Monday, 10 June 2013

The big 'Lyoness' People's Business lie, is an adaptation of another big lie.

The Resistible Rise of Hubert Freidl.

In 1945, whilst most, contemporary mainstream commentators were unable to look beyond the ends of their noses, with a perfect sense of irony, Eric Arthur Blair a.k.a. 'George Orwell' (1903-1950) presented fact as fiction in an insightful 'fairy story' entitled, 'Animal Farm.' He revealed that totalitarianism is merely the oppressors' fiction mistaken for fact by the oppressed. In the same universal allegory, Orwell described how, at a time of vulnerability, almost any people's dream of a future, secure, Utopian existence can be hung over the entrance to a totalitarian deception. Indeed, the words that are always banished by totalitarian deceivers are, 'totalitarian' and 'deception.' Sadly, when it comes to examining the same enduring phenomenon, albeit with an ephemeral 'Capitalist' label, most contemporary, mainstream commentators have again been unable to look further than the ends of their noses. However, if they followed Orwell's example, and did some serious thinking, this is the reality-inverting nightmare they would find.


I recently posted an article in which I produced irrefutable evidence to show how 'Lyoness' core-adherents have been converted to the classic totalitarian belief that they are the winning members of an elite, enlightened minority who (through total unquestioning commitment to their group and to their enlightened, and  infallible, führer's global plan), will achieve exclusive redemption in a future Utopian existence where together, everyone is prosperous, strong, happy, free, etc.

 'The Miracle of Lyoness

I believe in the miracle
I believe in a world for you and me
I believe in a better place 
So let's make history
Hand in hand step by step 
Bit by bit and day by day
We are strong
 Together we can change the world
With all my heart I know my dreams come true
Yes I believe we can make this dream come true'

If readers watch this Orwellian propaganda video (particularly the stomach-churning hymn to 'The Miracle Lyoness'), they will discover that, in order to push them into a delusional state, 'Lyoness' core-adherents have been subjected to co-ordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion, designed to shut down their critical, and evaluative, faculties without their fully informed consent. In simple terms, 'Lyoness' core-adherents are adults who have been tricked into accepting fiction as fact. Classically, the construction, and maintenance, of this Austrian-based, abusive human edifice, has been entirely-financed by its deluded victims' own contributions. Indeed, pay-through-the-nose-to-enter 'Lyoness' orgies of deluded self-gratification (like the one featured in the video) have already generated many thousands of ticket sales - netting many millions of Euros for Hubert Freidl and his criminal associates. 

Thus, a rather important question springs to mind:

Given Austria's history, how is it possible that this wealthy country still has no effective mechanism in place which might educate opinion-makers to recognize the potentially catastrophic phenomenon of cultic racketeering?

Making the Dream come true.
A typical 'Nazi' orgy of deluded self-gratification

I have also stated that Hubert Freidl is neither original nor unique, and that the highly-profitable, self-perpetuating mass-deception which this otherwise mediocre, but severe and inflexible, narcissist has been allowed to instigate around the globe, cannot be fully-understood in isolation. Self-evidently, the addictive lie of group superiority that controls the personalities and behaviour of 'Lyoness' core-adherents is essentially the same as the addictive lie which has controlled the personalities and behaviour of all core-adherents of pernicious cults including: 'Scientology', 'The 2nd Ku Klux Klan', 'Amway', 'Herbalife', 'Xango', etc. and even the 'Nazi Party.' All these groups (and countless others) comprised previously-diverse individuals bonded by their unconscious acceptance of the self-gratifying, but wholly-imaginary scenario, that they alone represent a positive force of absolute righteousness derived from their leadership's superior knowledge, and that they alone oppose a negative force of evil. In all pernicious cults (no matter what their size or level of criminality), whilst this two-dimensional, or dualistic, fairy story remains the adherents' model of reality, they are, in effect, constrained to modify their personalities and behaviour accordingly.

Mike Godwin

Today, as soon as anyone dares to compare kitsch, latter-day cultic groups like Hubert Freidl's  'Lyoness,' to Adolf Hitler and the 'Nazis,' casual observers have a tendency to throw up their hands in horror and deny that this apparently shocking comparison can be valid or appropriate. There are even some academically-qualified casual observers who will point to what is known as Godwin's Law. However, Godwin's Law (which was created with the intention of stopping thoughtless persons from making glib statements) specifically allows thoughtful and appropriate comparisons to be made with Adolf Hitler and the 'Nazis.' 

Thus (like others before me), I am not making some glib little statement about racketeering and 'Nazism.'  On the contrary, I have taken the trouble to research this subject and, as a consequence, I am able to explain in great detail exactly why the 'Lyoness' People's Business, is an outrageous adaptation of the big lie entitled, 'Nazi People's Car,' but which has been cleverly up-dated, and tailored, to fit the spirit of our own age.

Saving for a Volkswagen

When I first began to examine the disturbing, ritual images (clean-cut, healthy heterosexual couples with perfect smiles, perfect children and perfect lives, proudly posing beside their shiny new Dream’: cars, houses, pools, boats, etc.), which have been used to keep a never-ending chain of vulnerable persons swallowing the ‘MLM Income Opportunity’ lie, I was struck by the frightening similarity between this kitsch Utopian propaganda and the sickly-sweet pictures once used to coat (and peddle) another poisonous fairy story of endless, future, prosperity, happiness, health and freedom.

In reality, all these essentially-identical ritual images are a form of non-sexual pornography - aids to mental-masturbation - clearly designed to shut down adults' critical, and evaluative, faculties - turning them on by mirroring, and magnifying, normal instinctual desires to obtain material, and social, gratification, rather than sexual gratification. 

According to the ‘Income opportunity’ lie:

Everyone, no matter what their class, profession or property can become the owner of an ‘Independent Business’ which (only through concentrated effort and unquestioning belief) has been proven to bring ‘Total Financial Freedom’ within just a few years. 

On closer inspection, this ambiguous promise turns out to have been plagiarised from a very specific, and revealing, pattern; for, according to the same closed-logic of the 'Income Opportunity' controlling scenario:

Everyone who fails to achieve redemption, has only himself/herself to blame.

Unfortunately (over a period spanning more than 5 decades), a veritable mountain of quantifiable evidence has proved that so-called 'MLM Income Opportunities’ have been nothing more than a collection of dissimulated, blame the victim, closed-market swindles, or pyramid scams, and related advance fee frauds. The plain truth of the matter is that, behind all the reality-inverting propaganda, has lurked a self-perpetuating, self-gratifying and progressively-more-expensive-to-play game of make-believe which has been rigged so that no one can win, except the sanctimonious little gangs of charlatans who keep setting it up.

Whilst reading the following article, bear in mind that it is possible to buy a sinister board-game version of an 'Income Opportunity.'  Amazingly, even this childish means of shutting down adults' critical, and evaluative, faculties (complete with fake money and valueless rewards), turns out to have been copied from a sinister 'Nazi' original.



Immediately after usurping absolute power in Germany, Adolf Hitler declared that ‘May 1st 1933’ would be the first ‘National Labour Day.’ Since the end of the 19th century, May Day had been the workers’ festival in Germany and many other European countries. Although the event was traditionally marked with mass-parades of trade-unionists, Socialists and Communists, Hitler now made a typically ambiguous promise - ‘National Labour Day would be celebrated as never before.’ During the final days of April 1933, the leaders of Germany’s trade-unions (agricultural and industrial), along with large delegations of workers, were summoned to Berlin. To maintain the illusion that they were making a free-choice, many were offered airline, and train, tickets and  accommodation.

On May 1st 1933, Hitler gave one of his mesmerising performances in front of an audience of over 100 000 cheering workers at Berlin’s Tempelhof airfield. His reality-inverting script was entitled: ‘Honour Work and Respect the Worker.’ 

The following morning, every German trade-union office was overrun by hordes of ‘Nazi’ agents. At a stroke, all unions were demolished to make way for Hitler’s ‘National Socialist’ Utopia. Union funds were seized and democratically-elected union leaders captured en-mass, beaten-up and packed-off to ‘concentration camps.’ 

Hitler’s main partner in setting this treacherous trap was one of his most-obsequious acolytes, Dr. Robert Ley (1890-1945). Ironically, in German, Ley is pronounced ‘Lie’. 

Robert Ley was born in rural Westphalia. He was the 7th child of 11 children in a family of poor peasant farmers. As a youth, he had escaped his humble origins and attended the Universities of Jena and Bonn to study chemistry. At the outbreak of WWI, Ley (aged 24) was one of the first to volunteer to go to the Western Front. After 2 years in the artillery, he then volunteered to become a pilot, but in the summer of 1917 he was shot down and taken prisoner. It is generally believed that Ley (who returned home with an incurable speech impediment) suffered brain damage when his aeroplane crashed. Despite gaining a shameful reputation as an overbearing, and vindictive, lecher, drunkard and bully, in 1920, Ley received a Doctorate in chemistry from the University of Westphalia. He went on to work as a food chemist for an arm of the I. G. Farben Chemical company in Leverkusen in the Ruhr. However, he couldn’t live with the fact that the Treaty of Versailles had awarded this region to the French. Thus, in 1924, Ley turned to extreme nationalism. When he lost his job (because of his drinking), he became a full-time, professional ‘Nazi’ proselytizer. With his respectable academic title, Ley was welcomed into the fledgling movement with open arms. He immediately found himself in an addictive position of power in a organization presented externally as a ‘political party,’ but which internally required of its core-adherents an absolute subservience to the group and its leadership above all other persons. ‘Nazi’ recruiters generally targeted alienated veterans. They could be more-easily persuaded to buy into the self-gratifying delusion that Germany and Austria hadn’t lost WWI militarily…. The ‘Noble Aryan Race’ had been betrayed and forced to surrender in 1918, by industrial strikes which crippled arms production and supply…. These strikes had been instigated by trade union leaders who were the agents of an evil international Communist/Freemasonic conspiracy controlled by sub-human Jews.

William L Shirer

In 1925, Hitler appointed Robert Ley ‘Gauleiter of the Southern Rhineland.’ He was subsequently appointed ‘Reichsorganizationsleiter (Party Organization Chief)' and elected to the Reichstag. The celebrated American journalist and author, William L. Shirer (1904-1993), who met Ley on numerous occasions, described him as: 

‘repulsive… tough, excitable, vulgar - a brawling roughneck. He seemed to me to have the instability, the sense of insecurity, that was common to most of the men around Hitler.’ 

Before the end of 1934 (as part of Hitler’s secret plan to tear up the Treaty of Versailles to reignite, and win, WWI), the defunct German unions were replaced by a single legally-registered structure. This was headed by Ley (who could not be held to account by his membership), presented externally as a non- profit-making association protecting the rights of all workers and arbitrarily defined by the ‘Nazi’ leadership as the ‘Deutsche Arbeitsfront’ or ‘German Labour Front’ (‘DAF’). Over 25 millions workers, business owners and professionals were effectively forced to join; for no one could legally work in the ‘Nazi’ Utopia without a ‘DAF Work Book.’ In reality, this document was part of a vast intelligence-gathering operation. At the same time, ‘Nazi’ labour-laws took away workers’ rights and reduced them to the position of serfs in a latter-day feudal system. As German employers were given the right to retain ‘DAF Work Books,’ employees were effectively barred from changing jobs. Collective bargaining was ended and strikes were outlawed. Powerless German workers could now be allotted an increasingly smaller share of the national income (i.e. the cost of living increased, but wages were frozen). Eventually, most were obliged to live at little better than subsistence level. By 1939, the total annual figure being systematically extracted from ‘DAF’ members in ‘dues’ has been estimated to have exceeded 1 billion Reichsmarks (about $200 millions). The ‘DAF’ had 7000 employees, but it relied on 135 000 ‘volunteers. In this way, the ‘Nazi’ leadership eventually acquired absolute control over a capital sum estimated at 5 billions Reichsmarks (about $1 billion).

In order to distract the population from reality, the ‘Nazi’ leadership legally-registered a kitsch, parallel corporate structure, ‘Kraft durch Freude’ (‘Strength Through Joy’ ) or ‘KdF’ — a non-profit-making association, allegedly to provide a range of benefits and amenities for the German working-classes and their families. In 1937, this organization received 29 millions Reichsmarks from the ‘DAF.’ Obviously, this was mostly the workers’ own money. An avalanche of thought-stopping words and images was used to maintain the illusion that redemption was on hand. Concerts, operas, art exhibitions, etc. were organized. Some workers were given ‘free’ gymnastics and football training, whilst others received access to previously exclusive sports (golf, tennis, sailing, etc.).

A number of gigantic ‘classless holiday-camps,’ etc., were also constructed. These gained prizes in international, architectural competitions. Hundreds of beach, lake and ski resorts were requisitioned along with ten ocean liners to take German workers on Atlantic, Baltic and Mediterranean cruises.

The ‘Nazi’ Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, focused everyone’s attention on what were described as ‘the world’s first, purpose-built, classless cruise-liners,’ the ‘Wilhelm Gustloff’ and the ‘Robert Ley.’ The launch of the 25 000 ton ‘Wilhelm Gustloff’ in Hamburg on May 5th 1937, was an international event attended by tens of thousands of bedazzled believers along with a flock of bleating propagandists.

‘Nazi’ news-reels, newspapers, brochures, magazines, posters, etc., all reflected the same ritual images of prosperous workers and their happy families enjoying the pure air and freedom of the high seas on board their dream boats. For a short period, ‘KdF’ was the largest travel agency in the world. The holidays it supplied, although Spartan and tightly regimented, were amazingly cheap.

Robert Ley with the foolish 'Nazi' dupes, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Meanwhile, accompanied by an echelon of tame lawyers and bankers, the ‘Nazi’ leadership was free to embezzle huge amounts of workers’ cash from the ‘DAF.’ There was no means of holding any of these racketeers to account. Robert Ley treated the 'DAF' as though it was his own company, which effectively made him one of the richest men in the world. As well as private railway carriage, a fleet of luxury cars and villas in a number of cities, Ley bought himself a country estate near to Cologne and he began hoarding art and antiques. His drinking, womanizing and boasting now knew no bounds. 

In February 1933, whilst attending the Berlin Motor Show, Hitler had made another ambiguous promise: Only 1 in 50 men owned an automobile in Germany, compared with 1 in 5 in America.… every German would, therefore, be given the opportunity to own a car… these would be sold for less than 1000 Reichsmarks (the cost of a motorcycle at that time) and make no profits. At first, most free-thinking observers recognised this 'Nazi' version of the 'American Dream' as being impossible (the cheapest, German-produced car on the open-market was 1 500 Reichsmarks), but over the next few years ‘Nazi’ propagandists, repeated and elaborated, the ‘Volkswagen’ or ‘People’s Car’ lie until the truth became almost unthinkable. Obviously, many oppressed workers needed to believe in the People’s Car,’ and the concept had existed prior to the Hitler usurping power. 

As early as 1927, the renowned Austrian automotive engineer, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951), published a series of sketches of a proposed, lightweight, low-maintenance, rear-engine, family vehicle, capable of 100 kph.

Zündapp type 12 April 1932
1934 Porsche NSU
Zündapp Type 12 designed in 1931

By the early 1930s, some prototypes had been built to Porsche's designs; first by Zündapp (whose directors withdrew because of problems with the 3 cylinder water-cooled engine), then by NSU in partnership with FIAT (whose engineers introduced a revolutionary torsion suspension and a flat 4 cylinder, air-cooled engine, but whose directors withdrew, because of the depressed economic climate). At this time, Ferdinand Porsche seems to have been deliberately targeted by the ‘Nazi’ leadership. All alone and with his design company on the verge of liquidation, he was encouraged to request a meeting with the ‘führer’ himself. Porsche was easily seduced. In 1934, he signed a commercially-suicidal government contract containing the following terms: 

1). 3 prototype cars had to be available within 10 months. 
2). They had to have a carrying capacity of 4 adults, or 2 adults and 3 children, 
or 3 soldiers and a machine gun. 
3). They had to be able to cruise at 100 kph. 
4). Average fuel consumption had to be no more than 8 litres per 100 km. 
5). The engine had to be air-cooled. 
6). The retail price had to be less than 1000 Reichmarks.

Sketch for the people's car claimed to have been made by Hitler in 1932

Hitler was completely unqualified to design a car. He couldn’t even drive, but, for obvious reasons, Porsche felt obliged to play along with the propaganda story that the ‘People’s Car’ was originally the führer’s own concept

At the same time, the ‘Nazi’ regime massively expanded the construction of the high-speed, Autobahn, road system. Again, this project (although touted as the part of the ‘führer’s great vision to free the masses and unify the Reich’), had existed (albeit in a reduced form) prior to Hitler usurping power. 

Predictably, Porsche’s design company, in reluctant partnership with the ‘German Auto Manufacturers Association’ (RDA), found it impossible to remain within the 1000 Reichsmarks price limit. The 3 prototypes didn’t appear until 1936; thus, missing the 10 month deadline. The Porsche company and the RDA were in breach of contract, so the project could be conveniently restructured under the banner of a further off-shoot of the ‘DAF’, ‘Gesellschaft Zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagen’ or ‘German People’s Car Planning Group Inc.’ (‘GeZuVor. GmbH.’). 

The ‘Nazi’ propaganda machine went into overdrive - 300 millions marks of accumulated ‘DAF’ funds would be committed to building the ‘Largest Automobile Factory in the World’, it would employ 70 000 people and be capable of producing ‘1.5 millions vehicles a year; Greater Capacity than Ford.Meanwhile, Daimler-Benz was subcontracted to build just 30 test-vehicles.

1936-37, Porsche type 60 (V3).
In 1936, Mr. ferry Porsche and VW prototype (V2).

In 1937, the Stuttgart coach builders, Reutter, delivered 30 exhibition prototypes in the form of saloons, drop-head coupés and open-tourers. Meanwhile, the workers’ ‘DAF’ money financed a team of architects and engineers (some of whom had been recruited from Ford in the USA) to plan the construction of a vast Utopian factory/metropolis. 

On May 26th 1938, Hitler laid the cornerstone at the little town of Fallersberlen (birthplace of Heinrich Hoffman, the composer of ‘Deutschland uber Alles’). A flock of around 150 ‘Nazi’ propagandists were in attendance along with a claimed 70 000 people. A smiling ‘führer’ was filmed in the passenger seat of his very own VW cabriolet (given to him as a birthday present), mobbed by his deluded admirers. To wild cheering and thunderous applause, Hitler proudly declared that his 'People's Car' henceforth would be called the ‘KdF-Wagen (Stength Through Joy Car),’ and his new factory/metropolis, ‘KdF-Stadt (Stength Through Joy Town).’

A commemorative badge. 

In reality, this carefully stage-managed orgy of deluded self-gratification, was just a cruel charade, because (whilst it remained in ‘Nazi’ hands) the ‘People’s Car/KdF Wagen’ was the bait in one of the most-devious advance-fee frauds in history. The switch soon appeared - a counterfeit direct sales scheme or ‘savings plan’ instigated and controlled by the ‘Nazi’ leadership.

At this time, there were probably no more than 50 exhibition prototypes in existence and they were constantly being shipped around to fairs and festivals all over Germany.

Convincing brochures and magazines were circulated. These featured strangely-familiar, ritual images of prosperous workers and their families enjoying the pure air and freedom of the open road in their dream cars. 

Saving for a Volkswagen

Similar posters appeared in factories and public places.

Ironically, there was even a board game (made by the Hauser company), called 'Your KdF Wagen,' The object of the game was to collect toy 'sparmarken' (coupons) in order to win toy cars. 

During the latter months of 1938, masses of Germans felt obliged to be seen applying for the ‘savings plan.’ No one was refused. The propaganda steadfastly pretended that just like the board game, simply through buying a 5 marks 'sparmarken' (coupon) each week and sticking these in a little book, 10 millions Germans would be driving their own car by 1948.

Strength Through Joy' announcement (August 2nd. 1938)’ 

1. ‘Each German, no matter what their class, profession or property can become the buyer of a People’s Car’.
2. ‘The minimum weekly payment, including insurance, will be 5 marks. Regular payment of this sum will guarantee, after a period which is yet to be determined, the acquisition of a People’s Car’.

3. ‘Application for the People’s Car savings plan can be made at any DAF or KdF office, where further details can also be obtained. Factories and shops can submit collective orders’. 

‘A People’s Car for every German — let that be our goal. That is what we want to achieve. Will all of you help in that; it shall be our way of saying thank-you to the Führer’; 

'KdF' Brochure from 1938

The authenticity of the 'People's Car/KdF Wagen' fairy story could not be challenged in the world according to Hitler. However, the same fiction was widely-reported as fact internationally which, sadly, made the lie appear even more convincing. In reality, many Germans never actually began to pay for their ‘KdF Wagens’ whilst others began to buy coupons, but soon dropped-out. The average worker had barely enough money to survive. It was then announced that, after 3 years, ‘regular savers’ would receive a ‘priority contract’ guaranteeing a ‘KdF-Wagen (subject to availability)’… production would ‘begin in September 1939.’ 

In the spring of 1939, Robert Ley gave a typically-sanctimonious, Orwellian speech: 

“Our God is the wonderful Law of Creation whose amazing unity of all things shows itself in wonderful flowers, in growing trees, in new born children, in the secrets of a mother, in the growth of our people, in work and accomplishment and creation, in life itself. It is joy we have in everything. How beautiful everything is. Do you feel the same way? I am so happy to be alive. A priest recently asked me: ‘but what about eternity?’ I replied: ‘A day in National Socialist Germany is better for me than all your Heaven.”
At the start of September 1939, approximately 336 000 unquestioning 'contract holders' were actually still making their weekly payments, under the delusion that in 2 more years they would be driving down an Autobahn in a shiny new ‘KdF’ dream car. Indeed, the propaganda soon claimed that 50 ‘KdF Wagens’ had already been delivered (albeit to ‘special customers’). Even if these had been available to regular ‘contract holders,’ then the odds against getting one would have been around 7000/1.

In reality, Hitler was busy ensuring that the fulfilment of his ‘KdF’ fantasies would be postponed indefinitely, because, at precisely this moment, his long-planned invasion of Poland (conveniently facilitated by the Autobahn system) forced the leaders of Britain and France to declare war on the ‘Third Reich.’ The ‘Nazi leadership immediately posed as innocent victims – the Fatherland was being attacked by the agents of an ‘evil international Jewish/Freemasonic conspiracy’…. To save the ‘Aryan race,’ ‘KdF-Stadt’ would have to be turned-over to armaments manufacture…. The classless cruise ships, ‘Robert Ley’ and the ‘Wilhelm Gustloff’ (which had already been requisitioned to bring ‘Nazi’ volunteers home from the Spanish Civil War), would have to turned-over to the navy. In this way, not one of Hitler’s ‘KdF’ offers was honoured and not one cent was refunded. The majority of victims couldn’t face the ego-destroying reality that their admired and respected ‘führerhad deliberately cheated them. Those who could, were obliged to remain silent. All free-thinking individuals challenging the authenticity any closed-logic ‘Nazi’ lie risked systematic categorization, exclusion and destruction as ‘Traitors.

During the early 1940s, some 65 000 all-terrain type 82, amphibious ‘type 128’ and type ‘166,’ military vehicles (converted from Porsche’s designs) were supplied to the German army. Prototypes of these had been first tested during the invasion of Poland.

There was also a ‘type 87’ military saloon car for high-ranking ‘Nazi’ officers. However, by 1943, ‘KdF Stadt’ was principally fulfilling the secret military objective for which it had always been intended -  an aircraft repair factory (safe from attack because it did not feature on most RAF maps). 

During 1945, production of the notorious ‘V1’ flying-bomb began at ‘KdF Stadt.’ More than 3500 of these hit London, and the factory became a priority target for the RAF and USAF.

Major Ivan Hirst

After the War, the remains of ‘KdF-Stadt’ and the ‘People’s Car’ project were discovered by a British army officer, Major Ivan Hirst. Ironically, he had been given the job of looking for ideas to rebuild the German economy which wouldn’t threaten British jobs.

Image result for robert ley prisoner

Although several people, including Robert Ley and Ferdinand Porsche, were arrested as a war criminals (12 000 – 20 000 POWs had been forced to work as slaves at ‘KdF-Stadt’ and many deaths had resulted) the ‘Volkswagen Beetle’ eventually became a world-beating product. Porsche was held without indictment for 20 months in Dijon, whilst, in 1945, Ley hanged himself in Nuremberg before his trial.

‘KdF-Stadt’ was renamed Wolfsburg. 

In 1961, only after a protracted lawsuit, the surviving victims of the original ‘People’s Car’ swindle (who had retained their little books of valueless coupons) were finally offered the choice of a cheque for 100 Deutche marks or a discount of 600 Deutche marks on a new ‘VW Beetle.’ 

Tatra T97 1937
Prof. Hans Ledwinka

Also in 1961, Volkswagen paid the Ringhoffer-Tatra group of Czechoslovakia 3 millions Deutsch marks. In the face of overwhelming evidence, members of the Porsche family accepted that a significant amount of the original ‘People’s Car’ design (particularly, the body styling, torsion suspension and rear-mounted air-cooled engine) was, in fact, copied by Ferdinand Porsche from the revolutionary designs of Professor Hans Ledwinka. These had been patented by Tatra in the early 1930s and had featured on the ‘T97 Tatra’, first produced in 1936.

Prior to WWII, although faced with a mystifying labyrinth of corporate structures which was deliberately designed to isolate the ‘Nazi’ leaders from liability, the directors of the Tatra company had filed a lawsuit in Germany against ‘KdF,’ but this automatically vanished as Hitler’s occupation forces were allowed (with the agreement of the appeasing British and the French governments) to roll down his nice new Autobahns towards Czechoslovakia in the Spring of 1939.

In 1998, to avoid several immense lawsuits filed in the USA, Volkswagen set up a $12 millions private relief-fund to compensate the slaves whose misery had helped establish the corporation in world markets during the ‘Nazi’-era. By this time, only a few former-slaves remained alive. The Volkswagen company has publicly admitted that it used 15 000 slaves as 'part of the war effort.' However, German historians have discovered that an estimated 80% of Volkswagen's war-time work force was slave labour, and that many of these slaves were supplied by the 'Nazi' regime from concentration camps, at the direct request of Volkswagen's war-time management.

 David Brear (copyright 2013)

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