James Taylor en Warren Shaw, Woordeboek van die Derde Ryk (1987) bladsy 280

(16) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 467

(17) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsye 330-331

(18) Sir Neville Henderson, Mislukking van 'n missie (1940) bladsy 15

(19) Neil Baldwin, Henry Ford en die Jode (2001) bladsy 182

(20) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 327

(21) Adolf Hitler, radio -uitsending (1 Februarie 1933)

(22) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 327

(23) Louis L. Snyder, Ensiklopedie van die Derde Ryk (1998) bladsy 284

(24) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsye 330-331

(25) James Taylor en Warren Shaw, Woordeboek van die Derde Ryk (1987) bladsy 297

(26) Robert Ley, verklaring (2 Augustus 1938)

(27) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsy 332

(28) James Taylor en Warren Shaw, Woordeboek van die Derde Ryk (1987) bladsy 297

(29) 'n Verslag deur 'n geheime agent wat vir die Sosiaal -Demokrate Party werk (April 1939)

(30) Richard Grunberger, 'N Sosiale geskiedenis van die Derde Ryk (1971) bladsy 48

(31) Richard Evans, Die Derde Ryk aan bewind (2005) bladsye 327

(32) William L. Shirer, Die opkoms en ondergang van Nazi -Duitsland (1959) bladsye 330-331

(33) Die New York Times (13 Junie 1998)


Werk in Nazi -Duitsland

Die Nasionaal-Sosialiste het werkers as tandwiele in 'n sosio-ekonomiese masjien beskou, eerder as individue. Nadat hulle in 1933 die bewind oorgeneem het, het die Nazi's vakbonde afgeskaf en 'n eie agentskap gestig om arbeid en werkplekke te monitor. Werk in Nazi -Duitsland word sterk gereguleer, met werkers wat min regte het en geen bedingingsmag het nie.

Nazi -klere aan die werk

In Nazi -Duitsland was die houding teenoor werk en arbeid deur fascistiese fixasies met orde, hiërargie en die staat. In 'n fascistiese samelewing is die behoeftes van die volkstaat uiters belangrik. Daar is min of geen kommer oor die klein belange van individue nie.

As gevolg hiervan is daar min verdraagsaamheid teenoor konsepte soos vakbonde of werkers se regte en vryhede. Enige ondersteuning hiervoor impliseer dat die individu regte het wat groter is as dié van die land of teen die staat beskerm moet word.

Hierdie fascistiese houding teenoor werk het weerspieël in Nazi -arbeidsbeleid, werkplekorganisasie en propaganda. Die Nazi -regime het die organisasie van arbeid in Duitsland ingrypend verander, veral in die swaar nywerheid en militêre produksie. Dit het werkers erger gelaat - hoewel baie Duitsers na die moeilikhede van die twintigerjare en die Groot Depressie enigsins gelukkig was om te werk.

Lei jongmense om te werk

'N Beduidende fokus van die Nazi -arbeidsprogramme was die voorbereiding van jong Duitsers op hul toekomstige rolle. Duitse kinders het baie staatsrigting of advies ontvang oor hul toekomstige opvoeding, loopbane en geslagsrolle. Die Nazi's het sover gegaan om beroepsbloudrukke aan die Duitse volk te bied.

In die propaganda plakkaat Der Weg des Gleichgeschalteten Burger, of 'Die weg van die gekoördineerde burger' (klik hier) het die regime sy voorkeurpad vir mans en vroue, van geboorte tot volwassenheid, uiteengesit. Die opsies was duidelik en eenvoudig: skool- en Nazi -jeuggroepe vir moederskap vir kinders en huispligte vir vrouelidmaatskap, industriële werk of militêre diens vir mans.

Die Nazi -model het weinig ruimte vir individuele keuse. In plaas daarvan is individue na beroepe gestuur om die Duitse ekonomie en die Nazi -staat te bevoordeel en te versterk.

Vakbonde uit, DAF in

Die NSDAP se eerste groot arbeidsbeleid was om vakbonde te verbied (2 Mei 1933). Om sy greep op Duitse arbeid uit te brei, het Hitler die Deutsche Arbeitsfront (die DAF of Duitse Arbeidsfront). Die DAF het in wese 'n vakbond geword wat deur die regering bestuur word.

DAF -lidmaatskap het in die meeste beroepe verpligtend geword vir indiensneming. DAF -lede behoort aan een van die 20 'werkerrange' en betaal weeklikse ledegeld, wat wissel van 15 Pfenning tot drie Rykmerke. Hierdie ledegeld het van die DAF 'n beduidende bron van inkomste gemaak. In 1934 het dit 300 miljoen ingesamel Rykmerke. Teen 1936 het hierdie bedrag verdubbel.

Die DAF is gelei deur dr Robert Ley, 'n apteker, 'n veteraan uit die Eerste Wêreldoorlog en 'n fanatiese NSDAP -lid. Ley het grootskaalse beloftes aan DAF -lede gemaak en in 1933 vir hulle gesê: 'Ek is self die seun van 'n arm boer ... ek sweer julle, ons sal nie net alles wat bestaan, behou nie. Ons sal die regte en beskerming van die werkers nog verder opbou ".

Ley het wel 'n paar positiewe hervormings van stapel gestuur, soos om op base te werk wat werknemers om triviale redes ontslaan het. Maar toe die Nazi's in die middel van die dertigerjare probeer om die ekonomiese produksie te verhoog, het die DAF handel gedryf en die regte van werknemers afgestaan ​​om produktiwiteit te verhoog. Dit was nie verbasend nie, aangesien die DAF 'n virtuele tak van die Nazi -regering was, eerder as 'n ware vakbond. Soos historikus Michael Thomsett verduidelik: “Die Duitse werker was deur niemand meer verteenwoordig nie. Die [DAF se] werklike taak was om Duitse arbeid te beheer, nie om ten goede nie. ”

Werkboeke en regulasies

Die jaar 1935 het meer gesamentlike aanvalle op die regte van Duitse werkers meegebring. Hierdie maatreëls is goedgekeur en in sommige gevalle deur die DAF begin.

Vanaf Februarie moes elke Duitse werknemer 'n werkboek byhou met sy of haar vaardighede en vorige beroepe. As 'n werker hul werk verlaat, was die werkgewer geregtig om sy werkboek te bewaar, wat dit moeilik gemaak het om 'n nuwe werk te kry. Vanaf Junie 1935 het agentskappe wat deur Nazi's bestuur word, die bestuur van werkopdragte oorgeneem en besluit wie in diens is. Lone is deur werkgewers vasgestel in samewerking met DAF -amptenare, werknemers kon nie meer beding of beding vir hoër lone nie.

Die mees hervormende hervorming was die verwydering van beperkinge op werksure. Teen die begin van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog (1939) het baie Duitsers tussen 10 en 12 uur per dag, ses dae per week gewerk.

Teenstand teen Nazi -arbeidswette

Daar was teenkanting teen hierdie aanval op werkersregte.

In 1936 het 'n dokument genaamd 'People's Manifesto' 'n oproep gedoen om die Nazi's te verwyder en die regte voor Nazi's te herstel. Die 'People's Manifesto' is as 'n onwettige dokument verklaar, maar is steeds op sommige werkplekke versprei.

Groot fabrieke is ook geïnfiltreer deur kommunistiese agente, wat probeer het om teenstand teen die Nazi -regime op te wek. Een groep, onder leiding van Robert Uhrig, het anti-Nazi-materiaal in industriële fabrieke rondom Berlyn gepubliseer en versprei.

Na die uitbreek van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het hierdie groepe inligting oor Nazi -industriële en militêre produksie versamel en dit uit Duitsland na die Geallieerdes gesmokkel. Maar in die algemeen het die meeste Duitsers nie veel gekla oor Nazi -arbeidsbeleid of die DAF nie. Die meeste van hulle herinner aan die gruwels van die Groot Depressie en was dankbaar dat hulle enigsins gewerk het.

Verbeterings en voordele

Vir diegene wat hierdie vermindering in werkersregte kon duld, was daar verbeterings op ander gebiede. Werksekerheid het beslis verbeter onder die NSDAP. Dit het moeiliker geword vir bestuurders om werknemers willekeurig af te dank.

Daar was ook veiligheidsverbeterings en estetiese verbeterings op baie werkplekke, gefinansier en georganiseer deur 'n tak van die DAF Schonheit der Arbeit ('Beauty of Work'). Werkareas is opgeruim, nuwe badkamers en kantines is gebou en sosiale geriewe is gebou.

Hierdie veranderinge, hoewel grootliks kosmeties, het die DAF in staat gestel om die illusie van voorspoed en werkersbevrediging te skep. Nazi -propaganda het Duitse werkers as geskik, gesond, gelukkig en tevrede met Hitler se beleid en leierskap getoon.

Kraft durch Freude

Hierdie propaganda -toestelle strek tot in die vrye tyd. In 1933 het die DAF gestig Kraft durch Freude ("Sterkte deur vreugde") of KdF, in wese 'n vakansieonderneming wat deur die staat bestuur word.

KdF het harde werk aangemoedig deur goedkoop vakansiedae en na-werk-aktiwiteite aan te bied. DAF -leier, Robert Ley, het beveel dat twee nuwe vaartuie gebou moet word om gesubsidieerde vakansiedae vir Duitse werkers te verskaf. 'N Reis na die Kanariese Eilande kos byvoorbeeld slegs 62 punte (ongeveer die helfte van die gemiddelde maandelikse loon vir ongeskoolde fabriekswerkers). In werklikheid is die meeste plekke op hierdie vaartuie deur NSDAP -amptenare en lede opgeraap.

Skivakansies in die Beierse Alpe is slegs 28 punte aangebied, terwyl 'n vakansie van twee weke in Italië 155 punte gekos het. Alleen al in 1938 het 180 000 Duitsers op 'n cruise na eksotiese plekke soos Madeira en die Noorse fjorde gegaan. Ander het gratis vakansiedae in Duitsland gekry. Kraft durch Freude het ook sportgeriewe gebou, betaal vir teaterbesoeke en ondersteunende musikante en entertainers.

Niks hiervan is gratis nie: Duitse werkers het vir hierdie voordele betaal deur hul verpligte aftrekkings van die DAF. Die beeld van die Duitse werkers wat vakansiedae en vermaak kry, het nietemin 'n aansienlike propagandawaarde gehad.

'N Historikus se siening:
'Werkers in die Derde Ryk het die meeste van hul vryhede en regte verloor ... omdat hul vakbonde weg was, het werkers geen inspraak in die lone en diensvoorwaardes wat nou deur die staat gereguleer is nie. Ondanks die ekonomiese herstel, het die reële lone nooit gestyg tot wat dit in 1928 was nie. Belasting was hoog, die koste van baie verbruikersgoedere soos klere en bier het gestyg ... aan die ander kant was werkers nie in 'n toestand van ontneming gedompel nie. Werkers is tot 'n mate verslap deur wat die Nazi -staat wel verskaf het. "
Joseph Bendersky

1. Nazi -arbeidsbeleid was grotendeels gebaseer op fascistiese idees. Fascisme was gemoeid met orde, hiërargie en die oorgawe van individuele regte aan nasionale belange.

2. Vakbonde is in Mei 1933 deur die Nazi-regime afgeskaf en vervang deur die Duitse Arbeidsfront of DAF, 'n reuse staatsbeheerde vakbond onder leiding van dr Robert Ley.

3. In werklikheid het die DAF min gedoen om werkers se regte, lone of belange te beskerm. Namate die Nazi -produksiekwotas toegeneem het, het die DAF langer werksure toegelaat en strenger kontrole op indiensneming toegelaat.

4. Werkers en ondergrondse aktiviste het teenkanting gekry, wat anti-Nazi-materiaal versprei het, maar baie werkers bly dankbaar vir die verbeterde werksekerheid onder die DAF.

5. Die DAF bestuur ook ander agentskappe, Beauty of Work and Strength through Joy, wat die werksomstandighede verbeter en goedkoop vakansies vir werkers subsidieer. Alhoewel dit sommige werkers bevoordeel het, was die belangrikste waarde daarvan as propaganda vir die Nazi -regime.


2. Mont Blanc (1917): 'n Massiewe ontploffing verwoes 'n stad

Op 6 Desember 1917, in die besige Halifax -hawe in Nova Scotia, die Mont Blanc, 'n Franse skip gelaai met plofstof en op pad was na Europa, waar die Eerste Wêreldoorlog gewoed het, in botsing met die Imo, wat na New York was om op te haal hulpvoorrade vir oorlogsgeteisterde België. Na die botsing het daar 'n brand ontstaan ​​op die Mont Blanc, wat gou aan die strand van die Halifax -strand gestrand het, waar 'n skare saamgedrom het om na die brandende skip te kyk. Ongeveer 20 minute na die botsing het die brand die 2,925 ton plofstof wat die Mont Blanc vervoer het, ontvlam en 'n groot ontploffing veroorsaak. (Die krag van die ontploffing was so groot dat fisikus J. Robert Oppenheimer, na verwys as die vader van die atoombom, en later die gebeurtenis bestudeer het om die moontlike skade aan die kernwapens wat hy gehelp het, te skat ontwikkel.)

Die ontploffing het talle mense onmiddellik doodgemaak en die omliggende gebied verwoes, geboue omvergewerp, hele blokke aan die brand gesteek en 'n tsunami veroorsaak. Die treurspel was die feit dat 'n sneeustorm die streek die nag getref het, wat reddings- en hulpverlening belemmer het. Meer as 2 000 mense sterf as gevolg van wat bekend gestaan ​​het as die Halifax Explosion —, die grootste mensgemaakte ontploffing totdat die eerste atoombom in 1945 op Japan neergegooi is, terwyl meer as 6 000 ander beseer is en 9 000 mense dakloos gelaat is. .


'Waarom nie die plek lekker maak nie?'

Was die geskiedenis van die webwerf 'n hulp of 'n belemmering vir die bemarking van Prora? 'Albei,' sê Elisa Weizmann, 'n woordvoerder van IrisGerd Immoblien. 'Die verhaal behoort aan hierdie ensemble en sal altyd deel wees van Prora. Die onaangeraakte aard van Prora maak dit maklik om die donker verlede te vergeet. Deur die heropbou van hierdie gebou konsentreer ons daarop om iets nuuts vir die toekoms te skep. ”

Eenhede word geadverteer met die belofte dat die koper te eniger tyd langs 'een van die mooiste strande in Duitsland' kan wees. Dit is opvallend as ons Prora besoek, hoe normaal die beeldmateriaal van die eiendomsondernemings is. Jy kan oral wees. Maar natuurlik is u dit nie - u is in die grootste gebou van die Duitse fascisme, 'n plek waar massamoordenaars opgelei is. Maar soos 'n strandganger sê: "Duitsland is vol gedenktekens". Hoekom 'n ander een hê? Waarom nie die plek lekker maak nie?

Vir Katja Lucke bied Prora ''n kans om die Nasionaal -Sosialistiese ideologie te verduidelik en dit te ervaar, want 'n mens kan dit sien'. Aangesien Prora nou soortgelyk is aan baie moderne oorde, word dit ook duidelik hoe sekere Nazi -idees oor massatoerisme 'normaal' geword het, al was dit in 'n ander vorm. Dit is nie die enigste idee van die Nazi-era wat vandag in Duitsland algemeen voorkom nie. In die somer en herfs het verkiesingsplakkate regoor Rügen - wat deel uitmaak van Angela Merkel se kiesafdeling - aangedring op 'n stemming vir die Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), 'n party wat sy beroep op vyandigheid teenoor buitelanders, gesinswaardes en 'n einde aan ondervragings oor die verlede van Duitsland. Die AfD voer aan dat daar 'n einde moet wees aan 'monumente van skaamte', soos die Memorial to the Vermord Jode van Europa in Berlyn. Die party se stem het skerp gestyg op hierdie plattelandse, ontvolkte eiland. Noudat u in die ou Strength Through Joy -kamp kan woon en dit as 'n vakansieoord kan geniet, soos die ander, word die 'normaliteit' wat die AfD wil uit die oorblyfsels van Duitsland se verlede, verwesenlik - deur die eenvoudige wonders van die eiendomsmark.

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Krag deur vreugde - Geskiedenis



HITLER SE PERSOONLIKE SKETS VAN DIE KDF-WAGEN
(1932)

Hitler sit in die somer van 1932 aan 'n restauranttafel in München en ontwerp die prototipe vir wat die uiters suksesvolle Beetle -ontwerp vir Volkswagen sou word (letterlik die "motor van die mense").

In 'n era waarin slegs die mees ekonomiese elite motors het, het Hitler geglo dat alle mense 'n motor moet kan besit, en het ook gedink dat 'n slim ontwerp betroubaarheid, genot en vakansie -reise moontlik maak. Die naam wat die motor in 1938 gegee het, was Kraft durch Freude (KdF-Wagen, letterlik "krag deur vreugde-motor").

Hitler het sy ontwerp aan die hoof van Daimler-Benz, Jakob Werlin, gegee en die belangrikheid daarvan beklemtoon. "Neem dit saam met jou en praat met mense wat meer daarvan verstaan ​​as ek. Maar moenie dit vergeet nie. Ek wil binnekort van jou hoor oor die tegniese besonderhede."

Hitler praat by VW Factory

KDF WAGEN/VW LOGO PROGRESSION

1) Oorspronklike DAF (Duitse Arbeidsfront) tandwiel-swastika-kombinasie vir Kdf Wagen

1938 PIN van die Grundsteinlegung des Volkswagen Werkes (baanbreker -seremonie)

2) DAF Kdf Wagen Sunwheel -logo en ontwikkelende ontwerpe

3) 1939 DAF Kdf Wagen Sunburst -logo

4) 1939 DAF Kdf Wagen omskep Swastika -logo

Hier te sien in 'n Kdf -brosjure uit 1939 in die linker- en regterhoek

5) Nikolai Borg eis van verandering, oorsprong van VW -logo oor swastika in DAF Cog

6) Finale Franz Reimspeiss -amptelike wenner van die VW -logo -kompetisiesimbool het later vir dekades lank die wêreld herken

7) Failed British Postwar 1946 Radclyffe Roadster Kdf Wagen copy. Only 2 were built in Germany .


Nazi "Strength Through Joy" leisure programme to get museum in German far-Right proposals

Jürgen Rieger, the vice-president of the party that seeks to ban all immigration and sever all ties with the EU, has submitted plans to authorities in Wolfsburg - home to car giant Volkswagen - for the museum intended to "show the people what this organisation did and what it meant".

But critics have accused Mr Rieger of using the museum as a way to spread pro-Nazi propaganda.

Strength Through Joy, at one time the largest tour operator in the world, was created to promote "a National Socialist people's community and the perfection and refinement of the German people" through its tightly structured recreational programmes.

Battalions of Strength Through Joy workers built the massive holiday complex of Prora on the Baltic Sea intended to be used by 20,000 holidaying Nazi loyalists at one time. the organisation also controlled a fleet of cruise ships that allowed pre-war Germans to travel to far away destinations at rock bottom prices.

And it also financed the production of the "people's car" by VW, which later became the classic Beetle of the post-war years.

By the time war broke out, it was virtually redundant, but had accomplished its task: binding the people to Hitler and controlling leisure the way every other activity was controlled under the regime.

Mr Rieger's plans to turn an old furniture warehouse into a museum have met with stiff opposition.

Ralf Schmidt, a spokesman for the city, said: "We will use every legal means at our disposal to stop this from becoming a reality." Because Mr Rieger has made his application to have the museum as a "commercial enterprise", the initiative, which critics say "glorifies Naziism"will be more difficult to stop than if it were merely being opened as a political showcase for the NPD viewpoint.


A Family Vacation for Workers: The Strength through Joy Resort at Prora

Despite its promise to deliver vacation packages to German workers, the huge Nazi leisure organization Strength through Joy (Kraft durch Freude, or KdF) fell short of its claim, failing especially to attract working-class families to its tours and sea cruises. To remedy its deficiency and to better support the racial and social policies of the Nazi regime, KdF began constucting a 20,000-bed resort on the Prora inlet of the Baltic Island of Rügen in May 1936. The resort aimed to provide inexpensive seaside vacations for male workers, their wives and children, a modest form of consumption that would open an important bourgeois leisure practice to wage-earners and provide respite for ‘racially valuable’ working-class families. The plans for the resort combined space for fascist mobilization with architectural details and vistas that reflected the Nazi regime's imperialist ambitions. Yet in its variety of leisure activities, the layout of its guestrooms, and the amenities promised to its holidaymakers, the ‘KdF-Seebad Rügen’ also promoted family intimacy in an environment far removed from urban, conflict-ridden, working-class neighbourhoods. The resort would thus advance the socially harmonious Volksgemeinschaft that the regime sought and give a foretaste of the abundance to come once Lebensraum was obtained, while simultaneously demonstrating that holidays in the present and abundance in the future would be limited to the Herrenvolk. Construction ceased when war broke out in 1939. Nevertheless, the Prora project, like KdF itself, illustrated the manner in which the Nazi regime used consumer desires and visions of family intimacy to advance its racism.


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Dr. Fritz Stenzel

Nation & Europe, 58. year, Magazine11/12, November/December 2008, Page 78. Publisher Nation Europa Verlag GmbH, Po. Box 2554, D-96414 Coburg, Germany

&bdquoKraft durch Freude&ldquo.

(Strength through Joy in the Third Reich)

Tourism and cultural &ldquoevents&rdquo for a broad public are common place nowadays. In the first third of the 20th century these things were not so. Workers and low-paid employees did not have the means for a lengthy holiday nor the finances for frequent visits to concerts, or least of all, an ocean-cruise. People were fully occupied to secure their daily existence. First World War 1, then mass un-employment and economic distress left little room for such diversions outside their narrow circle. There certainly was no such thing as a &ldquoleisure-industry&rdquo.

All this changed dramatically some 75 years ago: on the 25th of November 1933 the Organisation &ldquoKraft durch Freude&rdquo (KdF) was called into existence in Berlin. Its purpose was to give less endowed Germans the means of the enjoyment of leisure time and cultural edification, which had only been the prerogative of their financial betters till then. This led toward a new moral outlook about work, a better quality of life and to overcome the class barriers. At the same time the amount of holidays were doubled.

The beginning of Mass Tourism.

"Kraft durch Freude,&ldquo under the auspices of of the German Workers Front (DAF), was divided into several departments, whereby the one for travel, hiking and holidays rose to become the greatest German tour organiser. Forty-three Million KdF- Tours were sold in 1939, mainly day tours. Among the 7 Million holiday trips were 690,000 Ocean cruises to Norway, Madeira and Italy. The prices were something that sound nowadays fabulous to our ears: A seven day tour through the Thuringian Forest complete with accommodation and all meals supplied cost 25 RM (Reichs Mark). Less than 60 RM was the cost of a cruise to Norway for one week. For 150 RM (the average monthly income of a working man) would see you skippering around the Mediterranean for 12 days-fully fed and cared for, as only rich people had known it hitherto.

&ldquoSpiegel&rdquo Historian Heinz Höhne speaks of the &ldquobeginning of mass tourism, as had never been experienced in the history of the world&rdquo. It was for the KdF- traveler a &ldquofantastic adventure&rdquo. Traveling had been most uncommon for workers: A questionnaire handed out to 42,000 employees of the Berlin Siemens factory in winter 1933/34 found that about 68% had never traveled anywhere. Even the &ldquobargain trips&rdquo offered by the Unions, among which were five journeys abroad at the cost of 350 RM, were well above the financial reach of the average worker. Höhne calls it the staircase- joke of history, that it was exactly the anti-democratic movement that had basically introduced the idea of democracy and equality in the tourist industry

New and modern Cruise Ships were built especially for the purpose of the KdF tours. One was named &ldquoRobert Ley&rdquo, after the leader of the German Workers Front. While another, the &ldquoWilhelm Gustloff,&rdquo commenced service in 1937, came to terrible fame at the end of the war through the torpedoes of a Soviet Submarine. The ship had taken thousands of refugees from East Prussia to their death. The &ldquowhite fleet of peace&rdquo, as it was called, found its untimely conclusion with the end of the Third Reich.

Infrastructure from Nothing.

The KdF- Sea resort Prora, on the island of Rügen, was built in 1936, the imposing 20,000 bed Hotel establishment could not be completed because of the start of the war, but had already in its planning stage stirred up an international sensation. The Prora Modell received the Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937. Nowadays the oft times ridiculed &ldquoNS Gigantomania&rdquo, was in those days admired abroad as an attempt to create an infrastructure from nothing for the benefit of large scale tourism. For the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936 a &ldquoKdF-City&rdquo was built specifically to accommodate the many visitors who had come to see the Games.

The most well-known architects took part in these projects. In regards to the less spectacular KdF activities, yet reaching the broadest public were factory concerts, singing lessons, entertainment evenings, chess championships, Gymnastics- and swimming courses. Another endeavour of activity was adult education. Even the still common &ldquocompetition for the most beautiful town&rdquo was initiated by the KdF. The department &ldquoBeauty of work&rdquo cared for the establishment of factory accommodation, canteens, green belts and sports fields. What had been promised by the Marxist parties for decades, but never eventuated, actually came into being with "Kraft durch Freude&ldquo and secured the affection of even those who were skeptical or refusing of the regime hitherto. The historian Götz Aly coined a phrase only recently, as the feel-good dictatorship.&rdquo

The KdF becomes VW.

A special pilot-project was the KdF vehicle, for the production of which the &ldquoCity of the KdF -car near Fallersleben&rdquo was founded in 1938 (after the war the town was re-named &ldquoWolfsburg&rdquo at the behest of the British). The car would be affordable for everyone at the purchase price of 990 RM. The potential buyer bought stamps week after week to the value of 5 RM each, for which he received delivery of the car, called also the &ldquoVolkswagen&rdquo (VW) after about 4 years.

The German defeat of course put an end to that plan. In August 1945 the Soviet Military regime dissolved the &ldquoBank of the German workers&rdquo, where the savings for the cars had been deposited. Other sections of ownership of the German Workers Front went to the once more established Union movement. As late as 1961, the VW -Company, of their own free will, gave a discount payment of 600 Mark to these depositors for the purchase of a new vehicle, (While 100 DM compensation received those, who had deposited, but no longer wanted the VW car or could not afford it)

In any case, the KdF-car became one of the most successful car models in the world, on which the efforts to &ldquode-Nazify&rdquo all things German in a way had been deflected. &ldquoThe Volkswagen Factory is an example of the problem of historical continuation between the Third Reich and the BDR (Bundes Republic), says the Historian Prof. Dr. Hans Mommsen. In other words: in every VW rides a piece of KdF tradition on the roads of this world &ndash of late with unique claim to be not just a vehicle among many, but to be &ldquoThe Car.&rdquo

Even for the Communists, Kraft durch Freude&ldquo was an example, but one, which quality they could never attain to. The National Socialist's Regime's minister for culture and the KdF department manager, Horst Dressler-Andress, who was also a high functionary in Goebbel's Ministry of Propaganda had a successful political career in the DDR as the founder and committee member of the (Block) Party of National Democrats. But the leftist-socialist holiday and leisure planning efforts were too forced and primitive to continue at the high KdF Standard. It stayed, as it were, like in the car manufacture, at the quality level of the Trabant car. Traveling was almost only permitted into &ldquoSocialist Brother-countries&rdquo, where the danger of flight was low. KdF tourists usually did not abscond abroad, as they were obviously content with the state of the prevailing domestic situation

Reflections in the later BDR

Professor Götz Aly sees in the &ldquoNational Socialism&rdquo of the Third Reich certain refections shining through in the later BDR.&rdquo That of course is not only revealed in the most eye-catching way in the beetle outline of the KdF-car, but also most of the progressive social political ideas introduced in 1933 were not touched despite &ldquoanti-fascist&rdquo indignation after the war. What began 75 years ago with &ldquoKraft durch Freude&rdquo, continued in the existing social conditions of the present day Market economy. But its origins and continuation is these days only discussed unwillingly. But do taboos serve historical enlightenment? Aly: &ldquoWhoever does not want to speak of the great advantages gained by millions of common Germans , should keep quiet altogether about National Socialism and the Holocaust&rdquo.


Volkswagen’s Dark Past

WHEN I WENT TO GERMANY in the early 1970s, the roads swarmed with Volkswagen Beetles—squat, misshapen little beasts bustling about city streets or rattling along the autobahns with their noisy, air-cooled engines, curved roofs tapering to a point at the back, and, in older models, oval back windows so tiny I wondered how a driver could see anything in his rearview mirror. Their exterior ugliness, however, was nothing in comparison to the horror of riding inside one: sitting in the back seat, as I often had to when being driven around, I was oppressed by the claustrophobia imposed by the low roof, while the loud rattling and whirring of the engine behind me quickly gave me a headache, made worse in winter by the heating system’s repulsive smell. Turning corners at speed—such speed as the vehicle could muster—was a nightmare, as the car rocked and rolled and churned my stomach.

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. It was an amazing accomplishment for a vehicle whose origins were hardly auspicious.

Though after World War II most people chose to ignore the fact, the Beetle began life in the 1930s as a pet project of Adolf Hitler. Once in power, Hitler was determined to bring Germany up to what he thought of as the modernity common in the United States and other advanced economies. Few people in Germany owned radios, so Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, introduced the Volksempfänger (People’s Receiver), a cheap and cheerful little wireless—short-wave so listeners couldn’t tune into foreign broadcasts. Fridges were even rarer, so the Nazi government introduced the Volkskühlschrank (People’s Refrigerator). Soon many other products had similar names and similar intentions. (See “Products for the People,” May/June 2015.)

THE PEOPLE’S CAR —the Volkswagen—belonged to this milieu. Although it was widely referred to by that name, its official title was the “Strength through Joy Car” (the Kraft durch Freude-Wagen, of KdF-Wagen), signifying its association with the German Labor Front leisure program that went by the same name and whose purpose was to reward German workers with affordable diversions.

From the outset, Hitler was determined to modernize Germany’s roads. In the early 1930s, Germany was one of Western Europe’s least motorized societies. Even the British had six times more cars relative to population. This was partly because German public transport was second to none—smoothly efficient, quick, omnipresent, all-encompassing. Germans mostly felt no need for cars. And had they wanted cars, they couldn’t have afforded them. The economic disasters of the Weimar Republic had depressed demand. So empty were German roads that Berlin, a lively metropolis, did not find it necessary to install traffic lights until 1925.

Three-quarters of German workers were laborers, artisans, farmers, and peasants, unable to purchase expensive products by Daimler-Benz or the country’s 27 other car makers, whose inefficient production methods and small outputs led to models that only members of the country’s intermittently affluent bourgeoisie could buy.


Early advertisements depicted the “Strength through Joy Car” as an ideal companion to glamorous Aryan couples enjoying their leisure time. Bundesarchiv Plak 003-018-028, Atelier Brach

To reach American levels of car ownership, Hitler told the automobile show in Berlin in 1934, Germany had to increase the number of cars on its roads from half a million to 12 million. To the further dismay of German nationalists, the two most successful mass vehicle manufacturers in the country were based in the United States: Ford, which opened a factory in Cologne in 1931, and General Motors, which operated the Opel car factory at Rüsselsheim. By the early 1930s, Opel cars were dominating the passenger vehicle market in Germany, with 40 percent of annual sales.

Hitler pursued motorization on several levels. Building the famous Autobahnen was one. Another was the promotion of motor racing. Hefty government subsidies brought German speedsters by Daimler-Benz and Auto Union victory in 19 of 23 Grand Prix races held from 1934 to 1937.

Ideology played an important role. In the interests of national unity, the government replaced local regulations with a Reich-wide Highway Code. Far from straitjacketing drivers, the 1934 Code placed its trust in the Aryan’s consciously willed subordination to the racial community’s interests. On the road, owners of expensive cars had to put “discipline” and “chivalry” first and set aside outmoded class antagonisms. Jews, of course, couldn’t be trusted to do this, so from 1938 on they were banned from owning or driving cars.

The automobile, Hitler declared, responded to the individual will, unlike the railway, which had brought “individual liberty in transport to an end.” So the Highway Code abolished speed limits—with catastrophic results. In the first six years of the Third Reich, accident rates on German roads climbed to become Europe’s highest. By May 1939 the regime had to admit defeat and set speed limits on all roads except the autobahns, still Europe’s most terrifying roads.

Cars, Hitler proclaimed, had to lose their “class-based, and, as a sad consequence, class-dividing character.” They had to be available to everyone. What was needed was a home-built vehicle that bridged the social divide. Hitler commissioned Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche to design an affordable car for ordinary people. (In a typically Nazi addendum, officials stipulated that the hood be stout enough to accommodate a machine gun if necessary.)

Ambitious and politically skilled, Porsche secured Hitler’s backing for a huge factory that emphasized streamlined production techniques. The Labor Front put its vast financial reserves at Porsche’s disposal and sent the designer on a tour of automotive factories in the United States, where he hired engineers of German extraction to take back with him to work on the new car. Hitler opened the Volkswagen factory near the village of Fallersleben, in what is now Lower Saxony, in 1938. In time an entire new town, Strength through Joy City, was to be built to house and serve auto workers.

In his comprehensive history of the Beetle, The People’s Car, Bernhard Rieger describes the elaborate groundbreaking ceremony held at the site. “Fifty thousand spectators, most of whom had been transported to the deep countryside by special trains, set the stage for the hour-long ceremony broadcast live on national radio,” Rieger writes. “In the cordoned-off area reserved for Hitler and his entourage, three models of the ‘people’s car’—a standard limousine, a limousine with a retractable canvas roof, and a convertible—gleamed in the sunshine, strategically arranged in front of a wooden grandstand that was draped with fresh forest greens from which the party grandees delivered their speeches.”

The Labor Front campaigned to get Germans to join a Volkswagen savings scheme. People stuck red stamps worth five Reichsmarks each in official savings books until they reached the 990 Reichsmarks required to buy a Beetle. Over a quarter of a million people enrolled in less than 18 months.

Impressive though this total seemed, it fell far short of what the regime envisioned. With this level of enrollment, the scheme would never even remotely have covered the costs of production. Most of the savers were middle-class, and a third had a car already the masses simply couldn’t afford the level of savings required. Moreover, as Rieger points out, the mass reluctance to part with savings reflected anxiety about the Nazis’ increasingly bellicose foreign policy.

ORDINARY GERMANS WERE RIGHT to be skeptical about the savings scheme. No individual who signed up ever got a Volkswagen—at least not from funds invested during the Nazi era. The money went into arms production. So, too, did the factory. Only 630 Beetles were made before the war, most snapped up by regime officials.

In 1939, as the Reich was whisking Volkswagen workers off to labor on Germany’s western fortifications, the Nazis were able to keep production going only by obtaining 6,000 laborers from Italy. They lived in wooden barracks by September 1939 only 10 percent of the planned accommodations in Strength through Joy City had been completed. The Italians worked to build a military version of the Beetle. The jeep-like Kübelwagen, or “bucket wagon,” saw service wherever German forces operated. Die Schwimmwagen was an amphibious variant.

After Germany’s defeat, the factory and company town fell within the British Zone of Occupation. Ivan Hirst, a major in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps, arrived to inspect the plant. He found that 70 percent of its buildings and 90 percent of its machinery were intact. The British Zone had 22 million inhabitants owning a mere 61,000 motorcars, nearly two-thirds of them described as “worn out.” Railway track and rolling stock were in ruins. Needing rapid improvements in transport, the British military government ordered Hirst to restart Beetle production.

Applying ideas and methods derived from British colonial experience in Africa, Hirst set to work, using existing factory staff. When denazification booted more than 200 senior managers and technical experts, Hirst found substitutes or had verdicts overturned, in a triumph of necessity over legality and morality typical of occupied Germany in the late 1940s. He also managed to recruit 6,000 workers by the end of 1946.

But the resurrection had been too hasty. Mechanical and other problems dogged the cars. British auto engineers said the noisy, smelly, underpowered Beetle had no commercial potential. No one wanted to relocate the factory to Britain. So the Germans got the Volkswagen back.

HEINRICH NORDHOFF, A GERMAN engineer for Opel who enjoyed close contacts with that company’s owners in America, General Motors, turned things around. Although not a Nazi, Nordhoff had contributed to the war economy by running the Opel truck factory, Europe’s largest. His extensive use of forced labor denied him employment in the American sector, but the British did not mind. Nordhoff threw himself into the job with manic intensity, working 17 hours a day to streamline production, eliminate technical deficiencies, recruit dealers, and establish effective management. The car came in bright colors, or, as Nordhoff put it, a “paint job absolutely characteristic of peacetime.” Production figures began to climb, and sales started to improve.

But it was not so easy to shake off the automobile’s Nazi past. Strength through Joy City was renamed Wolfsburg, after a nearby castle—though some may have recalled that “Wolf” was Hitler’s nickname among cronies, so the name could be read as “Hitler’s Fortress.”

Wolfsburg was crowded with refugees and expellees from the east—some of the 11 million ethnic Germans ejected from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and other Eastern European countries at the war’s end. Burning with resentment, they proved easy marks for ultra-nationalist agitators. By 1948, the neo-Nazi German Justice Party was garnering nearly two-thirds of the local vote, while vandals repeatedly daubed factory walls with swastikas and many ballot papers were marked with the words “We want Adolf Hitler.” As a new town, Wolfsburg lacked experienced politicians to counter extremist nostalgia. Only gradually were mainstream parties able to push the neo-Nazis back into the shadows.

Heinrich Nordhoff aided in this, insisting that Germans’ travails in the late 1940s were the result of “a war that we started and that we lost.” His frankness had limits: he did not mention the mass murder of Jews or other Nazi crimes. He even echoed Nazi language in urging workers to focus on “achievement”—Leistung—just as Hitler in 1942 had urged “a battle of achievement for German enterprises” in war production.


Nazi big shots Hermann Göring (above) and Robert Ley (at right, below) admire early VWs. ©Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo/Alamy

Whatever the rhetoric, the workers certainly did “achieve.” While the badly damaged Opel and Ford factories were struggling to get production under way, the Volkswagen plant was already turning out Beetles in large numbers. Efficiency rose steadily during the 1950s as Nordhoff introduced full automation on lines pioneered in Detroit.

In August 1955 the millionth Beetle rolled off the line, painted gold, bumper encrusted with rhinestones, before 100,000 onlookers. Twelve marching bands played Strauss tunes, belles from the Moulin Rouge danced the cancan, a black South African choir sang spirituals, and 32 female Scottish dancers performed the Highland Fling to the sound of pipers. Reporters enjoyed lavish entertainment, while the event, and the accomplishments of the Volkswagen factory, were brought to the public in a 75-minute movie.

The Beetle achieved iconic status in West Germany as a typical product of the 1950s Wirtschaftswunder, or “economic miracle”—not flashy or glamorous, but solid, functional, dependable, inexpensive to acquire and run, and easy to maintain: everything the Third Reich had not been. As West Germany became a “leveled-out middle-class society,” the Beetle became the leveled-out middle-class car of choice.

Lacking obvious national symbols, Germany west of the fortified border that divided it from the Communist east fixed on the Beetle as an icon. Car ownership suited West German society’s retreat into private and family life in reaction to the Nazi era’s overheated, over-politicized public sphere. The liberty to drive anywhere, whenever you chose, was celebrated as a pillar of Western freedom during the Cold War.

The Beetle’s Nazi associations faded in a historical car wash that ascribed its origins to Ferdinand Porsche’s genius. Veterans fondly remembered driving its cousin, the Kübelwagen. Younger individuals liked the little car’s utilitarian sobriety. The Beetle represented for Germans the “new landscape of desire” of the sober, conservative 1950s.

At the same time, the Beetle was making giant inroads as an export, with an especially fruitful market in the United States. Sales of the Beetle—also called the “Bug”—took off in the U.S. in the mid-1950s. By 1968, Volkswagen was shipping more than half a million Beetles a year across the Atlantic, accounting for 40 percent of production. At least five million Americans bought Beetles. By the 1970s the car had even become a countercultural fixture, with aerospace-engineer-turned-mechanic John Muir’s How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive selling more than two million copies.

Foreign sales sustained the company as Germany’s Beetle era ended. The 1973 to 1974 oil crisis, changing fashions, tough new safety regulations, and failure to maintain the pace of automation caused domestic sales to slump. With the end of the “economic miracle” came the end of the Beetle. West Germans began to demand vehicles that were faster, roomier, more comfortable, more elegant. In 1978 the factory at Wolfsburg stopped manufacturing Beetles.

In 1997, Volkswagen introduced a “New Beetle,” appealing to the American fashion for retro-chic but making clear that this vehicle fully met 21st-century motorists’ demands (“Less Flower. More Power,” one ad put it). Its curving silhouette deliberately invokes the original.

Yet owners of old Beetles know it’s not the same. They rally with their vintage vehicles at locations worldwide to admire antique models and imaginative custom jobs. One meeting has occurred annually since the 1980s in Nuremberg at the scene of the 1930s Nazi Party rallies, in front of the rostrum where Hitler ranted. Nobody seems to notice. The Beetle has long since become globalized, detached for most people from its Nazi origins.

In 1998, New York Times columnist Gerald Posner mentioned to his mother-in-law, whom he described as a “conservative Jew,” that he had bought a New Beetle.

“Congratulations darling,” she replied. “Maybe the war is finally over.”

Aangepas van The Third Reich in History and Memory by Richard J. Evans with permission from Oxford University Press, Inc. Copyright © Richard J. Evans 2015. Feature photo: © Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo/Alamy. Originally published in the May/June 2015 issue of Tweede Wereldoorlog tydskrif.


Robert Ley


Robert Ley was in charge of the German Labour Front in Nazi Germany. As such Ley was in charge of ‘Strength through Joy’(Kraft durch Freude), a movement which played a major part in the lives of all German civilians.

Ley was born on February 15 th 1890. He was one of eleven children and his father – a farmer – always struggled to make ends meet financially. Despite this, Ley got to university where he studied chemistry. World WarOne interrupted any chance Ley had of finding employment in the chemical industry. At the age of 24, he volunteered at the start of the war. Ley spent two years fighting with artillery units but then trained to become an aerial artillery spotter. In July 1917, his war ended when his aircraft was shot down and he was taken prisoner-of-war.

Once World War One had ended and Ley had been released from his POW camp, he returned to university where he was awarded a doctorate. He found work in the Ruhr as a food chemist for I G Farben, one of the largest industrial concerns in Germany. Up to this point in his life there is little evidence that he was politicised. This changed in 1924.

As part of the Treaty of Versailles, Weimar Germany had to accept responsibility for starting the war. When her representatives signed the document, it was seen as an admission that Germany was responsible for all the war damage in France and Belgium. Therefore, also included in the Versailles Treaty was the fact that Germany had to pay reparations – to repair war-damaged Western Europe. No figure was actually set at Versailles but eventually – and with no German input – it was set at the massive figure of £6.6 billion. In 1923, Germany failed to pay what was required and this resulted in French and Belgian forces occupying the Ruhr, Germany’s most important industrial base. This infuriated Ley as the occupation led to passive civilian resistance, including strikes, which destabilised this important region. The French arrested anyone they associated with civil disobedience and their treatment of the Germans in the Ruhr was highly questionable. What we do know is that Ley, along with many others in the Ruhr, was outraged by the French and wanted redress.

He joined the Nazi Party shortly afterwards. Ley became someone who followed and accepted every word Hitler said. He became highly anti-Semitic and felt no qualms about venting his beliefs in the Nazi newspaper ‘Westdeutsche Beobachter’, which he was appointed to edit. Ley was also appointed the Nazi Party’s Gauleiter in the Southern Rhineland in 1925. However, at this period in time the Nazi Party was a noisy but small party will a minimal presence in the Reichstag.

Hitler was taken in by Ley’s loyalty and in 1931 he was brought into the Nazi heart when he was appointed head of party organisation and was based at its headquarters in Munich. It soon became clear to many in the party that he was out of his depth. On top of his inability to cope with the tasks his position required, Ley’s critics were also concerned by his excessive drinking. However, Hitler would not hear any criticisms.

When Hitler gained power in January 1933, he surrounded himself with ‘yes’ men and this included Ley. In April 1933, Ley was appointed the head of the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront – DAF). This took over the role that would have traditionally been associated with trade unions – banned by the Nazis. However, Ley was unable to cope with the pressures placed on him by the appointment and he was soon overshadowed by a subordinate within DAF – Reinhard Muchow. He was a socialist and he encouraged workers to agitate for better wages and working conditions. Employers complained to senior Nazi officials who relayed the issue to Hitler. In January 1934, the issue was resolved when all problems surrounding wages and conditions of work were placed in the hands of the Trustees of Labour – an organisation dominated by employers. Ley’s control over DAF was re-established and Muchow was removed from office.

Ley remained in power solely because he had the support of Hitler. Once his control over DAF had been re-established, he embarked on a course of corruption and excess that rivalled Goering’s. Ley embezzled large amounts of money earmarked for DAF and his drinking and womanising brought DAF a notoriety that served only to embarrass the party. However, protected by Hitler, there was little that other senior Nazi officials could do.

To convince the workers that the Nazi Party had some interest in their well-being, DAF introduced an organisation called Strength Through Joy (Kraft durch Freude – KdF). This organisation took control of the workers free time and organised holidays and other leisure services for them. As head of DAF, Ley was also in charge of KdF.

The start of World War Two showed up Ley’s incompetence as an administrator. Now more than ever, the workers needed to be organised to ensure that the Nazi war machine was fully equipped. The war ensured the end of KdF as the workers could hardly expect leisure time during war. The work of Ley was effectively taken over by Fritz Todt, the Armaments Minister. Todt in turn was succeeded by Albert Speer. Ley was very much pushed to one side. Hitler was solely preoccupied with the war. Ley could no longer expect any protection from him.

However, Ley was very much implicated in the mistreatment of slave labourers. He said in 1942 that there was no limit on the amount of force that could be used on a slave labourer. Ley told an audience in Essen that “there was no room for compassion”. He referred to Russians as “pigs”. His approach was very similar to Heinrich Himmler who once publicly stated that he did not care how many Russians died building a tank trap so long as the tank trap was built. Whether Ley adopted the same tone because he believed in it or whether he adopted it to re-ingratiate himself among the Nazi élite is not known.

After the effective fall of his influence in terms of industrial production, Ley was given the task in November 1941 as tackling the housing crisis that was being brought on by the Allied bombing campaign. As Nazi Germany faced more and more bombing raids against its cities, this was a task that even an able man would have found impossible to master. Ley was not an able man and it quickly became apparent that he was unable to cope with the situation.

For all this, Ley remained on the inside of Hitler’s inner circle. He stayed in Berlin until Hitler’s birthday on April 20 th 1945. On April 21 st , he left for southern Bavaria where he expected to be joined by Hitler at the ‘National Redoubt’. Here in the German Alps, Ley expected both he and Hitler to make a last stand. It never happened and on May 16 th 1945 Ley was arrested by men from the US 101 st Airborne Division.

On October 21 st , Ley was charged with crimes against humanity and conspiracy to wage war. He committed suicide on October 24 th by hanging himself in his cell.


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