Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Countess and the Volkswagen Works

Before the war, the village of Wolfsburg was tiny. There was the castle, a gasthof, a church and a few houses. The only way to the castle was through the fields, and in summer it rose out of a field of corn.

But Hitler changed all that, by deciding to build the Volkswagen Car Works there.

One day, the Countess von Schulenberg was out riding, and she saw some men, with maps and measuring equipment on her land. She asked what they were doing, and they told her they were planning a car factory.

The Countess went immediately home and the Count made representations to the Reichstag, to no avail. Hitler wanted a car factory there, and there was nothing they could do. Eventually, the Nazis took over the castle and in 1935 the von Schulenbergs had to find a home elsewhere. They never got the castle back, and now it is an art gallery.

Wolfsburg Castle still stands out in the landscape of Wolfsburg, but the fields are long gone, and the town of Wolfsburg is dominated by Hitler's Volkswagen Works. That was how things went in Nazi Germany.

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