The Extraordinary Life of Josef Ganz: The Jewish Engineer Behind Hitler's Volkswagen

Author(s): Paul Schilperoord


The astonishing biography of Josef Ganz, a Jewish designer from Frankfurt, who in May 1931 created a revolutionary small car: the Maikafer (German for "May bug"). Seven years later, Hitler introduced the Volkswagen. The Nazis not only "took" the concept of Ganz's family car--their production model even ended up bearing the same nickname. The Beetle incorporated many of the features of Ganz's original Maikafer, yet until recently Ganz received no recognition for his pioneering work. The Nazis did all they could to keep the Jewish godfather of the German compact car out of the history books. Now Paul Schilperoord sets the record straight. Josef Ganz was hunted by the Nazis, even beyond Germany's borders, and narrowly escaped assassination. He was imprisoned by the Gestapo until an influential friend with connections to Goring helped secure his release. Soon afterward, he was forced to flee Germany, while Porsche, using many of his groundbreaking ideas, created the Volkswagen for Hitler. After the war, Ganz moved to Australia, where he died in 1967.


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Product Information

Paul Schilperoord is a Dutch journalist, science and technology writer, and car expert. Born in The Hague and currently living in Florence.

General Fields

  • : 9781614122012
  • : RVP Publishers Inc.
  • : RVP Publishers Inc.
  • : 0.4
  • : November 2011
  • : 227mm X 152mm X 22mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paul Schilperoord
  • : Hardback
  • : 629.222092
  • : 406
  • : 128pp of illustrations and photographs