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Tuesday 23 December  
Volkswagen Beetle prototype
Rob Kievit's picture
Nuremberg, Germany
Nuremberg, Germany

Hitler's VW Beetle is a Jewish invention

Published on : 29 September 2009 - 8:46am | By Rob Kievit
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The all-time most popular car, the Volkswagen Beetle, was not invented by Adolf Hitler but by a Jewish engineer, Josef Ganz. He designed and even built a first prototype that was ready to be taken into production. Hitler's Nazis thwarted him for so long that he had to give up, Dutch journalist Paul Schilperoord writes in a recent book, "The true story of the Beetle" (in Dutch):

“In 1929, Josef Ganz started contacting German motorcycle manufacturers for collaboration to build a Volkswagen prototype. This resulted in a first prototype built at Ardie in 1930 and a second one completed at Adler in May 1931, which was nicknamed the 'Maikäfer' ('May-Beetle').”

Paul Schilperoord, an engineer as well as a journalist, has been fascinated by the true story behind Volkswagen's Beetle since the 1980s. When he chanced upon an article in an old edition of the Automobile Quarterly magazine, he discovered Josef Ganz, who as a student had his own reasons for designing a cheaper car. "He often crashed with his motorbike, once even so badly that he crushed his left leg. What he really wanted was a car which was a lot safer, but just as affordable as a motorbike."

Mr Schilperoord closely follows the history of Ganz' first production model, the Standard Superior. It appeared in the spring of 1933, "in May when the May beetles fly" at the Berlin Motor Show. Hitler, appointed Chancellor in January 1933, opened the show and saw the Standard Superior.

Hitler's interest
The German dictator showed an interest in the prototype. Such a car fitted his plans to "motorise" Germany, except that it had been designed by a Jewish engineer. Instead of ordering the Standard car factory to develop and produce the Jewish-designed car, Hitler looked for another German developer to take over.

A surviving sketch from the 1930s, allegedly made by Hitler himself, shows the outlines of a Beetle-like car. The drawing is said to be given to car maker Daimler-Benz, who apparently turned down the job before it was given to Porsche in Nuremberg.

Attempt to kill Ganz
Ganz was arrested by Hitler's secret police, the Gestapo, only weeks after the motor show. He was charged with blackmailing the German car industry, but released soon after.

Paul Schilperoord describes a possible attempt on Ganz' life during the "Night of the Long Knives" in June 1934, when the Nazis executed a range of political opponents. Ganz's dog attacked the thug sent to kill the engineer and saved his life. As a Jew, Ganz's complaints to the police were not registered by the anti-Semitic regime's police.

A second assassination attempt, which failed because Ganz was in Switzerland, convinced him to take refuge abroad. He continued to work on a Volkswagen or "People's Car", design - even the name had been invented by him in the 1920s - but the competition from the mass-produced German Beetle was overwhelming.

Rebuilding Germany
By 1939, the Nazis began their occupation of Europe. One of their tools was a nifty commando vehicle - a spruced-up version of the Beetle, which took German Army commanders reliably into the battlefield zone, even into the African desert. After the end of World War II and the collapse of the Nazi regime, Germany's economy recovered with international help. The car industry, and Volkswagen with its Beetle in particular, became a huge success.

In Switzerland, Ganz tried in vain to reclaim intellectual ownership of the Beetle. His name carefully erased from the history books by Hitler's Nazi regime, Ganz moved to Australia in 1951, where he died in 1967.

• More about Paul Schilperoord's book on the Destination Israel blog (external link)

• View successive generations of VW beetles (external link)  

• Collection of documents about Adolf Hitler: Hitler Historical Museum (external link)

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Carlos Barrera 31 July 2014 - 9:26pm / México

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Big Chief 7 May 2014 - 3:54pm / USA

Two hundered million Native American people genocided. The genocide continues. Over two hundred treaties with the US Government, all broken by the US Government. How is this not worse than Hitler? Why was no one prosecuted. There were people who particitated in the genocide of the Native People here still alive in the US when the Nuremburg trials were being held.
The great buffalo hunters were hired to kill the food source for the Native Peoples. The Cherokee people's land was stolen from them by President Andrew Jackson after the Supreme Court ruled the Cherokee had rights and could keep their land. The scale of whiners relative to the actual damages to other peoples is a bit rediculous dont you think. Im pretty sick of it myself. The "Trail of Tears" was instigated against the Cherokee in winter on purpose so most would starve, become ill or die from exposure.

Ar condicionado automotivo 10 March 2014 - 10:09pm

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Rehab 3 July 2012 - 9:04am

I read alot about VW history, and i thought Firnard Porsche was the one to design the first VW 'car for all people' by a request from Hitler.
Hitler wanted all Germans to be able to buy a car, 1 out of 50 men owned a car in Germany back then, whereas in America 1 out of 5 men owned a car. So, Hitler had a vision, and it was his idea to build a car cheaper than a mercedes so all average Germans can afford to buy. Fernard Porsche was the one to design the first VW "car for all people"

Anonymous 9 October 2012 - 9:52am / De

What is the difference between a jew and a pizza? Pizza doesn't scream when you put it in the oven.

David Hagen 12 December 2010 - 11:45am / Australia


David Hagen 12 December 2010 - 12:02pm

I am a vw enthusiast of the beetle and having read some of Ganz biography its overwhelming that he plaid part in the design. Just reading some of the comments here about Ganz being a Jew and discrediting him sounds like a very antisemitic remark . Most of our brilliant designers, Doctors , Lecturers , Defense ete etc are JEWS. Someone also mentioned that before the war most early prototype cars where of a similar appearance to the beetle. Hmmm engine aircooled in the rear inderpendant rear suspension automatic choke and a 2 door .

Nazi 1 December 2010 - 11:39pm / United States

Hiel Hitler!!

Anonymous 18 April 2011 - 3:53pm / Germany

Sit on it and rotate, your brain is screwed in wrong.

Anonymous 1 October 2010 - 7:57pm / alaska

hahahahahahahahahaha weird this is a kkkoooooooooollllll website

Anonymous123 23 February 2010 - 12:48am / Aust

The car ganz designed Looks nothing like a Vw Beetle looks like an early Fiat....most small cars looked similat\r in those days .. look at the morris ... saying Ganz designed the beetle is like saying ford created chevs...

MUSTAFA-CH 10 October 2009 - 2:53pm
free invention of the car's response is a fraction compared to the large volume of scientific inventions invented by Jewish scholars in the fields of modern science which has contributed significantly to the scientific progress of all mankind
YB 6 October 2009 - 7:41am
only in America Yeah, only in America can a thing like this happen.
Anonymous 5 October 2009 - 5:01am
I wish they'll invent and design an electric car with solar panels which would make us independent from oil from the Middle East , Venezuela and Nigeria, etc.
Kurtis 4 October 2009 - 1:10am
In the early 1920's Hitler conceived of "The Beetle" while in prison . Now the jews are stealing the idea of "the Beetle". How many Billions of euro will the jews shake out of Volkswagen now? Like good propaganda the article has elements of truth
Anonymous 2 October 2009 - 12:34am
Car designers are not inventors. Inovators perhaps.
Anonymous 30 September 2009 - 1:44pm
The VW developed by the Nazis is a worthless car anyway; we call it here a riding casket or coffin, due to the many fatal accidents with that clunker.
Anonymous 30 September 2009 - 2:12am
These things need to be publicized, even if some consider them "standard knowledge", since there are so many pro-nazi revisionists now trying to whitewash what the Third Reich did as the banks and corporations that created and supported it appear to be on the rise again, this time in sheep's clothing.
Steve 30 September 2009 - 2:41pm
I see your point. I guess I was just confused as to why this was published so far after the fact. You bring up an interesting point. Maybe that was the motivation.
user avatar
Ainslie-Dweller 30 September 2009 - 12:31am
Well, I didn't know he moved to Australia.
G.K. 29 September 2009 - 7:02pm
I knew a Ganz in New York who had more jewels than God.You see it is not that bad to be Jewish.
Steve 30 September 2009 - 2:39pm
I have many Jewish friends and most are not wealthy.
A Jew in NY 29 September 2009 - 8:39pm
To G.K. Unless you were one of the millions of Jews whose jewels and money was stolen from them, like my family in Arnhem. Did you read the article, moron, or should I say, anti-semite? Like anyone really needed your crass comment.
G.K. 29 September 2009 - 10:43pm
Steve 29 September 2009 - 3:19pm
I thought this was pretty standard knowledge.

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