Politics & Society

Ferdinand Porsche

1875 Maffersdorf (today: Czech Republic) – 1951 Stuttgart (Germany)
Engineer and entrepreneur
Countries: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany

The inventor of the legendary sports car also attends the meeting on the nuclear bomb at Harnack House in 1942. Porsche plays a significant role as one of Hitler’s armaments advisors from 1939. His technical genius becomes apparent early on. He is able to apply his strong interest in vehicles, in particular fast sports cars, as a designer at the Austrian subsidiary of Daimler Motorenwerke. Porsche’s aircraft engines and sports cars win awards and he joins the management of the group. In 1930, he founds his own company in Stuttgart.

The design of reasonably-priced small car – the "Beetle" – on behalf of the Nazi government makes Porsche very successful. He organises mass production and is appointed a technical advisor to the government. However, few cars roll off the production line at the new plant in Wolfsburg: it is converted to armaments production in 1939, and employs large numbers of forced workers. Porsche is imprisoned by the French at the end of the War. After the War ends, he continues his work unimpeded.

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