9/11 20th Anniversary
THE BLACK SUN: HISTORICAL ORIGINS
(Wolfsburg, Germany, 1938)
The Official Story
NAZI GERMANY (1933-1945)
World War II
Nazi Germany, officially known as the German Reich until 1943 and Greater German Reich in 1943–45, was the German state between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country which they transformed into a dictatorship. Under Hitler’s rule, Germany became a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The Third Reich, meaning “Third Realm” or “Third Empire”, alluded to the Nazis’ perception that Nazi Germany was the successor of the earlier Holy Roman (800–1806) and German (1871–1918) empires. The regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
Racism, Nazi eugenics, and especially antisemitism, were central ideological features of the regime. The Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the master race, the purest branch of the Aryan race. Discrimination and the persecution of Jews and Romani people began in earnest after the seizure of power. The first concentration camps were established in March 1933. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, and liberals, socialists, and communists were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Christian churches and citizens that opposed Hitler’s rule were oppressed and many leaders imprisoned. Education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased Germany on the international stage. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, and Hitler’s hypnotic oratory to influence public opinion. The government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others.
Genocide and mass murder became hallmarks of the regime. Starting in 1939, hundreds of thousands of German citizens with mental or physical disabilities were killed in hospitals and asylums. Einsatzgruppen paramilitary death squads accompanied the German armed forces inside the occupied territories and conducted the mass killings of millions of Jews and other Holocaust victims. After 1941, millions of others were imprisoned, worked to death, or murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps. This genocide is known as the Holocaust.
While the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 was initially successful, the Soviet resurgence and entry of the United States into the war meant the Wehrmacht (German armed forces) lost the initiative on the Eastern Front in 1943 and by late 1944 had been pushed back to the pre-1939 border. Large-scale aerial bombing of Germany escalated in 1944 and the Axis powers were driven back in Eastern and Southern Europe. After the Allied invasion of France, Germany was conquered by the Soviet Union from the east and the other Allies from the west, and capitulated in May 1945. Hitler’s refusal to admit defeat led to massive destruction of German infrastructure and additional war-related deaths in the closing months of the war.
The victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put many of the surviving Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.
Volkswagen, shortened to VW, is a German motor vehicle manufacturer founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front, known for the iconic Beetle and headquartered in Wolfsburg. It is the flagship brand of the Volkswagen Group, the largest car maker by worldwide sales in 2016 and 2017. The group’s biggest market is in China, which delivers 40% of its sales and profits. Popular models of Volkswagen include Golf, Jetta, Passat, Atlas, and Tiguan. The German term Volk translates to “people”, thus Volkswagen translates to “people’s car”.
History (1932–1938: People’s Car project)
Volkswagen was established in 1937 by the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront) in Berlin. In the early 1930s, cars were a luxury – most Germans could afford nothing more elaborate than a motorcycle and only one German out of 50 owned a car. Seeking a potential new market, some car makers began independent “people’s car” projects – the Mercedes 170H, BMW 3/15, Adler AutoBahn, Steyr 55, and Hanomag 1.3L, among others.
In 1934, with many of the above projects still in development or early stages of production, Adolf Hitler became involved, ordering the production of a basic vehicle capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100 km/h (62 mph). He wanted a car every German family would be able to afford. The “People’s Car” would be available to citizens of the Third Reich through a savings plan at 990 RM (US$396 in 1938 dollars)—about the price of a small motorcycle (the average income being around 32 RM a week).
It soon became apparent that private industry could not turn out a car for only 990 RM. Thus, Hitler chose to sponsor an all-new, state-owned factory using Ferdinand Porsche’s design (with some of Hitler’s design suggestions, including an air-cooled engine so nothing could freeze). The intention was that every German family could buy the car through a savings scheme (“Fünf Mark die Woche musst du sparen, willst du im eigenen Wagen fahren” – “Five Marks a week you must set aside, if in your own car you wish to ride“), which around 336,000 people eventually paid into. However, the project was not commercially viable, and only government support was able to keep it afloat.
The construction of the new factory started in May 1938 in the new town of “Stadt des KdF-Wagens” (renamed Wolfsburg after the war), which had been purpose-built for the factory workers. This factory had only produced a handful of cars by the time war started in 1939. None were actually delivered to any holder of the completed saving stamp books, though one Type 1 Cabriolet was presented to Hitler on 20 April 1944 (his 55th birthday).
A false flag is a covert operation designed to deceive; the deception creates the appearance of a particular party, group, or nation being responsible for some activity, disguising the actual source of responsibility.
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