Aug 17, 2009
The Porsche family is the third richest group in Germany, worth 22 billion dollars. Another branch, Porsche-Piëch of Austria, ranks number one, worth 34 billion dollars.
These two branches are in fact the descendants of one man, the engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who prospered in Nazi Germany. He won the bid for supplies to build the famous “Volkswagen,” the “people’s car,” which Hitler wanted. The initial capital to build the car factory was taken from the personal savings accounts of the population, who became stockholders. During the war, the factory produced more tanks than cars and its managers used forced labor.
The production of Volkswagen cars really took off only after World War II, with help from the British occupiers. The German people’s investment was quickly expropriated. But, Ferdinand Porsche, Hitler’s personal friend, kept the profits of his investment, using his design department in Stuttgart to make high speed cars for wealthy Germans. Profitable contracts signed with Volkswagen ... and above all royalties that the family received on each Beetle sold (21.4 million up to 2003), allowed Porsche to expand, leading a profitable business for the past 40 years.
Under the Nazis, Porsche prospered; under British occupation, Porsche prospered; under modern German political parties, Porsche prospers.