VW celebrates 70th of hand over to the Federal Republic of Germany
70 years ago, on October 8, 1949, the British Military Government handed over trusteeship of Volkswagenwerk GmbH to the Federal Republic of Germany.
The young West German state, which had only been founded shortly before with the promulgation of the Basic Law on May 23, 1949, assigned responsibility for the administration of the company to the state of Lower Saxony.
The British had laid the essential foundations for the later global success of the Beetle and of Volkswagen itself when they transferred Volkswagenwerk and the Wolfsburg plant to German control precisely 70 years ago. The British Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers were responsible for the Wolfsburg plant from June 1945.
Senior Resident Officer Major Ivan Hirst came to the plant in August and immediately started to establish a functioning automobile plant for the Beetle Type 1 with pragmatism and a farsighted approach.
As a company under British military management, Volkswagenwerk was able to take a pole position from which it was able to start immediately in Germany’s nascent automobile society and to become a symbol of West German reconstruction and the German economic miracle.