Nazi past leaves Ferdinand Porsche Avenue kaputt in Atlanta

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Hitler, Ley, Porsche and Goering

The city of Atlanta, Ga., has nixed plans to name a street Ferdinand Porsche Avenue, as Ferdinand Porsche was heavily involved with the Nazi regime. Porsche is the short fellow with the mustache on the right, left of Reischmarschall Göring. Photo Credit: Bundesarchive/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-Ger.

The city of Atlanta, Ga., was recently going to re-name a street in honor of Ferdinand Porsche. The street currently dubbed Henry Ford II Avenue was set to become Ferdinand Porsche Avenue, but it has been canceled as the city has wisely decided not to honor the chief car designer to the Nazis.

Atlanta says “Nein!” to Ferdinand Porsche Avenue

Many people love Porsche. The cars are exclusively priced, but are among the best driving cars by performance and price. Porsche’s racing pedigree is second-to-none and the 911 is the standard by which any serious sports car is judged. Comparatively few cars deliver as much performance and luxury per dollar than any other.

The city of Atlanta, Ga., is home to Porsche’s new North American headquarters. The facility, according to AutoWeek, includes a test track, training center for service technicians and driver training for new owners, like similar locations in other countries.

To honor the company bringing jobs and prestige to the area, the city of Atlanta, according to AutoGuide, was renaming a street Ferdinand Porsche Avenue but decided to rubbish the plan, mostly because Ferdinand Porsche was chief car designer to the Nazis.

Hitler’s favorite engineer

Ferdinand Porsche was the favorite engineer of Adolf Hitler and did a lot of work for the Nazis, a bit of a PR no-no. However, Atlanta has, according to AutoGuide, compromised by naming the street Porsche Avenue instead of Ferdinand Porsche Avenue, so it’s like the street is named for the cars.

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Name a German car company, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, etc., and they worked for the Third Reich, some by choice and some not. Some have openly acknowledged it, others have tried to brush it under the rug. Granted, companies in many countries engaged in military production and their products were used in atrocities. For instance, Dow Chemicals and Monsanto both produced a defoliant called dioxin, otherwise known as Agent Orange, according to a 2008 article by Canada’s Globe and Mail. Millions of Vietnamese are still dealing with its effects.

Intimately involved

Ferdinand Porsche, according to Der Spiegel, submitted the winning design for a “people’s car” or Volkswagen to the Third Reich, at the behest of Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap car for everyone, hence the name and the brand, yielding the car that later be named the Volkswagen Beetle, though it wasn’t largely produced until after the war. Prior to being solicited by Hitler, he had been offered a  similar post by Josef Stalin, who he turned down only because of the language barrier.

Aside from that, Porsche helped designed the Kubelwagen, the German army’s jeep, as well as the “Tiger” and “Panzer” tanks. Porsche’s factories supplied parts for the military for a variety of things, including V-1 flying bombs, according to the Telegraph, which killed thousands in the bombing of London.

In the past, the company has claimed it didn’t or barely used forced labor, but, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, subsequent research by a number of historians has incontrovertibly found the company did, by the thousands.

Couldn’t stay Henry Ford II Avenue

Porsche’s new facility is located near a former Ford factory which, according to Jalopnik, used to manufacture the Taurus. Years ago, Atlanta named a street Henry Ford II Avenue, which was slated to be changed to Ferdinand Porsche Avenue. It seems they certainly couldn’t keep it Henry Ford II Avenue, but at least it isn’t named for the favored car designer for a mass murdering, Jew-hating maniac. Just his cars, which themselves pretty awesome.

Granted, one could always find a dealer for Scion in Atlanta, Ga, and get an FR-S, if they want a car with a little less stigma.




Der Spiegel


The Telegraph:

Globe and Mail:


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