Some conspiracy theorists have suggested that there is a hidden swastika in the current Volkswagen logo. A few other theories about Volkswagen hint at hidden meanings and even Illuminati connections which is something that may make potential buyers queasy about driving or buying a car from the brand. So we looked for the evidence to see if this internet theory is true. We will give you our findings after a quick history lesson on the Volkswagen brand.
History of Volkswagen
Let's first take a look at the brand origins since they play a crucial role in the conspiracy. It's fairly common knowledge that the Volkswagen brand does originate in Germany and from Nazi roots: on May 28th, 1937 Adolf Hitler ordered the formation of Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. Shortly thereafter, the name would be shortened to the simpler Volkswagenwerk which translates to “The People’s Car Company.”
The first VW, the Beetle, was based on designs which had been circulating since the 1920's. The projects were in various stages of development when Hitler stepped in and ordered the production of a vehicle for the German people. The year was 1934, and the requirements list was short but near impossible - the car needed to be able to transport 2 adults and 3 children at a selling price of a small motorcycle. Of course, the private industry balked at the price constraints and believed such a project was impossible. They would be wrong, though it took some time for Volkswagen to develop into the brand we know today.
Added to the list of requirements was the need for the automobile to cruise at a speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) on the developing German autobahn highway system. Hitler envisioned the German people cruising these highways in a vehicle built for them at a reasonable price - around $140 US Dollars, or 990 Reichsmark. The average workers wage had been considered, and most Germans earned around 32 RM per week. Another requirement was that the vehicle would be reliable in all weather conditions thus the design relied upon an air cooled, rear mounted engine that could operate in freezing temperatures. That also kept the production costs down and meant the average person could maintain and work on their own vehicle. The Beetle was truly developed as a "People's Car".
With the short but stringent engineering requirements, the whole project required state backing and Hitler implemented a savings program to make the car attainable to workers through a savings program. By purchasing a stamp for 5 marks every week and placing it into a savings book, eventually they would take ownership of a Beetle. The program was not initially successful and only a handful of models were produced by Wars end. German factories were devastated by the War, but the the Beetle and Volkswagen brand would continue production even in post war depression. The company was able to produce 1000 cars per month in 1946 though with difficulties. Production often stopped, and newly produced cars were often bartered for steel needed to make other vehicles.
The Beetle and Volkswagen brand would reach U.S. shores in 1949 and sell all of two units in its first year. There was initial resistance to the brand by Americans who were aware of its Nazi roots, but that resistance has all but disappeared in time as new generations are unaware of the brands background. The Beetle would become one of the best selling cars of all time with nearly 22 million cars sold between 1938 and 2003.
Even Volkswagen itself had to enlist help though to fully understand the nature of its Nazi ties, funding a $2 million study which was released in 1996. Through 8 years of research, thousands of pages of documents revealed the slave labor which was used to fuel the company and the German wartime machine during World War II. “Volkswagen and Its Workers During the Third Reich” shows that the company used Soviet prisoners of war and Jews from Auschwitz, Dachau and Bergen-Belsen to build both automobiles and war armaments during the Nazi era.
Over 70 years have passed since WWII, and the Volkswagen brand has become on of the largest car manufacturers in the world, acquiring several manufacturers such as Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Audi, Porsche, and the others like Skoda and SEAT. That family of brands represents some of the most sought after, and expensive, brands in the world.
Volkswagen itself has grown to become the second largest largest vehicle manufacturer in the world by selling 10,126,281 vehicles in 2016 - second only to Toyota by a small margin with 10,213,486 vehicles sold. Along with that sales growth has come a progression in its corporate logo. The original 1937 incarnation feels Nazi inspired in hindsight: the whole concept of a Peoples Car was developed by Hitler and The NSDAP workers party, and thus the logo feels industrial. Looking at the 1939 update, the working class ethos is even stronger with its gear. Current iterations of the logo show no signs of Nazi influence, but does Volkswagen still secretly display its Nazi origins in its current logos?
Hidden Swastika in Volkswagen Logo?
Some have suggested that by spinning the logo at the correct speed, a secret Swastika is revealed as shown below:
The above video feels enhanced though, and many other You-tubers have tested the theory by taking a Volkswagen logo and spinning it for themselves. They have been unable to reveal a Swastika.
So it seems the theory that there is a hidden swastika is the Volkswagen logo is false. It takes an imaginative mind and eyes that squint just the right way to see anything but a blur.
Hidden Race References?
Another theory suggests that when the VW logo is turned upside down the new letters formed refer to the Master Aryan Race (VW inverted is MA). Again, another idea that is quite a stretch. Some car enthusiasts will display their Volkswagen badges upside down to stand out from the crowd, such as one car club from Massachusetts. If you believe that the upside down version of the VW logo carries such racial connotations it's most definitely a recent interpretation not intended by the Volkswagen brand itself. If anything we would interpret the M and A to mean something more like "Men and Labor". That seems more inline with the Nazi origins and original 1937-39 logos.
Volkswagen = Illuminati?
A final theory on the Volkswagen logo is that it contains secret Illuminati references. This one is even harder to believe. Basically, the inverted logo displays three pyramids which symbolize the Bavarian Illuminati that aim to rule the world. Another view says that numerology (our favorite empirical science) shows Illuminati influence: the letters in the Volkswagen logo add up to 666 - the sign of the beast! Or as a site called Truth Control suggests, V and W actually means the alpha and omega - showing the companies true masonic origins...
As you can see, theories suggesting hidden meanings in the Volkswagen logo are pretty far fetched. Hours of research by BDSC have turned up nothing conclusive to any of these conspiracy theories. If you can make peace with the companies Nazi beginnings there is no modern reason to avoid the car brand or feel guilty for driving a Volkswagen. We can't erase the past - though we should learn from it - and you shouldn't feel responsible for something that happened 70+ years ago.