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Promoting German automobile technology and the automobile industry: the Motor Hall at the Deutsches Museum, 1933-1945.

Between 1935 and 1939 an independent motor hall was constructed at the Deutsches Museum, separate from the other vehicle display areas. This museum, showcasing of the achievements of the automobile industry, highlights a particular aspect of 'directed mobility' in the age of National Socialism, namely, the striking and politically charged treatment of the stationary car. As a 'space for the construction of reality', (1) the Deutsches Museum offered more than a new kind of technologically focussed automobile exhibition, with ramifications that outlasted the Nazi period. The exhibition was designed to promote interest in the car as a vehicle of National Socialist society and to interpret the growth of motorisation in Germany as an achievement of the 'Third Reich'.

The following essay was prompted by a project on the history of the Deutsches Museum, which tackled the task of describing and historically situating the largest German museum of technology and science in the era of National Socialism. Key questions addressed by this project were those of continuities and breaks before and after National Socialism, of collaborations and constellations of resources, of interest groups competing for access to the Museum and its exhibitions, of conflicts about interpretative sovereignty, and of ideas about museum content, exhibitions, collections and strategies of knowledge transfer. (2) The multi-layered approach of the project was reflected in diverse contributions and analyses of the development of both the institution as a whole and individual members of it, and also of individual exhibitions. One of these examples is the project of the motor hall, which, from 1935 grew to be one of the biggest construction and exhibition projects of the Deutsches Museum under National Socialism, and which is the subject of this essay. (3) This case study cannot answer all questions raised by the main project, but serves to lay bare particular constellations of interests, self-mobilisation and utilisation of National Socialist topics.

The Deutsches Museum and its land transport exhibition up to 1933

The Deutsches Museum was founded in Munich in 1903 by the engineer-entrepreneur Oskar von Miller (1855-1934) with the aim of displaying 'masterpieces of science and technology'. During the 1920s, it became the leading museum for science and technology in Germany and thus an institution of national significance. (4) As an institution accountable to the public, a three-person Board directed the museum, led by Oskar von Miller until 1933. The Board of Directors was assisted by a Board of Trustees comprising many leading representatives of the German elites--industrialists, scientists, engineers, and regional and national officials. The museum had been dependent on this Board of Trustees since its foundation for both content and funds, and also for expert support, due to its special institutional construction as a self-governing public body that was allowed to receive public grants, but which was not completely funded on a regional or national level. This 'open' structure towards the outside world was a part of its philosophy. The Deutsches Museum styled itself as a celebratory guardian, stamp of authority and patron of a technological and scientific culture and industry, whose elites, in the early years of the museum in Germany, were often still fighting for social recognition. With its informative exhibitions, its drive to educate, and its supra-regional reputation, the museum was not just an agent in the delivery and popularisation of science and technology, but also in the social advancement of the new elites of the industrial age. In turn, these supported the museum with their expertise, funds and all kinds of involvement, and thus brought their own interests to bear.

The exhibitions in the Deutsches Museum were not merely the textbook exhibitions they were held to be, but were always, in their choice of theme and exhibits, at least partially a showcase for industrial achievements and national pride. Oskar von Miller, the successful industrialist and influential networker, who led the museum rather autocratically until his retirement, did at least try in his lifetime to balance (in a somewhat idiosyncratic fashion) these interests, in that he limited exhibitions to functional, 'pure' technological or scientific aspects, while cultural or societal aspects were left out of the picture. It is clear, however, that the exhibitions were not neutral, unbiased or apolitical in the way Miller, and the Boards of the Deutsches Museum imagined. Apart from the hidden agendas that influenced the choice of themes and collections, the museum explicitly identified itself with nation, industry and technical and scientific elites. (5)

The transport departments--Shipping, Aeronautics and Land Transport were from the very beginning a core component of exhibits at the Deutsches Museum. (6) The individual exhibitions for the various modes of transport were smaller than the contemporary competitors in the form of specialised museums of transport. (7) However, taking an encyclopaedic and systematic approach to museum design, the Munich exhibition offered a generalised and approachable overview of all areas of transport technology, including the construction of roads, bridges and tunnels. The permanent collection and exhibition dealt with the main technical developments and were, in line with other Museum departments, consciously international in some degree.

In the large main building, opened in 1925, the transport departments had the central area of the ground floor and the first floor. The main thematic focus of the Department of Land Transport in 1925 was the railway, which initially remained the dominant force, both practically and politically, in the emerging transport landscape after World War One. (8) Since Oskar von Miller was familiar with the railway from his own business projects, he also personally favoured the railway in his role as head of the Museum's board. (9) His scepticism towards the automobile also influenced the exhibitions: cars had a subordinate position in the transport exhibitions in 1925. The relevant section of the exhibition showed a few motor cars dating from the early period of automobile technology, prior to 1910. The only more or less contemporary car on show was the streamlined, futuristic 'Tropfenwagen' (built in 1921) which the aviation engineer Edmund Rumpler (1872-1940) donated to the Museum in 1925. (10)

The Land Transport Department's emphasis on the railway in the late 1920s did indeed reflect the actual transport situation in Germany. Rapid motorisation, such as was underway in the United States, was unthinkable in Germany around 1930 with its economic crises and high unemployment, and the automobile had a mixed reception from the general public. (11) But neither had automobile development stagnated. The German automobile industry was attempting to develop mass products following the American example, and the car promised to be an icon of modernity in Germany too, even if the actual rate of motorisation was far behind that of other countries. The exhibition in the Deutsches Museum was thus a disappointment to those visitors and interested parties who recognised the technical, economic and social potential of the automobile and who wanted to see the most recent developments displayed. Only a few years after the opening of the main building, the motor car presentation was already appearing sketchy and behind the times.

The Museum directors evidently realised this. In 1931/32, they responded to a question with their desire to update the Automobile Section. (12) An important catalyst for the overhaul was the dialogue between Oskar von Miller and Henry Ford (1863-1947) who visited the Deutsches Museum in 1930 and invited Miller to take a tour of the new Ford plant in Cologne. (13) However, the planned overhaul faced a number of obstacles at the beginning of the 1930s. The technical development of the motor car was proceeding so rapidly that it defied a balanced and accurate representation in the context of a historical exhibition. (14) Even more importantly, the external assistance that the Museum needed for the overhaul of this relatively new exhibition was not forthcoming in the early 1930s. In particular, the main body representing the interests of the automobile industry, the Reichsverband der Deutschen Automobilhersteller (National Association of German Car Manufacturers, RDA), kept its distance. The relationship between Oskar von Miller, and the RDA had been tense since von Miller had accepted the gift of a Ford Model A on the occasion of Henry Ford's visit in 1930. (15) This happened at a moment when the German automobile industry felt itself to be particularly threatened by competition from the United States. The use of a Ford vehicle as the official car of the most important museum of technology in Germany was a provocation as far as the RDA was concerned, and it became a political issue. In a strongly worded letter to the Museum's Board of Directors, the chair of the RDA, Robert Allmers (1872-1951) wrote that it was a bitter blow to see Oskar von Miller, 'the most German of all Germans, the man who has erected a monumentum aere perennius, recommending an American firm'. (16) He added that 'the Deutsches Museum is, to a high degree, the product of funds from German industry and should not tolerate its abuse as an advertisement for foreign businesses'.

The Museum under pressure to modernise

When the National Socialists came to power, the Deutsches Museum fundamentally changed the way it operated. That same year, 1933, Oskar von Miller, who for some time already had been seen as an enemy by the local Nazi party due to his 'internationalism', resigned as the chair of the administrative board. (17) He was succeeded by the physicist Jonathan Zenneck (1871-1959), who remained chair until 1953. (18) Simultaneously, the first prominent Nazis joined the administrative board: Hugo Bruckmann (1863-1941), an early Nazi and supporter of Adolf Hitler, and the construction engineer Fritz Todt (1891-1942), who had been promoted to Inspector-General of Roads in July 1933. (19) The Board of Directors was enlarged to five people. It did not take long for the 'autonomy' of the Museum's directors (which was in any case rather disputable) to be called into question. Jonathan Zenneck took great pains to exert his authority, in particular over Fritz Todt, to maintain the Museum's independence, (20) but the influence of NSDAP party members and of the regional and national government grew steadily. In some phases, the Museum was pilloried by Nazi organizations, but academics too were critical, such as the physicist Johannes Stark (1874-1957), who attacked Oskar von Miller's museum as a 'Jewish-liberalistic theatre and advertising agency'. (21)

Just a few months after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, the Deutsches Museum staff could be considered gleichgeschaltet (literally 'synchronized'), brought into line with the Nazi regime. Moreover, the regime change intensified content-driven impulses to overhaul and expand the exhibitions. This is particularly true of the automobile exhibition.

In his first speech at the International Automobile Exhibition in Berlin in spring 1933, shortly after he had been declared Chancellor, Hitler announced a new political direction in individual motorisation. He promised special support for the German automobile industry, tax breaks and a rapid expansion of the road network. A year later, he was already advertising mass motorisation, and he vehemently promoted the 'Volkswagen' project conceived by the motor engineer Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951). In 1934-35, the automobile sport and touring club culture was peremptorily gleichgeschaltet and was amalgamated in stages into the Nationalsozialistische Kraftfahrkorps (National Socialist Motor Corps, NSKK), a paramilitary organization under whose direction both motor sports and driving qualifications quickly became aligned with military and defence activities. (22) The propaganda machine was also rapidly deployed to trumpet Hitler's motorisation offensive and road construction programme.

When contrasted with the ambitious aims of mass motorisation, Hitler's motorisation drive enjoyed only modest successes in the medium-term. The hastily introduced tax rebates brought about a small boom in 1934, and the number of cars in Germany rose from 581,000 in crisis-ridden 1933 to almost 1.49 million by 1939. (23) But general motorisation was halted in its early stages by the outbreak of war. In contrast to the political aim of fostering automobile use, Germany's motorisation was mainly carried by motorbikes and mopeds, due to the population's reduced spending power. (24) The 'Volkswagen' generated a great deal of interest from potential purchasers but was economically unviable without subsidy, and as a result of the war, the Volkswagen factory that opened in 1938 had to produce jeeps and amphibious vehicles rather than civilian cars. (25)

There was a similar disjunction between propagated modernism and actual results in road building, where the Reichsautobahn project (with its roots in the Weimar Republic) started to founder amidst wartime priorities, and the road transport of goods that was unable to compete with the railway. In light of this, and the ideological linkage of modernisation policies to fascist ideas, there is reason to refer to a 'Scheinmodernitat', (26) a facade of modernity. On the other hand, a modernist call for mass motorisation based on the American model was very clear, and its failure in 1934, unforeseen. Bolstered by ubiquitous propaganda, Hitler's progress towards motorisation, in the sense of 'symbolic modernization', (27) made a strong impression, at least in terms of public perception and the desires of the German population. Nazi Propaganda and the automobile industry spoke with one voice.

Hitler's speech at this first Automobile Exhibition resonated widely with car manufacturers and motor associations of every kind and provoked numerous applications to the national government for support for automobile projects, some of which were successful. Daimler-Benz, for example, and Auto Union received money to develop a new generation of racing cars. (28) The new rulers also displayed great interest in the power of exhibitions as a medium of information and propaganda. (29)

Munich saw a first example of this in the field of transport, with the development of a special exhibition titled Die Strafe ('The Road') in 1934. (30) It opened in the run up to the VII International Roads Congress in Munich in September 1934, (31) and was masterminded by Fritz Todt. The target audience was not just experts but also the public at large. Using pictures, exhibits and tableaux, the exhibition gave an overview of the history of roads up until the 'Third Reich'. Its climax was the detailed presentation of the programme of road construction proposed by the National Socialists, showing the planned network of national motorways. The historical and political strand of the exhibition peaked in a temple-like space that was dedicated to Hitler and to the 'Roads of the Third Reich'. The propaganda effect of the exhibition was intensified by its reception in the Nazi-controlled press. (32)

This propaganda show affected the developments at the Deutsches Museum in two ways. First, it served as a yardstick against which comparable special exhibitions at the Deutsches Museum would be measured and revealed a gap between the status quo in the Department for Land Transport and the new dynamism of the politics of motorisation. The board of the Museum was increasingly under pressure to reflect the newest developments in automotive engineering and in road construction in their exhibition. Second, the board quickly understood that Hitler's well-known fondness for prestigious automobiles, and Fritz Todt's appointment to the board, were pre-requisites for obtaining national funding and staff support for an overhaul of the relevant exhibitions. (33) Thus the Museum board began to chart an opportunistic course, as far as renovation was concerned, between the technical and scientific, economic and the--now much more extreme--political interests.

Initially, the Museum board concentrated its efforts on road construction. Immediately following the end of the exhibition 'The Road', Chairman Zenneck wrote to Todt to win him over to the idea of an overhaul and expansion of the section for road construction, including a section on the new national highways. (34) This attempt was not fruitful in the short term, and so the Museum board turned their attention from road construction to the automobile section.

In spring 1935, the museum authorities requested support for establishing a Motor Hall at the highest possible level. (35) The addressee of their request was Reichskanzler Hitler, who was not just a representative of an aggressive motorisation strategy but who also frequently expressed his personal interest in motor vehicles. Thanks to the interventions of Albert Pietzsch (36) (1874-1957), Nazi party member, President of the Munich Chamber of Industry and Commerce and subsequent president of the National Chamber of Commerce, and Hermann Rochling (1872-1955), (37) who had close links to Hitler and the Nazi party, the Deutsches Museum's wishes were officially submitted by a delegation to the Reich Chancellery in April 1935. (38) During a meeting with Hugo Bruckmann and representatives of the industry, Hitler agreed to an extraordinary grant of two million Reichsmark (around US $500,000) for 'the redesign of the Section for Automobile Industry and Aeronautics and for the library', or for the completion of lecture halls and exhibition spaces. (39) The order for funds to be transferred was given immediately to the Reich Ministry for Finance.

It is noted here that the sources refer to the 'Section for Automobile Industry and Aeronautics'. It was indeed the case that the Museum authorities saw the need to expand the section for aeroplane technology as well. The spatial constraints on the aeronautics exhibition were such that it was as good as impossible to take new aeroplanes into the collection after 1935. (40) The expansion plans however crystallised in the course of the spring of 1935 into the single aim of expanding the section for automobiles, as the Museum board could not find any suitable supporters from the aeroplane clubs or from the Reich Ministry for Aeronautics to assist with the renovation of the exhibition. (41) The constellations for the 'Automobile Industry Hall', on the other hand, were more favourable, as the commercial motor car exhibitions in Berlin had a temporary character and the plan to open a specialized automobile museum in Berlin had run aground due to disagreements between the RDA and the building authorities in Berlin. (42)

A large-scale automobile exhibition within a museum was, therefore, a novelty for Germany at this time. There were some early automobile collections in private and corporate exhibitions, and from the interwar period, some notable museums, such as the Musee National de la Voiture et Tourisme, the Swigart Museum in Pennsylvania, The Henry Ford and Smithsonian Institutions, had their own automobile collections, and the Daimler-Benz Museum, which opened in 1936, provided Germany with its first corporate museum. Nonetheless, many other collections were only accessible to the public after World War II, and thus the Motor Hall at the Deutsches Museum was in fact one of the first publicly funded national permanent exhibition of automobiles and motorbikes. (43)

The driving forces from the political side were, however, not within the state authorities. Rather, the provision of state funds was chiefly the result of Hitler's personal interest in the car. The relevant officials in the ministries were obedient to Hitler's wishes but pointed out on several occasions that the funding was an extraordinary measure and the result of Hitler's decision and did not entitle the Deutsches Museum to any further state funds. (44)

Owing to Hitler's support, the plans for the Motor Hall could be realised quickly. Before the end of 1935, the search was already underway for a suitable project manager for the substantive design of the exhibition. Since there was a shortage of skilled personnel in-house, the Museum was dependent in this respect on the work of external experts. The Museum board turned to industry and in particular to well-known automotive engineers. Furthermore, in the context of the talks in Berlin with Hitler and representatives of the RDA, some 'gentlemen' from industry were asked to make suggestions for the content of the exhibition. (45)

The task of designing a concept and managing the content of the exhibition was taken on by Wunibald Kamm (1893-1966), Director of the Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines Stuttgart (FKFS), who was evidently offered the position at the urging of the chairman of the Daimler-Benz corporation, Wilhelm Kissel (1885-1942). (46) Zenneck saw in Kamm 'the right man' for the expansion of the section for automobiles, since he was, according to Zenneck, 'not aligned to any side', and 'open to everyone'. (47) This remark reveals that the Museum board was, in its own eyes, keen to maintain a degree of autonomy in its decision-making in substantive aspects of exhibition design. (48) Simultaneously in his new role as project director of the automobile exhibition, Kamm was made clerk of the Board of Directors of the Museum, taking up the position alongside Todt in May 1935. (49)

Kamm was an expert of the highest order, whose research and organizational ability contributed to the development of automotive engineering. His career path hitherto had included duties in the racing car section of Daimler-Benz, and in the section for motor research of the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt fur Luftfahrt (German Aviation Research Institute, DVL), as well as working on innovative car designs. In 1930 he was made director of a new research institute in Stuttgart, which under his leadership advanced to become one of the first major research bodies of its kind, in which large-scale trials classified as important for the war effort were carried out from the end of the 1930s. (50)

However, Kamm's independence from politics and industry have been called into question. Not just his clear links with industry--as Institute Director he maintained close contacts with the Daimler-Benz corporation over a long period--but also his political connections were key to his success. Kamm was very active in academic circles during the Nazi regime. (51) His network of contacts in research and academia was just as extensive as his contacts to the automobile industry and the RDA. Among other things, he was involved in setting up a research council for motor vehicles that was founded by the Reich Ministry for Transport in 1934.

Kamm's links to the National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK) were also close. As an honorary NSKK Sturmfuhrer, Kamm supported the setting up of a 'motor technology association' of the student fraternity at Stuttgart Technical University (TH Stuttgart), and he had close relations to Adolf Huhnlein (1881-1942), the Corps Leader of the NSKK. The NSKK evidently offered him a way into the Nazi party, to which he applied for membership in 1937. (52)

Kamm's efforts for the Nazi academic apparatus suggest more than merely a clever tactical relationship with new resources on offer. All in all, his career profile includes all those networks and 'collaborative relationships' that have been described as typical for scientific and technical research in the Nazi era. (53)

Construction of the Motor Hall

The Motor Hall project was quick to get off the ground. In early summer 1935, the Museum authorities contacted the industrial architect Wilhelm Harter (1880-1963), (54) who was well known in Munich for his involvement in the construction of the Mangfall Bridge, a spectacular motorway bridge built in 1934. Harter was given the job of making a conceptual sketch of the Motor Hall which would be reviewed that same summer by various bodies including the Reich Ministry of Finance. Harter was however at that time employed as an architect by the company MAN, which initially blocked his cooperation. (55)

At the end of August, he submitted a first draft plan for the construction of the new hall. His plan foresaw the extension as a rotunda, a large freestanding pavilion to be erected next to the main museum building. Following consultations with the Museum, Harter submitted a modified draft and a presentation album in October. (56) The glass cupola of the pavilion was particularly eye-catching, and was to be crowned with a swastika, making it reminiscent of a sacred building.

An alternative to Harter's design was provided by the architect and administrative director of the Deutsches Museum Karl Baffler (1888-1973); this was more tuned to the pragmatic demands of the existing museum use. Bassler suggested a monumental rectangular hall with two storeys, which could be connected to the existing entrance hall of the main building with minimum alterations (Fig. 1). The rectangular floor space of around 1600 [m.sup.2] and the second storey provided considerably more space than Harter's rotunda design. (57) Baffler's design also provided space for the new road construction exhibition connected to the new motor hall.

Hitler was personally involved in this decisive phase of the construction plans. He was kept informed about possible designs and developments by his contact person, Jakob Werlin (18 8 6-1965), (58) formerly director of the main Mercedes sales hall in Munich, from 1933 member of the board of the Daimler-Benz corporation, and later personal consultant to Hitler in matters concerning motor vehicles. On the occasion of one of the very few visits Hitler made to the Deutsches Museum, in January 1936, the competing designs were reviewed. (59) Representatives of the Museum successfully convinced Hitler of the merits of Baffler's more practical but also monumental design. (60) The new exposed role for the motor car that the exhibition at the Deutsches Museum was promoting would have a very visible architectural expression in this new and freestanding building. No other single section of the Museum had been given such prominent treatment.

In summer, the Reich Ministry for Finance had granted extraordinary funds for the Deutsches Museum at Hitler's behest. Initially, 800,000 Reichsmark (around US $200,000 in contemporary terms) were reserved for the 'Hall of the Automobile Industry'. This sum was later--and once again at Hitler's personal behest--raised to double the amount, as the original grant was insufficient to cover the cost of the interior decoration of the hall. (61)

At the annual general meeting in May 1937, the Museum was able to announce the festive opening of the new Motor Hall. The opening ceremony turned into a large-scale celebration of Hitler. The Museum emphasized that the new building was a direct gift from the Fuhrer, 'whose wish it was to designate a space for the history of the motor car, particularly given that German engineers have been a creative force from the very beginning, in this place where the great minds of science and technology (...) are to be honoured for all time'. (62)

At the opening ceremony (Figure 2) the Museum presented the public with a temporary automobile exhibition, which was in parts tailored to Hitler's personal motor preferences and which bore the signs of the National Socialist input in its propagandistic staging. Alongside the exhibits relating to the 'pioneers' of German automobile manufacture--Carl Benz (1844-1929), Gottlieb Daimler (1834-1900) and Wilhelm Maybach (1846-1929)--visitors were treated to a selection of motor cars from leading German firms and some legendary racing vehicles, as well as--at Hitler's express wishes--a Ford Model T and an Opel 'Laubfrosch', one of the first German cars to be produced on an assembly line. A 1923 Mercedes that Hitler had used in the early stages of his political career was also on show. A particularly eye-catching line-up was provided by some technically demanding racing cars, especially two grand prix vehicles made by Daimler-Benz and Auto Union, whose technological development was financially supported by the Nazi regime. (63)

In his address, titled 'The Development of the Motor Vehicle', Kamm described his long-term exhibition concept and attempted to situate it politically in the context of National Socialism. His account of the historical development of the motor car focused on technical milestones which marked crucial points on the path to the modern concept of the automobile. (64) It revealed a teleological understanding of automobile history, and culminated in the contemporary and future development of the motor car. In line with this, the subsequent permanent exhibition was not limited to historical objects but, rather, integrated current projects and products of the German automobile industry, which were taken to represent (provisional) high points in the overall development of the motor vehicle.

Kamm emphasised in particular the significance of mass motorisation. His remarks give us an eloquent example of the entanglement of engineering concerns--improvement in driving capability, marketability, and vehicle cafety--with political values, aims, and the demands of Hitler and the National Socialist motorisation strategy. Kamm put Hitler and his drive for mass motorisation on a pedestal with Henry Ford, who had succeeded in the USA in opening up the personal motor car for 'a broad swathe of the middle classes'. (65) In this context, Kamm believed motorisation in Germany was on a similar path, thanks to Hitler's involvement. (66)

In contrast to Kamm's speech, the Museum's press release concerning the opening of the new motor hall was more reserved in tone. Whereas Kamm had situated the development of the motor car and the new exhibition explicitly in the context of National Socialist politics, the Museum authorities referred to the new hall in more traditional terms, as a 'monument' and a 'hall of fame' dedicated to the pioneers of automobile technology, in line with the perceived apolitical stance embodied by the Museum. (67) It is characteristic of the planned exhibition that both interpretations were and remained possible.

Toward a permanent exhibition

The opening of the new building was only an interim goal on the way to the inauguration of new permanent exhibitions on automobile technology and road construction. (68) Both of these exhibitions were completed in succession in the following three years.

The basis of the new motor exhibition was the development of a new collection of automobile technology. Kamm had a clear focus in this collection. He made wish-lists of exhibits that, in his opinion, could illustrate the historical course of motor car construction since its beginnings. (69) These lists were passed to the RDA and to individual manufacturers. In addition, in early 1938 a radio appeal broadcast to the general public requested donations of historic vehicles or vehicle parts. More than 400 exhibits were donated by individuals and industry to the Deutsches Museum between 1934 and 1941, including some fifty cars and about thirty motorbikes. (70)

The fit between donations and pledges and the objects called for by the exhibition designers was not always exact. Companies such as Auto Union, BMW and Daimler had their own ideas about which of their products they wanted on display in the exhibition. Daimler, for example, listed a range of offers, (71) in some cases very generous, which were evidently devised to showcase as many attractive Daimler and Mercedes models as possible.

Up until the spring of 1936, Kamm's preparations had been in amicable cooperation with individual contacts in the automobile industry. He himself emphasised the 'gentlemen' at the Daimler-Benz corporation. (72) But as work progressed, Kamm was increasingly forced to fight for his sovereignty as a decision-maker in questions of content. Jakob Werlin tried repeatedly, and often successfully, to limit Kamm's room for manoeuvre and ensure that his own influence was brought to bear. Among other things, from May 1936 Werlin tried to arrange for a Daimler-Benz employee, the engineer Max Rauck (1907-1996), to join the team as a permanent expert advisor and 'official employee of the Deutsches Museum'. (73) Rauck had assisted Daimler-Benz to set up an historical department with an archive and a museum, which the corporation founded to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Benz Patent Motor Car. Kamm and the Museum authorities had no interest in employing a corporate historian and felt that Werlin's influence in respect of Daimler-Benz's presence in the Museum was going too far, and thus they justified refusing Werlin's request by bringing one of Kamm's employees from Stuttgart, Hugo Fuchs, to Munich for the duration of the exhibition planning phase. (74) In the long term, however, Werlin got his way. Once Hugo Fuchs left the Museum in 1939, Rauck was taken on as an employee, becoming a permanent conservator in 1946. (75) Werlin's attempts to check up on Kamm's works were also successful, in that he was able to bring in an expert panel. In 1936, Kamm had refused the 'formation of a special working group' and emphasised his own role as director of the project. (76) But in 1937, as Werlin once again appealed to set up an advisory body, and some elder engineers clamoured to be allowed to bring their skills to the exhibition, an expert panel was set up with August Horch (1868-1951), one of the founding fathers of German automobile industry, as its chairman. (77) His duties including selecting and placing exhibits, and editing the accompanying texts. Permanent members of the panel included descendants of the German automobile 'pioneers', like Paul Daimler (1869-1945), Eugen Benz (1873-1958) and Karl Maybach (1879-1960), as well as other experts, representatives of the industry, and consultants, especially Jakob Werlin. Both Hitler's contact and member of the Board at Daimler-Benz, Werlin kept Hitler informed about the progress of the project, and in return communicated Hitler's wishes to the project managers. Werlin's position in the panel was particularly powerful thanks to his close links to Hitler, and he was able to exploit this also to the advantage of his own company. (78)

While Kamm was concerned with the integration of current issues (including political and military issues) into the scientific content of the exhibition, Werlin was embroiled in a latent battle with Kamm and the Board Chairman Zenneck about his position representing the interests of the Daimler-Benz company. There were fierce debates in the advisory panel both over the choice of exhibits and the interpretation of the historical trajectories. (79) At the intervention of the expert panel, the selection of motor vehicles increasingly favoured Daimler-Benz and Auto Union, and also larger and heavier vehicles and engines. Smaller cars, and cars from companies without their own lobbyist in the panel, which were part of a donation from the RDA in 1936, found themselves increasingly out of the picture.

Once again it was Hitler's historical favourites which made it into the exhibition. One of these was, as already mentioned, the Ford Model T. (80) Hitler's interest in the Ford Model T was not just connected to his own project of general motorisation; it also testified to his admiration for Henry Ford, whom he considered to be a political soulmate due to Ford's antisemitic tirades. (81) The reservations of the German automobile industry with respect to having a Ford car on show in the Deutsches Museum had not exactly been silenced, but they were muted. The second of the two vehicles was the Opel 'Laubfrosch'. Its selection was not widely approved as the model was effectively a copy of a French car made by Citroen, and Opel had been taken over in 1929 by the American concern General Motors. However, Werlin made sure that Hitler's ideas about the presentation were respected. (82)

The choice of exhibits reflected various ideas and approaches that in some cases, in a historiographical sense, outlasted the National Socialist era. This is seen for example in the extensive reduction of the history of the motor vehicle to a simple narrative; a success story based on a small group of selected 'pioneers', the success of the petrol engine, and the success of companies able to expand their operations under the Nazi regime. This perspective, which is based on technical and economical showcasing, followed on seamlessly from the Museum's practised efforts to celebrate and honour the achievements of engineers through their technical products. In the guise of the new Motor Hall, however, the collection was also instrumentalised to display the automobile economy of the Nazi regime.

The final choice of exhibits distorted the picture of automobile history, not just in its portrayal of corporate and economic developments, but in giving the two major corporations, Daimler-Benz and Auto Union, the appearance of being historically unique entities producing automobile knowledge. Daimler-Benz could in fact trace this tradition back to its three 'pioneers' Benz, Daimler and Maybach, who were honoured in the entrance area of the exhibition.

Besides the choice of exhibits and themes, the advisory panel was also at odds over the question of historic interpretation. The panel expended considerable energy in fighting over priorities. (83) The importance of Gottlieb Daimler for automobile construction was completely re-negotiated. (84) Engineers and innovators in motor car development who were not on the pedestal with the Big Four pioneers found themselves, when they were named at all, or when they appeared in products as part of the exhibition, marginalized in 'themed corners'. This was the case for automotive engineers who had put their efforts into steam engines or electric cars, or whose inventions relativised the 'pioneering deeds' of Benz and Daimler, showing their ideas in the context of competition. It was also the case for foreign competitors and Jewish automotive engineers such as Siegfried Marcus, who for a long time was counted as one of the pioneers of automobile technology.

In the case of Marcus, the Museum advisory panel was not directly involved in the debate that raged from the mid-1930s concerning the automobile pioneer whose work had been done in Austria. The fight over priorities was mainly carried forward by Daimler-Benz and Klockner-Humboldt-Deutz corporations, who were keen to assert Daimler's and Benz's claims to be the 'fathers' of the motor car. In this context, Jakob Werlin and Max Rauck spoke up on behalf of the Daimler-Benz corporation; their actions in Vienna resulted in withdrawal of the Marcus car from the exhibition. Rather tardily, in 1941, Zenneck and Kamm ensured the removal of less significant mentions of Siegfried Marcus and his motor car from the exhibition at the Deutsches Museum. (85)

Another prominent example of the treatment of Jewish design engineers in the Deutsches Museum was Edmund Rumpler. Rumpler was represented by two well known exhibits in the Deutsches Museum prior to 1933: his Tropfenwagen and his early flying machine, the Etrich-Rumpler-Taube (the Etrich & Rumpler 'Dove') that was displayed in the Aeronautics Section. In both cases, the Deutsches Museum 'Aryanised' their collection. In the case of the flying machine, Etrich alone was credited with both the design and the manufacture of the 'Dove'. (86) In the case of the Tropfenwagen, the advisory panel of the motor car exhibition took the decision, on the initiative of Werlin and Kamm, that it would not be integrated into the new exhibition. (87)

Regardless of conflicts in the advisory panel and the interest-driven prioritisation of exhibits and engineers, the permanent exhibition, which opened in 1938, seemed at a first glance to be a museal textbook of automobile technology, which to certain extent represented a continuation of Oskar von Miller's plans for the Museum. (88) This concept differentiated the museum exhibition from contemporary commercial automobile exhibitions. The core area of the exhibition was a display of approximately forty complete vehicles and chassis. It was designed to show the development of the motor car in a way that allowed the visitor to perceive this development 'by the act of walking through the automobile section, without having to examine them in depth', and to give an impression 'of the difficulties and achievements of the pioneers in the automobile branch'. (89)

While one half of the exhibition was dedicated to historical development, the other showed the automobile achievements of the previous decade.

Spaced around a core area, which was dominated by the motor cars, the wings of the exhibition contained twenty-two 'themed corners'. (90) It was Kamm's idea to attract young visitors and those with a technical education and allow them a more in-depth look at the subject matter. (91) The themed corners presented in great detail the functions of motor vehicles and the development of basic components of the motor car--such as the propulsion system and carburettor. There were also themed corners on the military vehicle, on motor racing, on motorisation in the 'Third Reich', on the manufacture of synthetic fuel and on research into motor cars. Some of these corners showed clear political links to the national motorisation strategy and to the drive for autarky, as well as to the militarisation and armament of vehicles.

The Deutsches Museum also showed off its didactic capability in this exhibition, with a range of technical demonstrations aimed at awakening the interest of younger visitors. Among others, these included a model landscape, in which visitors could watch an electrically-steered tank traverse difficult terrain. The exhibition was unmistakably aiming to win over young people to the possibilities of the automobile and to the NSKK.

Overall, in line with the functional approach of the Deutsches Museum, the design of the exhibition made for a sober and restrained picture, which emphasised technical content and avoided the unsubtle propaganda that typified Nazi exhibitions of the time. In this respect too it fitted the pattern of exhibitions from the early phase of the Museum.

A sober appearance, at one extreme, and lively demonstrations and topics connected to Hitler's motorisation strategy, at another, were the ambivalent poles of an exhibition which allowed for an ambiguous interpretation. On the one hand, visitors could interpret the exhibition as a 131 'pure' technical-scientific presentation and the honouring of German technological pioneers, a view that was favoured by the Museum authorities. On the other hand, the exhibition also could be read as an exhibition promoting the technical achievements of the German automobile industry and the Nazi regime, which was the favoured reading of the industrial representatives and National Socialists.

In contrast to this, the exhibition on the 'Reichsautobahn' (highways), which opened at the same time, and which visitors had to pass through to reach the Motor Hall, contained more striking political messages. Rather like the 1934 exhibition 'The Road', this exhibition publicised the motorway project as Hitler's personal mission and stressed his particular achievements. Besides models and information boards, visitors found a frequently updated, oversize map detailing the planned network of motorways, juxtaposed with quotations from Hitler's speeches in the context of National Socialist policies of expansion. (92) Elements of the omnipresent cult surrounding the figure of Hitler were much more clearly visible here than in the Motor Hall.

The opening of the exhibitions in May 1938 took place under the auspices of an annual May celebration to which 'leading men from science and technology, party and state' were invited. As the speech by the Mayor of Munich and National Socialist Karl Fiehler (1895-1969) shows, these new exhibitions met with the approval of the National Socialists who had attacked Oskar von Miller in 1933. In his ceremonial address, Fiehler remarked that the Museum was no longer just 'a place for education and entertainment [and] the fostering of understanding for science and technology'. It also, he said, bore witness to 'the magnificence of our contemporary culture, to the genius of our Fuhrer as the creator of the powerful German (93) empire'.


Even if the exhibitions at the Deutsches Museum under Nazi rule did not all follow the same course--temporary exhibitions in particular can often be classed as purely propagandistic during this period (94)--the Motor Hall project clearly demonstrates how far the Museum departed under National Socialism from the inner 'autonomy' that Zenneck in particular often referred to and maintained. It shows how the Museum presented itself--and not involuntarily--as amenable to the interests of the National Socialist rulers and of industry, and slotted itself into the National Socialist system. Depending on the level of abstraction, the example of the Motor Hall shows moments of self-mobilisation and opportunistic ingratiation, as well as more fundamental principles and structures which allowed the Museum to become a fully-fledged institution in the 'Third Reich', which could work together with National Socialism, and which developed into a functional mouthpiece for Nazi ideologies. (95) This trajectory corresponds with that of other scientific institutions, (96) including museums, which as far as it is possible to judge in relation to scant research, also became service providers for the Nazi regime. (97)

Of critical importance for this course of integration were the traditional networks of contacts that reached far into academia, industry and politics, which had already been largely in place in the early years of the Museum, allowing the mobilisation of experts, industrialists and politicians for new Museum projects. In the case of the Motor Hall, these networks reached to the very top of the Nazi hierarchy, in the form of Hitler's personal support for the exhibition project. To the extent that the Chancellor, the Nazi authorities and industry could be brought on board as supporters, their influence over the content of the exhibition grew, without there being any measures in place to regulate input into the project. This is even more the case given that the external experts and supporters were also those who arranged its funding and manpower.

This analysis can be described as a constellation of resources in the sense that Ash employs it, (98) in that the connectivity of interests for all concerned--museum, industry, academia and politics--produced a clear usage: it allowed the Museum to continue the course of expansion it started in the Weimar Republic, and the inauguration of a new technological pantheon; it allowed Kamm and the expert advisory panel to make their mark and to bring automobile technology into the limelight; the industry itself gained a permanent marketing platform, and gave Hitler a national showcase and a place of personal homage.

Looking back at the much-discussed 'autonomy' of the Museum and its bodies, this constellation of resources contains a very clear shift of power relations towards industry and politics. In the project examined here, this can be particularly seen in the actions of Jakob Werlin, who as an agent of the Fuhrer had a disproportionately strong personal influence.

With the establishment of a very visible 'hall of fame' for automobile technology and its engineers, the Museum authorities set a new tone in the programme of exhibitions at the Deutsches Museum, one which was closely aligned to Hitler's motorisation programme. The substantive and architectural focus on automobile technology out of the canon of encyclopaedically organised subjects and departments marks a conceptional shift in the Museum's exhibition policy. Conceptional continuity, on the other hand, was provided by the restrained appearance and technological focus of the automobile exhibition, which could be interpreted as 'above party lines' and 'apolitical', and yet which could be functionalised in the context of Nazi motorisation strategies.

Although the automobile exhibition did not survive World War Two in its original form, it had effect beyond 1945. The collection from the 1930s formed the basis for exhibitions during the post-war years, even if some of the vehicles were replaced. The later presentation of motor cars kept its focus on high-performing cars and 'masterpieces'. Only from the end of the 1970s did smaller vehicles and popular cars find their way into the collection. The decontextualised presentation, with its focus on the technical features of the exhibits, was also maintained. Moreover, there was the continuity of personnel--on the level of the automobile section by Max Rauck, who stayed in the Museum until the early 1970s. He remained closely linked to Daimler throughout the post-war years and participated in the continuing national fight over priorities over Marcus to the advantage of Daimler and Benz.

Deeper exploration of the relationship between museum, industry and politics at the Deutsches Museum awaits. For now one can speculate with regard to the Department for Land Transport that the industry interests in the motor exhibition at the Deutsches Museum have decreased in inverse proportion to the founding of large corporate museums and a plethora of private motor museums. Parallel to this, a professionalisation drive starting in the 1980s has ensured that motor exhibitions have gradually began to address new issues. Moreover, the potential impact of individual exhibits and museum perspectives has been greatly relativised by a more diverse and pluralistic array of museums and media available both nationally and internationally. 10.J227/TJTH.34.13


Many thanks to Katie Ritson who helped with translation and proofreading.

Bettina Gundler

Deutsches Museum, Munich


(1) Wilhelm Fussl and Helmuth Trischler (ed.), Geschichte des Deutschen Museums: Akteure, Artefakte, Ausstellungen (Munich, 2003), p. 9.

(2) Helmuth Trischler, Elisabeth Vaupel and Stefan L. Wolff, 'Einleitung: Das Deutsche Museum im Nationalsozialismus. Konturen einer Bestandsaufnahme', in Elisabeth Vaupel and Stefan L. Wolff (ed.), Das Deutsche Museum in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus: Eine Bestandsaufnahme (Munich, 2010), pp. 22-8.

(3) Bettina Gundler, 'Die Kraftfahrzeughalle des Deutschen Museums (1935-39): Planung, Bau und Ausstellung', in Elisabeth Vaupel and Stefan L. Wolff (ed.), Das Deutsche Museum, pp. 368-411. Other than the named sources, this article is based mainly on the administrative files of the Deutsches Museum Archive in Munich (DMA, VA), and on relevant files from the Reich Ministry for Finance and the Reich Chancellery, held in the National Archive Berlin-Lichterfelde (Bundesarchiv = BArch).

(4) For this, and the following points see Wilhelm Fussl, Oskar von Miller. 1855-1934: Eine Biographie (Munchen, 2005), pp. 251-302; Trischler, Vaupel and Wolff, 'Einleitung', pp. 17-22; Wilhelm FuEl, 'Grundung und Aufbau', in Trischler and FuEl (ed.), Geschichte des Deutschen Museums, pp. 59-102; Eve Duffy, 'Im Spannungsfeld von Selbststeuerung und Fremdbestimmung 1925-44', in Trischler and FuEl (ed.), Geschichte des Deutschen Museums, pp.103-30; and in older publications, Jonathan Zenneck: Fiunfzig Jahre Deutsches Museum Munchen (Munchen, 1953).

(5) See Trischler, Vaupel, Wolff, 'Einleitung', p. 18.

(6) For example Theodor Conzelmann, Deutsches Museum: Von Meisterwerken der Naturwissenschaft und Technik. Fin Rundgang durch die Sammlungen (Munich, 1935).

(7) For example Rainer Mertens, 'Das Verkehrsmuseum Nurnberg: Vorgeschichte, Grundung und Anfangsjahre', in Gerhard Hetzer, Otto-Karl Troger, Weichenstellungen: Eisenbahn in Bayern, 1835-1920 (Nuremberg, 2001) pp. 459-62; Hanno Mobius, Vierhundert Jahre technische Sammlungen in Berlin (Berlin, 1983), pp. 97-102.

(8) Lothar Gall, Manfred Pohl (ed.), Die Eisenbahn in Deutschland: Von den Anfangen bis zur Gegenwart (Munchen, 1999), especially the contributions by Manfred Pohl, 'Von der Staats- zur Reichsbahn, 1918-24', pp. 75-108, and Eberhard Kolb, 'Die Reichsbahn vom Dawes-Plan bis zum Ende der Weimarer Republik', pp. 109-64.

(9) Fussl, Miller, pp. 229-6; Duffy, 'Spannungsfeld', p. 133.

(10) DMA, VA 1638, letter Rumpler to Oskar von Miller, 22 June 1925, letter Rumpler to the Deutsches Museum, 24 September 1925.

(11) Rudolf Boch (ed.), Geschichte und Zukunft der deutschen Automobilindustrie (Stuttgart, 2001), especially the contributions by Heidrun Edelmann, 'Der Umgang mit dem Ruckstand: Deutschlands Automobilindustrie in der Zwischenkriegszeit', pp. 41-8 and Carsten Thieme, 'Krisenbewaltigung durch Kooperation? FusionsprozeE und Marktordnungsversuche bei Daimler-Benz 1924-32', pp. 85-108; moreover Uwe Fraunholz, Motorphobia: Anti-automobiler Protest in Kaiserreicb und Weimarer Republik (Gottingen, 2002).

(12) E.g. DMA, VA 1642, letter to the Zahnradfabrik A. G. Friedrichshafen, 12 April 1932.

(13) See correspondence in DMA, VA 992/3 from 1931.

(14) On the situation in and development of the Deutsches Museum in the closing years of the Weimar Republic, see Duffy, 'Spannungsfeld', pp. 115-27.

(15) DMA, VA 992/3, thank you letter Zenneck to Ford, 6. October 1930.

(16) Quotations in original: "den Deutschesten der Deutschen, den Mann, der ein monumentum aere perennius errichtet hat, als Referenz einer amerikanischen Firma zu sehen." and "Das Deutsche Museum ist vornehmlich aus Mitteln der deutschen Wirtschaft entstanden und sollte nicht dulden, daE es zu Reklamezwecken auslandischer Firmen miEbraucht wird." DMA, VA 992/3, letter from Allmers to Oskar von Miller, 17 September 1931, and further correspondence in the same file. On Allmers and the politics of the RDA: Johann Heinrich von Brunn, Ein Mann macbt Auto-Gescbicbte: Der Lebensweg des Robert Allmers (Stuttgart, 1972).

(17) Fussl, Miller, pp. 338-46; Duffy, 'Spannungsfeld', pp. 122-7, in the same, 'Jenseits von Anpassung und Autonomie: Zur institutionellen Entwicklung des Deutschen Museums zwischen 1933 und 1945', in Trischler, FuEl (ed.), Gescbicbte des Deutscben Museums, pp. 56-7.

(18) On Zenneck Stefan L. Wolf, 'Jonathan Zenneck als Vorstand des Deutschen Museums', in Wolff Vaupel (ed.), Das Deutscbe Museum, pp. 78-126.

(19) On Bruckmann Daniel Stoppel, 'Hugo Bruckmann als Vorstand des Deutschen Museums', in Trischler and FuEl, (ed.), Gescbicbte des Deutscben Museums, pp. 127-70; on Todt in the same volume: Frank Uekotter, 'Expansionsgeluste an der Isar: Das Deutsche Museum und die Fuhrung des Dritten Reichs. Adolf Hitler, Fritz Todt und die Plane fur ein Haus der deutschen Geschichte', pp. 209-15.

(20) Uekotter, 'Expansionsgeluste', pp. 220-5.

(21) Quotation in original: "judisch-liberalistischen Theater und Reklamebetrieb.. .in dem fruher Marxisten, Juden und Kapitalisten unter der Regie des roten Miller die groEe Rolle spielten." bA, R 43-I/823, Letter from Johannes Stark to Hitler, 11 May 1934.

(22) On the politics of motorization and the economic development of the automobile during the Nazi period, see i.a. Dorothee Hochstetter, Motorisierung und "Volksgemeinscbaft". Das Nationalsozialistiscbe Kraftfabrkorps (NSKK) 1931-45 (Munich, 2005), in particular pp. 151-90; Heidrun Edelmann, Vom Luxusgut zum Gebraucbsgegenstand: Die Gescbicbte der Verbreitung von Personenkraftwagen in Deutscbland (Frankfurt a. Main, 1989); p. 157-223; Reiner Flik, 'Automobilindustrie und Motorisierung in Deutschland bis 1939', in Boch (ed.), Gescbicbte und Zukunft, pp. 76-84; Wolfgang Konig, Volkswagen, Volksempfanger, Volksgemeinscbaft. "Volksprodukte" im Dritten Reicb. Vom Scbeitern einer nationalsozialistiscben Konsumgesellscbaft (Munich, Vienna, Zurich, 2004) pp. 151-91; Wolfgang Konig, 'Adolf Hitler vs. Henry Ford: The Volkswagen, the Role of America as a Model, and the Failure of a Nazi Consumer Society', German Studies Review 27/2 2004, pp. 249-68; Erhard Schutz and Eckhard Gruber, Mytbos Reicbsautobabn: Bau und Inszenierung der "Strafien des Fubrers" 1933-41 (Berlin, 1996).

(23) Konig, Volkswagen, pp. 152-3.

(24) Frank Steinbeck, Das Motorrad. Ein deutscber Sonderweg in die automobile Gesellscbaft (Stuttgart, 2012), pp. 212-72.

(25) Konig, Volkswagen, pp. 172-3.

(26) Christopher Kopper, 'Modernitat oder Scheinmodernitat nationalsozialistischer Herrschaft: Das Beispiel der Verkehrspolitik', in Christian Jansen, Lutz Niethammer and Bernd Weisbrod (ed.), Von der Aufgabe der Freibeit. Politiscbe Verantwortung und burgerlicbe Gesellscbaft im 19. und 20. Jabrbundert. Festscbrift fur Hans Mommsen zum 5. November 1995. (Berlin, 1995) pp. 399-411. See also Christopher Kopper in this volume. For a summary of the controversy about the modernity of National Socialism,

see Riccardo Bavaj, Die Ambivalenz der Moderne im Nationalsozialismus: Eine Bilanz der Forscbung (Munich, 2003) [on technology in particular, pp. 142-47]; Ian Kershaw, Der NS Staat. (4. Aufl., Hamburg, 1994), pp. 364-72.

(27) Kurt Moser, 'World War II and the Creation of Desire for Automobiles in Germany', in Susan Strasser (ed.), Getting and Spending (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 219-20.

(28) See reactions to Hitlers Speech and applications for assistance in: BA R 2/23083 Kraftfahrt. Bewirtschaftung der Haushaltsmittel; on the subject of granting funds for racing car projects see also BA R 43-II/748.

(29) For instance: [Immanuel Schaffer], Wesenswandel der Ausstellung. Ein Uberblick uber das deutsche Ausstellungswesen und Ausstellungsarbeit des Instituts fur Deutsche Kultur- und Wirtschaftspropaganda. (Berlin, 1938).

(30) Details from the exhibition catalogue: Die Strafie: Ausstellung Munchen 1934 JuniSeptember. Veranstaltet im Auftrage der Reichsregierung vom Generalinspektor fur das Deutsche Strafienwesen. Amtlicher Fuhrer (Munich, 1934). Information about the guide book and the exhibition are also to be found in an album entitled "Die StraEe", DMA, Bildarchiv BA-A 00014.

(31) Munich City Archive (Stadtarchiv Munchen = StaM), Ausstellungen und Messen Nr. 791, VII. Internationaler StraEen-Kongress Munchen 1934.

(32) Press reports on the exhibition "Die StraEe" in the album of the same name, DMA, BA-A 00014.

(33) On the relationship between the Museums board and Hitler/Todt, see Uekotter, 'Expansionsgeluste', pp. 202-6, 209-15; Duffy, 'Jenseits', p. 61-2.

(34) DMA, VA 1561, letter from Zenneck to Todt, 19 October 1934.

(35) DMA, VA 387, letter from Zenneck to Bruckmann, 25 March1935; see also DMA, VA 1643, letter from Zenneck to Albert Pietzsch, 25 March 1935; and StaM, Burger und Rat 490/26, Memorandum on the session of the board and clerks of the Deutsches Museum, 7 March 1936.

(36) Cf. DMA, Deutsches Museum, Verwaltungsbericht uber das 30. Geschaftsjahr (Munich, 1934) p. 18; Ernst Klee, Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich (Frankfurt a. Main, 2003), p. 462; Michael von Prollius, Das Wirtschaftssystem der Nationalsozialisten 1933-39: Steuerung durch emergente Organisation und Prozesse (Paderborn, 2003) p. 295.

(37) Rochling came near to Hitler during the political struggle in Saarland, see: Gerhard Seibold, Rochling. Kontinuitat im Wandel (Stuttgart, 2001), i.a. pp. 203-10, 277; Klee, Personenlexikon, p. 502.

(38) DMA, VA 1643, letter from Rochling to Zenneck, 20 March 1935, BArch, R 43-I/823, fol. 2, RK.2666, letter from Pietzsch to Wiedemann, 27 March 1935; letter from Wiedemann to Lammers, 30 March 1935; letter from Lammers to Pietzsch, April 1935.

(39) BArch, R 43-I/823, fol. 2, RK.2666, note for the file by Lammers, 6 April 1935; letter from Lammers to Reichs Minister for Finances, 12 April 1935; further DMA, VA 1643, letter from Pietzsch to Zenneck, 23 April 1935.

(40) Cf. e.g. DMA, VA 1448/1, letter from Zenneck to Oskar von Asboth, 23 May 935, or DMV, VA 1448/2, letter from Zenneck to the National Socialist Flying Corps, 22 October 1937.

(41) Cf. e.g. DMA, VA 1448/3, letter from Zenneck to Dr. Koppenberg, 21 October 1936, DMA, VA 1448/2, letter from Von Gronau an Zenneck, 15 June 1937.

(42) Mobius, Vierhundert Jahre, p. 104.

(43) Cf. Colin Divall, Andrew Scott, Making Histories in Transport Museums. (London, 2001), p. 25; John Chittleborough, 'Forward', in Beyond Collecting--Components of Success. Proceedings (VII. World Forum for Motor Museums at the National Motor Museum in Adelaide, September 24-October 1, 2001), pp. 2-3.

(44) Cf. BArch R2/12925 Wis 3501-9 I C, letter from Reich Minister of Finances to Reich Minister of Science and Education, 20 April 1935; Wis 3501-16 I C, Nr. 2489/35, letter from Wagner an Rust, 18 June 1935; Wis 3501-17 I C V, Order, Rust, 12 Juli 1935; further Wis 7020-35 I C, V d 786, letter from Zintzsch to Reich Minister of Finances, 13 April 1937; Wis 7020-35 I C, Reich Ministry of Finances, note, 29 April 1937; Wis 7020-35 I C, V d 1112, letter from Reich Minister of Science and Education to Reich Minister of Finances, 11 May 1937.

(45) Cf. e.g. DMA, VA 1643, letter from von Oertzen to Pietzsch, 11.7.1935 including attachment from Horch; letter Pietzsch to Zenneck, 15 July 1935.

(46) DMA, VA 1654, letter from Zenneck to Kissel, 15 June 1934.

(47) Quotations in original: "den richtigen Mann.. .nach keiner Seite irgendwie gebunden.. .frei allem gegenuber." DMA, Verwaltungsbericht uber das 31. Geschaftsjahr 1934/35 (Munich, 1935), p. 21.

(48) Duffy, 'Spannungsfeld', pp. 130-2, Duffy, 'Jenseits', pp. 138-141; Uekotter, 'Expansionsgeluste', pp. 222-4.

(49) DMA, Verwaltungsbericht uber das 31. Geschaftsjahr 1934/35 (Munich, 1935), p. 21.

(50) On the Kamm's scientific and political profile and the FKFS, see Helmut Maier, 'Forschungsrate, Amerikabomber und "Hollander"--Das FKFS im forschungs- und rustungspolitischen Kontext 1930-45', in: 75 Jahre FKFS--Fin Ruckblick: Eine Chronik des Forschungsinstituts fur Kraftfahrwesen und Fahrzeugmotoren Stuttgart-FKFS--aus Anlass seines 75-jahrigen Bestehens 1930-2005 (Stuttgart, 2005) pp. 73-108; in the same volume Jurgen Potthoff, 'Die Grunderjahre--Wunibald Kamm 1930-45' pp. 38-41; Michael Graf Wolff Metternich, Hans-Otto Neubauer, Hans-Otto, Sie bauten Autos. Die vergessene Autowelt der deutschsprachigen Automobilkonstrukteure 1885-1945 (Lorch/ Wuerttemberg, 2004), pp. 98-9.

(51) For more detail, see Maier, 'Forschungsrate', pp. 79-89.

(52) Ibid., p. 85.

(53) Herbert Mehrtens, 'Kollaborationsverhaltnisse: Natur- und Technikwissenschaften im NSStaat und ihre Historie', in Christoph Meinel and Peter Voswinkel (ed.) Medizin, Naturwissenschaft, Technik und Nationalsozialismus: Kontinuitaten und Diskontinuitaten (Stuttgart, 1994) pp. 13-32.

(54) See DMA, VA 387, cf. letter Deutsches Museum (probably. BaEler) to Harter, 22 July 1935; letter Harter to Bruckmann, 22 August 1935; letter Wellhausen an Bruckmann, 30 August 1935. AVita of Harter could be found in Bautechnik, 27-3 (1950), 95

(55) See DMA, VA 387, cf. letter Wellhausen an Bruckmann, 30 August 1935; letter Bruckmann an Wellhausen, 5 October 1935; Bruckmann an den Prasidenten der Reichskunstkammer, 4 November 1935.

(56) Album: Bibliothek DM, ZC 1563 D-G; New Hall at the Deutsches Museum Munich; also DMA, VA 387, letter from Bruckmann to Harter, 9 October 1935.

(57) DMA, VA 387, Bruckmann to Werlin, 9 October 1935.

(58) On Werlin i.a.: Hans Pohl, Stephanie Habeth, Beate Bruninghaus, Beate, Die Daimler Benz AG in den Jahren 1933 bis 1945. Eine Documentation (Stuttgart, 1986) pp. 35-41; Karen Konigsberger, 'Ein "nicht-arischer" Erfinder im Zentrum einer Prioritatsdiskussion: Siegfried Marcus und sein Automobil', in Wolff Vaupel (ed.), Das Deutsche Museum, pp. 503-4.

(59) DMA, VA 387, Letter Bruckmann to Werlin, 9 October 1935, Letter Bruckmann to Wellhausen, 8 January 1936, Letter Bassler to Kamm, 22 January 1936.

(60) Cf. DMA, V 1644, press release, Die neue Halle fur das Kraftfahrwesen des Deutschen Museums in Munchen, 7 May 1937, p. 1-2.

(61) Detailed documents on the release of funds in BArch R2/12925 and R2/12926.

(62) Quotation in original: ".. .dessen Wunsch es war, der geschichtlichen Entwicklung des Automobils, woran gerade der deutsche Ingenieur von Anfang an so schopferisch tatig war, dort eine Statte zu schaffen, wo all die groEen Manner der Wissenschaft und Technik (...) ihre unvergangliche Ehrung gefunden haben." DMA, V 1644, press release, Die neue Halle fur das Kraftfahrwesen des Deutschen Museums in Munchen, 7 May 1937, p. 1. Likewise comments see in DMA, Deutsches Museum, Verwaltungsbericht uber das 33. Geschaftsjahr Mai 1936 bis Mai 1937 (Munchen, 1937) p. 30.

(63) BArch R 2/23083, K.4.2893, orders for payment, 24 May 1933; BArch R 43-II/748, correspondence and notes related to funding racing car projects of the Daimler-Benz AG and the Auto Union AG (cf. Rk. 2682, Rk 3243, March 1933).

(64) Wunibald Kamm, 'Die Entwicklung des Kraftfahrzeugs', in Deutsches Museum, Abhandlungen und Berichte, 9-3 (1937), 57-70.

(65) Quotation in original: "dem Kraftwagen den Weg in breite Kauferschichten zu eroffnen." Ibid., S. 68.

(66) Ibid., p.71, similar, p.69.

(67) DMA, V 1644, press release, Die neue Halle fur das Kraftfahrwesen des Deutschen Museums in Munchen, 7 May 1937, p. 1.

(68) There are only few documents left related to the exhibitions of road construction in the Deutsches Museum Archiv, see especially DMA, VA 1561, Bauingenieurwesen.

(69) DMA, VA 1648, Lists created by Kamm, 3 June 1936 and 19 June 1936.

(70) For the range and provenance of the motor vehicle collection at the Deutsches Museum prior to 1945, see Oliver Kuhschelm, 'Kraftfahrzeuge als Gegenstand von "Arisierungen". Provenienzforschung zur Kraftfahrzeugsammlung des Deutschen Museums und Forschungen zur Entziehung von Kraftfahrzeugen in Bayern', in Deutsches Museum Preprint, No. 4 (Munich, 2012).

(71) DMA, VA 1648, for example letter Kamm to Fuchs, 6 April 1937.

(72) DMA, Deutsches Museum, Verwaltungsbericht uber das 32. Geschaftsjahr Mai 1935 bis Mai 1936 (Munchen, 1936) p. 20.

(73) DMA, VA 1648, letter Werlin to Bruckmann, 8 May 1936; On Max Rauck: Konigsberger, 'Siegfried Marcus', pp. 503-4.

(74) DMA, VA 1648, 5767/68, letter Zenneck to Kamm, 20 May 1936; letter Kamm to Zenneck, 25 May 1936; DMA, V 1651; letter Werlin to Bruckmann, 1 July 1936; letter Bruckmann to Werlin, 27 July 1936. Along with the employee Fuchs, Kamm's institute also provided a manual worker for the preparation of the museum exhibits. DMA, VA 1648, Letter Kamm to Zenneck, 6 February 1937.

(75) DMA, VA 1652, Letter Daimler-Benz AG to Fuchs, 8 September 1938; Letter (Werlin?) to Kamm, 7 August 1939; letter Zenneck to Kamm, 15 August 1939; letter Kamm to Zenneck, 21 August 1939; also DMA, VA 418/3 letter Zenneck to Bruckmann, 16 June 1939; Konigsberger, 'Siegfried Marcus', p. 516.

(76) DMA, VA 1648, letter Kamm to Zenneck, 25 May 1936; also DMA, VA 1651, letter Bruckmann to Werlin, 27 June 1936.

(77) Cf. DMA, VA 1648, letter Werlin to Bruckmann, 5 August 1937, letter BaBler/Fuchs to Horch, 9 October 1937, appended a list of attendees at a meeting on 6 October 1937, letter Horch to BaBler, 14 October 1937.

(78) The same goes for Werlin's influence in the RDA, cf. von Brunn, Ein Mann, pp. 153-4.

(79) Minutes of the advisory board's meetings in: DMA, VA 3986.

(80) Cf. DMA, VA 1647/2, letter Werlin to Kamm, 3 April 1937; letter Kamm to Werlin, 8 April 1937, letter BaBler to the Uberwachungsstelle fur technische Erzeugnisse, 18 December 1936; Shipping Reference, 1 June 1937; more correspondence referring to the donation in the same file.

(81) Cf. i.a. Robert Lacey, Ford: The Men and the Machine (London, 1986) pp. 253-29 u. 264-71; Neil Baldwin: Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate (New York, 2001).

(82) DMA, VA 1644, minutes, 19. November 1938, p. 10.

(83) Ibid., pp. 12-13; cf. also Konigsberger, 'Siegfried Marcus', pp. 505-6.

(84) DMA, VA 3986, minutes, 22 November 1937, pp. 1-4.

(85) For more detail, see Konigsberger, 'Siegfried Marcus', pp. 503-14.

(86) Hans Holzer, Helmuth Trischler, 'Zuschreibungen, Umdeutungen, Ausgrenzungen: Rumpler, Etrich und das Taube-Flugzeug im Deutschen Museum', in Vaupel/Wolff (ed.), Das Deutsche Museum, pp. 449-72.

(87) DMA, VA 3986, minutes, 19. November 1937, p. 13.

(88) An extract of photos, display graphics and exhibition texts, which gives a good impression of the exhibition, was given to Kamm and maybe some prominent guests as on opening present. Kamm's copy survived in the archives of the FKFS (without Number).

(89) Quotation in original: "beim Durchschreiten der Abteilung Kraftfahrzeuge, ohne auf Einzelheiten eingehen zu mussen.. .von den Schwierigkeiten und Arbeitsleistungen der Pioniere des Kraftfahrwesens." DMA, Verwaltungsbericht uber das 32. Geschaftsjahr, p. 20.

(90) The corner's content could be partially reconstructed via the administrative correspondence, see especially DMV VA 1648.

(91) DMA, Verwaltungsbericht uber das 32. Geschaftsjahr, p. 20.

(92) Quoted from a photograph, DMA, Images, BN L_0258_37; Quotation in original: "Das neue deutsche Reichsautobahnnetz ist nicht nur in der Anlage das Gewaltigste, was es in dieser Art auf der Erde gibt, sondern es ist zugleich das Vorbildlichste. Es wird mehr als alles Ubrige mithelfen, die deutschen Gaue und Lande miteinander zu verbinden und in eine Einheit zu zwingen."

(93) Quotation in original: "nicht nur Statte der Belehrung und Unterhaltung" and "Forderung des Verstandnisses fur Naturwissenschaft und Technik" "fur die GroBe der heutigen Kultur, fur die Genialitat unseres Fuhrers, als des Schopfers des machtvollen Reiches der Deutschen." Cf. 'Von Benz und Daimler zur Reichsautobahn', Automobiltechnische Zeitschrift (ATZ), 41-10, 1938, p. 275.

(94) E.g. Elisabeth Vaupel, 'Schrittweise Anpassung an den Zeitgeist: Die Sonderausstellung "Neue Werkstoffe--Neue Wege"' (1935), in Wolff, Vaupel (ed.), Das Deutsche Museum, pp. 535-82, in the same volume: Wolfgang Benz, 'Die Ausstellung "Der ewige Jude"', pp. 652-80.

(95) See also Uekotter, Expansionsgeluste, pp. 236-41.

(96) Exemplary in this respect are the more recent research papers on the role of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society under National Socialism, for example those in the edited collection by Helmut Maier, Gemeinschaftsforschung, Bevollmachtigte und der Wissenstransfer: Die Rolle der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft im System kriegsrelevanter Forschung des Nationalsozialismus (Gottingen, 2007)

(97) For example see Christian Kohler, Ein ruhiges Fortbestehen? Das Germanische Nationalmuseum im "Dritten Reich" (Berlin, 2011). Even clearer are the consequences of collaboration in the case of art galleries, which were often implicated in the evaluation and expropriation of artworks owned by Jews. See for example Uwe Fleckner, Max Hollwein (ed.), Museum im Widerspruch: Das Stadel und der Nationalsozialismus (Berlin, 2011).

(98) Mitchell G. Ash, 'Wissenschaft und Politik als Ressourcen fur einander', in Rudiger von Bruch, Brigitte Kaderas (ed.), Wissenschaft und Wissenschaftspolitik. Bestandsaufnahmen zu Formationen, Bruchen und Kontinuitaten im Deutschland des 20. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart, 2002), pp. 32-3.


Bettina Gundler is a curator of the transportation departments at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. She studied history and graduated with a work concerning the history of technical universities and engineering education during the Weimar republic. In 1992, she started in the Deutsches Museum as a curator of the Air and Space Department and became a member of a project team conceiving the Verkehrszentrum of the Deutsches Museum in 1999. Since 2003, she has been in charge of the collections of road transportation vehicles, and has curated long-term and temporary exhibitions in the transport section.
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Author:Gundler, Bettina
Publication:The Journal of Transport History
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Dec 1, 2013
Next Article:Germany's national socialist transport policy and the claim of modernity: reality or fake?

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