Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2005/05/27

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Subject: [Leica] Leica and the KdF Car
From: at (Douglas Sharp)
Date: Fri May 27 06:52:36 2005
References: <>

Leicas have been around a bit longer than VW Bugs.

The VW , as the name Volks-wagen or peoples car says,was designed by 
Ferdinand Porsche and developed as one part of the KDF, Kraft durch 
Freude (Strength through Joy) movement of the National Socialist German 
Workers Party (aka NsdAP or Nazi party) in the early 1930's as an 
affordable means of transport for the "people".
The VW for the people was however never produced for the KdF in any 
numbers, the design was modified slightly and produced as a light field 
car for the Wehrmacht-Heer, also as an amphibious "Schwimmwagen"
In the same vein, cruise ships were also built for KdF holiday cruises, 
one of these, the "Wilhelm Gustloff", was sunk just over 60 years ago in 
the Baltic with the highest number of lives ever lost in a single 
shipping accident (incident)thousands of refugees were drowned in the 
freezing waters..
The city of Wolfsburg was built around the VW works, which were 
literally stamped out of the ground within a very short time, the 
location was a matter of logistics, Autobahn, Mittelland Canal and the 
main East-West rail artery pass through the city. The proximity to 
Salzgitter and Peine, both steel towns, and Hannover with the Contintal 
Kautschuk works (tyres and rubber) was another factor.
BTW, it is a common myth that the Autobahns were "built" by Hitler for
strategic reasons like fast troop and equipmenz deployment - this is, in 
fact, to a great extent untrue, in the region of 95% of troop movements 
were carried out by rail.The Autobahns had actually been planned long 
before Hitlers power grab from the Weimar Republic.
The Beetle, Bug or K?fer as we know it was first released to the general 
public after the end of WWII, the first models had a split oval rear 
window (Brezelfenster, Pretzel window) which replaced the louvred rear
bodywork of Porsche's prototype.

I'm sure there are plenty of us on the list who can fill you in on the 
history of Leica.

cwoods wrote:

>>>From what I've read, I think Feli is correct. If Rommel didn't "off" 
>>>himself, he was given a "firm promise" that someone would do it for him. 
> This is a bit of a dumb (and newbie) question, but were Leica cameras 
> around during the second world war? Or did they arrive afterwards? For 
> some reason I think of the VW beetle and the Leica camera as arriving 
> around the same time. Am I incorrect?
> thanks,
> chris
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Replies: Reply from msmall at (Marc James Small) ([Leica] Leica and the KdF Car)
In reply to: Message from cwoods8 at (cwoods) ([Leica] Re: Rommel)