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Sale 51 Lot 495

An extraordinary item from the infancy of the Volkswagen vehicle plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, a hand-carved wood plaque featuring the famous Volkswagen "Beetle" and swastika, presented to the car's designer, Ferdinand Porsche. The overall presentation measures 16 1/2" x 19 1/2", the varnished 10" x 13" pine plaque showing an early Volkswagen in a side view. Above it appears the symbol of the Deutsches Arbeitsfront, a cog wheel with a mobile swastika within, with a left-facing eagle with two oak leaves beneath. A rising sun with rays occupies the entire background. Framed in dark stained oak, with a silver presentation plaque affixed at bottom: "Herr Prof. Dr. Porsche as a keepsake at Christmas 1940 from the Workforce of the Body Fabrication Site". A tiny chip to the eagle's left wing, else fine. Also present is an original 11 1/2" x 9 1/2" photo showing Hitler, Porsche three other men, presumably during a visit to the plant. Volkswagen was originally founded in 1937 by the Nazi trade union, the German Labor Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront). In 1933 Hitler became involved, demanding the creation of a "People's Car" to be sold under 990 Reichsmarks. He ordered an all-new, state-owned factory be built at Wolfsburg (site of present VW headquarters), and that vehicles be built using Ferdinand Porsche's design. A savings book scheme was developed into which over 330,000 citizens paid in order to purchase a car, but only a handful were made by the time the war started and production was shifted to military vehicles, and none were actually delivered to any holder of the completed saving stamp books - their money was confiscated by the Russians at the end of the war. Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951) was a member of the Nazi Party and SS, and also designed many of the heavy German tanks used very effectively against the Allies. He was held as a war criminal by the French for over 20 months.
Estimate $ 2,000-3,000

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