You wrecked Hitler’s car! What did he ever do to you? — Nelson, “Bart Carny”
While it wouldn’t be entirely accurate to call Volkswagen the automaker that Hitler built*, you may have noticed that this isn’t exactly the AP.
The automaker that Hitler built, Volkswagen (which translates to “people’s car”) was established to give birth to an affordable line of autos for the German people to keep them cruising over the next 1,000 years. Showing the same talents that made him such a successful artist before his foray into civics, Big H had an active hand in the project:
After a lot of hard work by Germany’s engineering community (including Ferdinand Porsche), the Beetle was birthed — and though Germany lost the War shortly thereafter, the car continued to be produced over the decades. Over 20 million of them, and counting.
But the real miracle here is how VW’s marketers managed to transform the Beetle from the Hitler-mobile into a hippie-friendly “bug” conducive to good times and smooth vibes. An impressive feat of propaganda … but, then again, they had a good teacher.
That logo is probably a fake. Coming up next, the case of the cantankerous old geezer!
* In spite of their recent advertising campaign.