Summary - TST 22


TST 22

Christopher Kopper
The National Socialist Transport Policy and the claim of modernity: Reality or fake?

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Key Words: Nazi Regime, Development programs, Transport policy, Motorization, Highways, Automotiveindustry.

[ Abstract ]

The National Socialist highway (Autobahn) programme exceeded all pre-war highway programmesin scope and scale, but did not trigger an equally impressive mass motorization of the German society. The unexpected fragmentation of power in the area of transport policies contributed to a delayed growth of road haulage and reduced the potential effects of the Autobahn as an engine of motorization. The builders of the Autobahn were not really interested in a significant shift from rail transport to road haulage and rather neglected the technical requirements and parameters for long distance road transport on the Autobahn. Even the Volkswagen, the role model of a successful agent of mass motorization after World War II, was rather overburdened with unrealistic expectations. The financial calculations for a cheap peoples’ car were rather built on wishful thinking and than on sound estimates.