World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Strength Through Joy

Article Id: WHEBN0000157421
Reproduction Date:

Title: Strength Through Joy  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: KdF, Volkswagen, Nazi Germany, Volkswagenwerk Braunschweig, Porsche 114
Collection: Nazi Germany, Nazi Party Organizations
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Strength Through Joy

Emblem of KdF.
A KdF brochure.

Kraft durch Freude (German for Strength through Joy, abbreviated KdF) was a large state-operated National Socialism to the people, it soon became the world's largest tourism operator of the 1930s.[2]

KdF was supposed to bridge the class divide by making middle-class leisure activities available to the masses. This was underscored by having cruises with passengers of mixed classes and having them, regardless of social status, draw lots for allocation of cabins.[3]

Another less ideological goal was to boost the German economy by stimulating the Prora holiday resort, were never completed.


  • Activities 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Dancing and gymnastics in the KdF, 1933.

Starting in 1933, KdF provided affordable leisure activities such as concerts, plays, libraries, day trips and holidays.[1] Large ships, such as the

  • Leisure Time - Life in Nazi Germany 1933-9 (PDF) (from the website)
  • Kraft durch Freude (from the private website, research on the German armed forces 1918-1945)
  • Kraft durch Freude at Lebendiges Museum Online (German)

External links

  1. ^ a b Richard Grunberger, The 12-Year Reich, p 197, ISBN 0-03-076435-1
  2. ^ "Wellness unterm Hakenkreuz".  
  3. ^ Richard Grunberger, The 12-Year Reich, p 197-8, ISBN 0-03-076435-1
  4. ^ Mason, T.W., Social Policy in the Third Reich: The Working Class and the 'National Community'(Oxford: Berg. 1993), p. 160
  5. ^ Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp. 142f
  6. ^ Spode, Hasso, Some quantitative aspects of Kraft-durch-Freude-tourism. In: Dritsas, Margerita (ed.): European Tourism and Culture, Athens 2007, p.125
  7. ^ "Shown here, Goebbels at right" (JPG). 
  8. ^ Tooze, Adam (2006). The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9566-4.
  9. ^ Juergen Wagner. "The olympic cup". 


See also

1935 KdF pin depicting the Catholic St. Nikolaus Church in Pfronten, Allgäu

Feierabendgestaltung (English: After-work organization) was the "planned" structuring of daily leisure time within the KdF program, attempted by the

KdF was awarded the 1939 Olympic Cup by the International Olympic Committee.[9]

The KdF's most ambitious programme for German workers, "the people's car," was set up for production of an affordable car, the "Kdf-Wagen", which later became the Volkswagen Beetle (in German: Volkswagen Käfer). This was originally a project undertaken at Hitler's request by the car-maker Ferdinand Porsche. When the German car industry was unable to meet Hitler's demand that the Volkswagen be sold at 1,000 Reichsmarks or less, the project was taken over by the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF). Now working for the DAF, Porsche built a new Volkswagen factory at Fallersleben, at a huge cost which was partly met by raiding the DAF's accumulated assets and misappropriating the dues paid by DAF members. The Volkswagen was sold to German workers on an installment plan where buyers of the car made payments and posted stamps in a stamp-savings book, which when full, would be redeemed for the car. Due to the shift of wartime production, no consumer ever received a "Kdf-Wagen" (although after the war, Volkswagen did give some customers a 200 DM discount for their stamp-books). The entire project was financially unsound, and only the corruption and lack of accountability of the Nazi regime made it possible. The Beetle factory was primarily converted to produce the Kübelwagen (the German equivalent of the jeep). The few Beetles that were produced went to the diplomatic corps and military officials.[8]

The National Socialists sought to attract tourists from abroad, a task performed by Hermann Esser, one of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda's (German: Ministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda) secretaries. A series of multilingual and colorful brochures, titled "Deutschland", advertised Germany as a peaceful, idyllic, and progressive country, on one occasion even portraying the ministry's boss, Joseph Goebbels, grinning in an unlikely photo series of the Cologne carnival.[7]

At the outbreak of war, holiday travel was stopped. Until then KdF had sold more than 45 million package tours and excursions.[6] By 1939, it had over 7,000 paid employees and 135,000 voluntary workers, organized into divisions covering such areas as sport, education, and tourism, with wardens in every factory and workshop employing more than 20 people.

Two weeks after the Annexation, when SS-Gruppenführer Josef Bürckel became Reichskommissar für die Wiedervereinigung as well as Gauleiter, the first five trains with some 2,000 Austrian workers left for Passau, where they were ceremonially welcomed. While Bürckel announced that he did not expect all KdF travelers to return as National Socialists, he did expect them to look him in the eyes and say, "I tried hard to understand you."[5]


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.