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Saale bridge on the Reichsautobahn Berlin – Munich near Hirschberg

The Reichsautobahnen ( RAB ) were a network of expressways owned by the German Empire . The planning and construction began at the time of the Weimar Republic ; after the takeover of the Nazis in 1933, the expansion was accelerated. It was propagated by them as a measure against the mass unemployment that had prevailed since the Great Depression in 1930/31, but contrary to popular opinion, it had only marginal effects on its reduction. Furthermore promised to Nazi propaganda , the mobility of the targeted national community (see also KdF car ). The Reichsautobahnen and their extensive planning later formed a cornerstone for the federal motorway network in the Federal Republic of Germany and the motorway network in Austria .


Weimar Republic

The AVUS in Berlin is regarded as the first motorway-like expressway in Germany . The construction of the so-called "Automobile Traffic and Exercise Road" began in 1913. After the interruption of the work caused by the First World War , the line was opened to traffic in 1921. The main goals of this project were its use as a race track and various test purposes (including the use of bituminous road surfaces ). Today the AVUS is part of the A 115 .

The term Autobahn first appeared in a trade journal at the beginning of 1927; The creator is the civil engineer Robert Otzen , who was also chairman of the association for the preparation of the Hansestädte – Frankfurt – Basel ( HaFraBa ) road. This association began planning a road network reserved for automobile traffic as early as the 1920s . From 1928 onwards, HaFraBa also published a club newspaper with the trend-setting name Die Autobahn . In analogy to the railway , the expression should stand for the conceived road network. The considerations made in the German Reich to build efficient roads can only be understood in the context of the most diverse considerations that were then initiated in all European industrial countries. A motorway between Germany and Italy had been thought of as early as the 1920s. The term “Autobahn” was in use long before it was taken over by Nazi propaganda - just like the idea of ​​a Autobahn.

The first German motor vehicle road after the AVUS, which was planned as a pure motorway, is the route from Cologne (Wesseling junction) to Bonn , built from 1929 to 1932 , which was 18 kilometers long. When it was opened, a police ordinance was issued that prohibited the stopping or parking of vehicles. Traffic was completely restricted to motor vehicles. Motorcycles, carriages, bicycles and driving and driving animals were prohibited. The twelve-meter-wide carriageway was laid out with four lanes, and there was not yet a green median. Instead, the lanes were only separated from each other by a wide, solid line. The two-meter-wide banquets were kept just as bright as the regularly spaced guiding stones, the heads of which were painted black. Parts of the route were illuminated at night. The Cologne - Bonn motorway, which was completed under Adenauer, remained the only one that was built using municipal self-financing. The route led directly to the edge of the two cities that it connected, and there ended in a distributor. With a single additional driveway near Brühl, it only had limited access. At the time it was not planned to integrate this road into a Germany or Europe-wide motorway network.

The planning and construction took place under the leadership of the Rhenish Provincial Administration in Düsseldorf under the chairmanship of Governor Johannes Horion and with the support of the then Cologne Mayor Konrad Adenauer and his Bonn colleague Franz Wilhelm Lürken , who also inaugurated it together. Adenauer had played a leading role in planning the project, with particular emphasis on foreign policy factors that had their basis in the lost world war. In order to finance the route, a toll of five pfennigs per kilometer for passenger cars and ten pfennigs for trucks was levied. According to the original plans of the Rhine Province Administration as the competent authority, the same toll as on the Cologne − Bonn route should also be levied on the Cologne - Düsseldorf motorway, which has been planned since 1926. Opponents of the toll system - especially from the ministries - criticized it as a medieval road toll even before the construction of the route from Cologne to Bonn. The toll system that was widespread and hated in Germany at the time, known at the time as the “ Pflasterzoll ”, became an obstacle course for motorists in particular. In 1926, the Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft also resisted the project, which would be “at the expense of the general public”, since motorway traffic would be at the expense of the existing, underutilized rail connections. An expert opinion by the Stolberg Chamber of Commerce also found that the expected toll income had been estimated as too high and that the costs for the motorway project would not be amortized. Instead of building a new motorway, the Study Society for Automobile Road Construction (Stufa) and the ADAC should rather invest in the expansion of the existing road network. The IHK Essen agreed with this view. She, too, saw no difference between the motorway toll and the “medieval traffic-killing road tolls”. In their opinion, drivers were already heavily burdened by the vehicle tax and bridge payments.

The start of construction of further routes was delayed again and again due to the controversial financing and the global economic crisis . But when, on July 18, 1930, the fundraising process was to be resolved by a joint initiative by members of almost all parties, the NSDAP and KPD were missing . In addition, the Reichstag under Chancellor Heinrich Brüning was dissolved on this day of voting on the amendment ; it should not have a quorum again until 1933. In the following years some of the HaFraBa members, headed by General Director Willy Hof , explored the possibilities of financing motorway projects; In view of the political events, however, many members of HaFraBa turned their backs resignedly. Although the renewed application for a special permit was submitted by the ministries of the Reich government on January 21, 1933 , with the appointment of Hitler as Reich Chancellor on January 30, an era followed in which the plans to build a car-only road took on a new meaning. Hof had received detailed information from Adenauer about his Cologne-Bonn motorway project and in April 1933 suggested a motorway project for all of Germany to Hitler.

Between 1931 and 1933 the Opladen bypass motorway was built as a section of the Cologne – Düsseldorf motorway and put into operation on September 27, 1933. However, the opening act was no longer committed by Adenauer. The National Socialists had already removed him from office shortly after they came to power. In his place, this task was carried out by civil engineer Fritz Todt , who was interested in motorway construction and had been appointed "General Inspector for German Roads" by Hitler. The Cologne-Bonn route was downgraded by the new National Socialist government to Landstrasse 185 in February 1933, in order to subsequently proclaim the planned construction of the Frankfurt-Heidelberg route as the first motorway construction in the Reich. It was not until 1959 that the Cologne - Bonn expressway was reactivated as it was originally intended as a section of today's 555 federal motorway .

Selection of various early motorway projects (starting with planning):

Third Reich

1935 introduced Stander for members of the autobahns. Vehicles marked with the 20 cm × 35 cm stand were allowed to operate in the event of an air raid.
Reichsautobahn construction near Berlin, April 1936
RAB Berlin - Munich, Elbe and Mulden lowlands southeast of Dessau. For reasons of landscape protection , the old oaks - the landmark of the park-like meadow area - were preserved on the median, June 1939.

Several National Socialist sources exaggerated the highways built from 1933 as "unique in the world" and "a man's will that has become concrete". In many cases, some authors go crazy in praising Adolf Hitler as the “creator” of the autobahn. In fact - as NS sources also do not conceal - the Avus was opened in 1921 . In addition, Italy's highways were highlighted again and again and stated: "Italy has had highways for decades". Since 1924, the first Italian motorway link connected Milan with the northern Italian lakes. From the point of view of the German industry at the time, the Italian highways were repeatedly described as exemplary for the future and German travel guides praised the achievements of the Italian leader Benito Mussolini, visible from the Italian highways . As in many areas, when it comes to the public perception of motorways, National Socialism offers a half-baked picture between half-truths, lies and facts.

Following the example of the draining of the Pontine Marshes in Fascist Italy , the Nazi regime also sought an infrastructure program that was interesting for propaganda purposes. The so-called " East Prussia Plan " was soon reset in favor of building a Reichsautobahn network on the basis of existing plans.

On June 27, 1933, the Reich government passed a “law on the establishment of a company Reichsautobahnen ” on instructions from Hitler . Fritz Todt was appointed General Inspector for German Roads . He was responsible for the definition of the lines and the detailed planning. The Reichsautobahn itself was affiliated as a subsidiary of the Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft ; Julius Dorpmüller , the general director of the Reichsbahn, was also chairman of the board and head of the administrative board of the Reichsautobahnen.

Todt exaggerated the matter politically and said in 1937, among other things, with regard to the RAB: “That is why these buildings should not be intended for 1940, not even for 2000, but rather they should protrude like the domes of our past into the millennia of the future . ”Hitler did the same: he saw in“ his streets ”a“ monument of the millennial empire ”, a testimony to the“ immortality ”of his work, comparable to the pyramids of the pharaohs.

The inspector general used preliminary work by semi-private and now synchronized companies such as STUFA ( Study Society for Automobile Road Construction ) and HaFraBa ( Association for the preparation of the Hanseatic cities-Frankfurt-Basel road ), which had already started planning their own motorway in the 1920s. At the same time he ordered propaganda: "The Reichsautobahn as we are building them now are not to be regarded as prepared by the 'HAFRABA', but solely as 'The streets of Adolf Hitler'".

For the construction, 15 so-called Supreme Construction Management of the Reichsautobahn were set up, each taking over different sections. The supreme construction management in Berlin had its seat at Potsdamer Strasse 188 . The building erected in 1938/1939 as part of the redesign of Berlin to become the “ World Capital Germania ” based on designs by the architect Arthur Vogdt has been preserved to this day.

Aspects of landscape and nature conservation under the auspices of the Nazi regime played an important role in the construction and planning of the motorways. The landscape architect Alwin Seifert was assigned to the staff of the commissioner (later general inspector) for motorway construction, Todt, in 1933 and was appointed "Reichslandschaftsanwalt". Seifert, who became an influential advisor to Todt, gathered landscape architects , plant sociologists and conservationists around him, with whom he tried to implement his ideas. The plant sociologist Reinhold Tüxen was commissioned to map the area of ​​the future Reichsautobahn in a plant-sociological way based on Tüxen's construct of potential natural vegetation . This mapping should serve as a basis for natural planting, but also contain the parts of the landscape that are to be preserved and worthy of protection. The Nature Conservation Act was often used here in practice. In an agreement with Hermann Göring , who acted here in his role as Reichsforstmeister, Todt was given the opportunity to put under landscape protection on both sides of the motorways, on average around 200 meters each.

Hitler at the groundbreaking ceremony on September 23, 1933 Reichsautobahn the route Frankfurt / Main  - Darmstadt  - Mannheim , rear Gauleiter Jakob Sprenger , NSKK - Corps leader Adolf Hühnlein and the Inspector General for German Roads Fritz Todt

On September 23, 1933, Hitler sat in Frankfurt the groundbreaking ceremony for the first new route via Darmstadt and Mannheim to Heidelberg, the present ready for construction by 1932 HaFraBa plans was carried out. In October 1934, 1500 kilometers were already under construction (including Frankfurt - Heidelberg and Duisburg - Recklinghausen - Dortmund ), and a further 1200 kilometers had been approved for construction. On May 19, 1935, the section from Frankfurt am Main to Darmstadt was opened to traffic.

Some sections of the motorway were specifically designed as high-speed routes for record drives and car races (e.g. the Dessau race track on today's A9 ). During one of these record drives, racing driver Bernd Rosemeyer had a fatal accident on January 28, 1938 on the Frankfurt – Darmstadt motorway (now the A5 ) behind the Langen-Mörfelden motorway junction in the direction of Darmstadt. His Auto Union Type R (record car) was hit by a gust of wind at a speed of 429.491 km / h and carried off the road.

According to the original plan, the motorway network was to grow by 1000 kilometers per year, but this only succeeded in the years 1936 to 1938. At the beginning of the Second World War , 3300 kilometers of motorway had been completed. Since 1940 prisoners of war , prisoners from concentration camps and other forced laborers have also been used in the construction. Between 1941 and 1942 the construction work was almost completely stopped. From autumn 1943 on, motorways could even be used by cyclists because of the low level of vehicle traffic. Towards the end of the Second World War, the Reichsautobahn were also used as makeshift airfields by the German Air Force or, as on a section of the A 8 between Augsburg and Munich, as a parking space for recently completed aircraft (e.g. Me 262 ). These could then start work directly from the motorway. In the spring of 1945, the fully motorized western allied armed forces served the highways in western and central Germany as fast marching routes.

In 1949, the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany took over the former Reichsautobahn remaining on West German soil in federal property through Article 90 of the Basic Law .

RAB financing during the Nazi era

When Hitler announced the major project in 1933, it was unclear how the costs could be covered. The scope of the building, which he kept expanding, was not based on the available means even later. This was constantly expanded, especially after the incorporation of Austria and the Sudetenland.

Promissory note from the “Reichsautobahnen” company dated November 24, 1937

The Reichsbahn had to provide share capital of 50 million Reichsmarks for the organizationally affiliated project. In total, the RB contributed over three billion RM for the construction. The RB general director Dorpmüller became chairman of the board of directors and the board of directors of the RAB. The second pillar of the financing was a system of financing by means of bills of exchange designed under the direction of the RB. That is why a Reichsautobahnen -bedarfs -Gesellschaft mbH ( RABG ) was constructed as a subsidiary of the Deutsche Verkehrs-Kredit-Bank AG ( DVB Bank ), which simulated financial strength . The "Company Reichsautobahnen" obtained from the RABG a possibility to pay the accruing bills by issuing bills of exchange . These bills of exchange were discounted by DVB Bank and rediscounted by Reichsbank. This risky financing model resulted in loans totaling RM 600 million by 1936.

Although the Reich took over the guarantee for the financial liabilities, it was often necessary to struggle to obtain sufficient credit. Long-term financial planning was fundamentally impossible. The uncertain financial basis never impressed the supreme builder, Hitler, who stuck to his pace of construction progress, as this was the Reich's most important financing task in addition to ensuring military armament.

The Deutsche Reichsbank under its President Hjalmar Schacht withdrew in 1936 - despite Hitler's resistance - from the financing model via the exchange quotas. She no longer considered this to be financially responsible.

Since at the end of 1935 Reich Finance Minister Schwerin von Krosigk had already called for the "Reichsanstalt für Arbeitslosenvermittlung und Arbeitslosenversicherung" ( RAVAV ) to be more closely involved, this offered a financing solution . After fewer unemployment insurance contributions had to be paid as a result of the economic upturn at the time, this recorded surplus. For years now, the RAVAV provided the main part of the loan financing and contributed almost three quarters of all financial grants until the motorway construction was stopped. This corresponded to a total investment volume of around 60 percent. The total indebtedness of the "company RAB" to the unemployment insurance institution amounted to three and a half billion RM in the spring of 1943. Large parts of the insured's contributions to unemployment insurance were misappropriated, comparable to a hidden tax.

Although millions of grants flowed mainly from public institutions, this was not enough. Further sources of income were to be developed from motor transport itself without impairing the advancement of motorization in the empire. In mid-1936, an amendment to the transport tax was enacted which increased the taxation of commercial goods and passenger traffic. At the end of the year Hitler ordered an increase in the mineral oil tax and increased the petrol tariff. At the end of 1935, the levies on diesel and lubricating oil had already been increased. In 1936 a skilled worker had to pay around half his hourly wage - around 40 Reichspfennige - for a liter of petrol.

Armaments Minister Speer dissolved the "RAB Company" on September 18, 1944 and transferred it to the direct Reich administration. In principle, the already heavily indebted Reich had to answer for the company's mountain of debt. At the end of March 1945, liabilities of RM 4,564,670,000 had accumulated in connection with the RAB. The lost war saved the repayment.

Route length of the Reichsautobahn

Badge: 3000 RAB- Kilometers in the shape of a 3, in the Auckland War Memorial Museum New Zealand
  • End of 1935: 0108 km
  • End of 1936: 1087 km
  • End of 1937: 2010 km
  • End of 1938: 3,046 km
  • End of 1939: 3301 km
  • End of 1940: 3737 km
  • End of 1941: 3827 km
  • End of 1942: 3861 km
  • End of 1943: 3896 km

Myths and Motives

The “streets of the Führer” offered special propaganda opportunities. In contrast to other Nazi buildings, there were repeated laying of the foundation stone, groundbreaking, topping-out ceremonies and inauguration ceremonies. The ongoing state acts made it possible, on the one hand, to repeat the same phrases and, on the other hand, to propagate the Nazi policy adjustments to their current priorities. In autumn 1934 and spring 1935, the RAB was increasingly transfigured as a labor market project. In 1935 these strategies led to the fear that Hitler's largely covert rearmament would trigger appropriate countermeasures in France. The Nazi media then increasingly added the catchphrase “peace work” to the image of the RAB . The 1936 Summer Olympics also provided the opportunity to give the empire a modern look. The RAB should now also give a premonition of the alleged mass motorization in the Nazi Reich and advertise the "Fuehrer's Streets" as the most modern in Europe. When the internationality of the Reich had been extensively demonstrated with the Summer Games, one of the main themes - "Peace Work" - was changed into "Peace-loving Military Strength" and at the same time the topic of "Reich Unity" was added.

Highways for job creation

Overview of the workers directly involved in the construction 1933–1936

The Nazi propaganda presented the motorway construction as a central and visible job creation measure and linked it with other measures such as the KdF car savings program and the promise of future mass motorization. Part of the financing for the workforce came from unemployment benefits , as was the case with the “Kraftfahrstraße” Cologne – Bonn road that was inaugurated in 1932 . The expenditures for the motorway program in 1935 corresponded to around four percent of the total state investment, the armaments expenditures corresponded in contrast to around 24 percent. The effect on the number of unemployed was only marginal due to the relatively small number of directly employed workers. In 1934 around 85,000 workers were employed in the construction of the motorway; In 1936 a maximum number of 130,000 workers was reached. These numbers refute the legend of a rapid employment miracle. According to Hans-Ulrich Wehler , the stimulating effects of an “infectious dynamic” and Hitler's “evocative gesture” were more important than the actual economic policy , which in many cases still used impulses from the Weimar Republic.

The decline in unemployment in the early years of National Socialist rule came about in the course of a general economic recovery that had already started in 1932. The wage level between 1933 and 1939 remained consistently below that of 1929. In addition, there were tax and civil measures such as the continuation of investment programs of the Kurt von Schleicher government , the so-called Reinhardt programs , restrictions on female employment , the reintroduction of compulsory military service, the intensification of the The Reich Labor Service established as early as 1931 and, from 1935, the increasing armament of the Wehrmacht, largely financed with loans .

The legend that it was primarily thanks to the Reich Labor Service, which was used to build the Reichsautobahn, the rapid decline in unemployment in the Reich after Hitler came to power, is not true. There was only isolated construction work on the Reichsautobahns carried out by the Reich Labor Service. For example in the Frankfurt / Main area. However, clearing work for later RAB work in some areas of Germany was carried out by the RAD. In general, however, the labor service achieved less than 50 percent of the work performance of privately-run work.

The political scientist and journalist Wolf Oschlies describes the general reason for this as follows: “Anyone who [...] gathers large groups of people to work together in an economic predicament is confronted with an economic problem sui generis (of its own kind): the expenditure for organization, accommodation, transport, supply etc. will, if at all, only "pay off" as a countable income after a long time. Labor services are not worth it! So you will emphasize their secondary effects and emphasize their community-building, socially integrating, working, patriotic, etc. role. "

The RAB on War Preparation and Warfare

Hitler at the groundbreaking ceremony for
Austria's first autobahn at Walser Berg near Salzburg , behind him the General Inspector for German Roads Fritz Todt, April 7, 1938
Model of the entrance to the Reichsautobahn near Salzburg on the Reich border, designed by Albert Speer , 1936
Towards the end of the war , sections of the motorway became makeshift airfields for the Air Force

Whether or to what extent the motorway construction was inspired by the preparations for war is controversial. Friedelind Wagner , a granddaughter of Richard Wagner , mentioned in 1944 an alleged remark made by Hitler in 1936: "It was not easy to get my generals to let the new Reichsautobahn run via Bayreuth ." The National Socialists used the motive to create work to justify the Establishment of "Reichsautobahn". Scientists today disagree as to whether the motorway network was built for strategic reasons. The Army command had rejected before 1933 motorway construction. Even after 1933, there were doubts among the military about the strategic value of highways. The reasons for this were differing evaluations of the possible uses of motorized units and the production possibilities of the motor vehicle industry and air defense . From the point of view of air defense, concerns arose as to the extent to which the bright and clearly visible concrete runways would make it easier for bomber units flying in to find their way around the Reich.

From the very beginning, however, the National Socialists pursued strategic aspects in particular with the construction of the motorway. Eduard Schönleben characterized the content of the so-called “Brown Memorandum” on road construction and road administration from 1932 by Fritz Todt as follows: “The line and design are proposed according to military considerations.” In the National Socialist expansion plans, the possibility of faster troop transports, the creation of additional deployment routes, relieving the railway and carrying out the shifting of troops in camera. The Wehrmacht was therefore involved in every stage of the planning and construction of the motorways. The basic motorway network presented in September 1933 was coordinated with the military. Motorways or a motorway network can be viewed as a dual-use good: civil and military purposes are not mutually exclusive. When, for example, the Reich Office for Spatial Planning raised concerns about the order in which the motorway was being built in early 1937, it was stated in a transcript of a meeting between this office and Schönleben that urgent reasons, especially those of the Wehrmacht, took precedence over the idea of ​​expanding spatial planning . In addition, the order of the construction work was determined by Hitler according to military and national policy considerations. Important routes of great economic importance, such as Frankfurt (Main) - Nuremberg, Hamburg - Berlin, Bremen - Dortmund, Hamburg - Hanover - Göttingen - Würzburg and many others were behind routes such as Berlin - Frankfurt (Oder) in the implementation - Posen, Berlin - Stettin - Danzig - Koenigsberg, Breslau - Vienna , Bayreuth - Eger - Karlsbad, Stettin - Görlitz - Reichenberg, Falkenburg - Berlin and others, although from a transport point of view there was little need for a quick attack. In addition, planning groups had been working secretly in neighboring countries (Poland, ČSR, France, Austria, Denmark) on plans for the Reichsautobahn since 1934 and the planning groups immediately followed the units of the Wehrmacht. Strategically important routes such as Stettin - Bärwalde were also excluded from the construction cessation due to the war. On the contrary, prior to the attacks on Czechoslovakia and Poland, the completion of the Berlin - Forst and Berlin - Dresden routes was required.

Representatives of the opinion that the Reichsautobahn were not laid out for strategic reasons argue that the pavement of most sections of the route was too thin for heavy haulage and the substructure too loose. The construction was based on the traffic with passenger vehicles and the relatively light trucks compared to today . Only a few sections were designed for driving heavy military equipment. This is opposed, however, by the fact that, in contrast to the rest of the transport network of the time, with paving and thin asphalt pavements, the Reichsautobahn had concrete lanes of around 15 to 20 cm thick plus substructure . Todt wrote to von Stauss on January 21, 1938 that the motorways had to meet the requirements of “iron-tire traffic”. In addition, it is alleged that the regular operation of the Reichsautobahn, which was already in operation, showed that the allegedly permissible maximum gradient of eight percent overwhelmed the trucks of the time, so that the truck drivers would have avoided low-mountain highways if more favorable country roads were available as an alternative. In fact, the building instructions for Reichsautobahn stipulated a maximum gradient of 6.5 percent in the high mountains, six percent in the mountains, five percent in the hill country and four percent in the lowlands. This means that the permissible values ​​did not fully meet today's requirements. However, these gradients were not a problem for military vehicles. Cuts in the terrain, ditches or embankments were to be avoided in order, as Todt demanded in 1935, not to let the motorways become a mousetrap "from which not a single military vehicle can escape". Such routing principles inevitably led to longer uphill and downhill stretches.

As a further argument against the assumption of military-strategic motives in the construction of the autobahn, it is stated that the autobahns were not suitable for the relocation of larger units and that the associated infrastructure was insufficient for the transport of troops. Larger convoys would have blocked large areas of the motorways. The military continued to rely on the Reichsbahn . Proponents of the theory of strategic conception in the construction of the autobahn counter that the Reichsautobahn was not designed to compete with the railways, but rather as an additional transport route for the Wehrmacht. In addition, loading vehicles onto the train takes a considerable amount of time. In contrast to Freiherr von Braun, Wehrmacht General Heinz Guderian wrote in 1940: "On the Reichsautobahn, high average speeds can be achieved with complete sparing of man and machine, the number of accidents is low, overtaking and oncoming traffic can always be carried out effortlessly." "We already enjoyed the blessings of the Reichsautobahn on the liberation march to Vienna and then on the march against Czecho-Slovakia, against Poland and against the Western powers." This report may have been embellished for propaganda purposes. The autobahns were actually used for marches, for example during the occupation of the Rhineland in March 1936 or the attack on Poland, for which, with an instruction of August 18, 1939 for September of the year, “measures” were taken to enable warlike “ marches and marches ” Combat exercises of the motorized units ”were ordered.

It is undisputed on all sides that the real importance of the Reichsautobahnen for the Second World War decreased the further the front was from the German national borders.

It is generally accepted that the construction of the Reichsautobahn, in conjunction with other road construction projects and the abolition of the vehicle tax (on April 10, 1933), favored a growing level of motorization in Germany. The simultaneously accelerated construction of motor vehicles, which ultimately led to the highest growth rates in global motor vehicle production, should not necessarily serve to improve the traffic conditions, but the economic motorization should later enable rapid army motorization through their requisition . The Wehrmacht argued that a large number of vehicles in civilian motor transport would have a positive effect on the provision of motorized units when war broke out. The construction of the autobahn and the associated motorization of the economy were thus also indirectly part of the armament plan (see armament of the Wehrmacht ).

Situation of construction workers

Living space in the labor camp, around 1934
Common room in the labor camp, around 1934

Central to Hitler's ideas about the RAB project should be the catchphrase of a new “labor offensive”. This should be implemented from the beginning of 1934. The effect was that not only skilled workers were deployed on the RAB construction sites, but also mainly the unemployed. The so-called “labor battle” at the RAB was primarily aimed at employing long-term unemployed fathers from urban centers. Up until 1934, the "Company RAB" received basic funding from the "Reichsanstalt für Arbeitsvermittlung und Arbeitslosenversicherung" (RAfAuA) of two to three and a half RM per working day for every unemployed person it employed. The empire's 360 employment offices sent mostly unskilled workers to work at the RAB. Party members with an NSDAP membership number below 500,000 were preferred; Workers who came from agriculture were not allowed to be placed. It was about being able to employ as many unemployed people as possible. In the first two years of the RAB creation, special construction machinery was hardly used. Light railways were used and manual work was required. In addition, many special machines for the production of the RAB concrete ceilings were not yet developed or requested. The RAB workers had to do the physically demanding excavation work without an excavator and only with shovels and spades. Many - especially unskilled - were not up to the unusually hard toil in the long term. The number of accidents at work was very high. Statistically speaking, in the first five years of construction, one worker died on every sixth kilometer of the motorway. "Schipper's disease" was soon mentioned in connection with a particularly frequent occurrence of an accident. Thus, a rupture of the vertebral spinous processes at the neck and chest border was dubbed and, as the cause of the injury, coincided with the activities of the typical RAB worker. This injury pattern primarily affected the many poorly nourished people who were inexperienced in hard physical work, under unfavorable working conditions and constantly exposed to high stress. There was abandonment of the construction site or provoked dismissal. Those classified as unfit could expect a ban on all support for up to twelve weeks.

As early as 1933, the “ Beauty of Work ” office had submitted a draft of model barracks. The first model warehouse on the motorway on the Berlin - Stettin route was opened near Werbellin on December 16, 1934 by Todt and Robert Ley with great propaganda efforts. The German Labor Front (DAF) had invested two million RM in the construction of the model barracks for the RAB workers. However, workers' housing and food availability were generally poor. In the beginning, many of them were housed in stables, company barracks, abandoned factory buildings or even in the simplest of tents. In the heat and cold, these accommodations were usually more than inadequate. Often, long distances had to be covered to the locations - from 12 to 15 kilometers and up to three hours of travel time. In addition, there was poor wages, especially for those placed by the employment offices from urban areas. It was slightly higher than the unemployment benefit and usually only reached 60 percent of the corresponding metropolitan rates in structurally weak areas. Completely different from the unrestrained glorification of the RAB construction workers in the media, these employees soon spoke of a “path of hunger and misery”, among other things. At the end of autumn 1934, the RAB construction sites were no longer in demand, especially among the urban unemployed. Fights, disputes and sometimes excessive alcohol consumption increased in the RAB accommodation. The displeasure of the workers increased from 1934 and the behavior of individual groups towards construction management and camp administration became more and more provocative. “Heil Moscow!” Or “Red Front!” Became greetings and slogans such as “Heil our Führer, the people are getting more and more arid!” Or “The autobahn, it will kill us, we will vote red again tomorrow!” Spread.

Strikes at the NS flagship project

From March 1935 the RAB central office reproached the general inspector of the DAF that the RAB camps were developing into “breeding grounds for new communist activities”. The first work stoppages had already occurred at the RAB construction sites in March of the previous year. In addition, the situation at the Hamburg - Bremen road construction site had worsened in 1934, and on October 12, 1934, 380 employees had walked out on the Gyhum construction lot . This was one of the largest and most momentous strikes in the history of the Third Reich. The background was not only the complete physical and mental exhaustion of the workers, but there had also been a dispute with the Siemens-Bauunion about the payment of the food allowance. The construction manager set a deadline of half an hour for breaking off the strike. After the deadline had expired, General Inspector Todt had the camp and the village and the station there occupied by the gendarmerie and a detachment unit. A special train was organized to transport the strikers to a concentration camp . Under this threat, everyone was given the chance to sign up for a list of those willing to work by 6:00 p.m. 239 construction workers made use of it, the remaining 141 continued on strike and were deported to Berlin. There the Gestapo interrogated her , especially to find out about communist ringleaders. In the end, seven people remained in prison.

Fritz Todt and the other authorities agreed that a strike in the National Socialist state was unacceptable. In order to maintain work discipline, vigorous action should be taken.

Above all, the poor accommodation, food and pay from the Siemens construction union were responsible for the strike. Similar strike events occurred in the Bursinsee camp near Eberswalde. Six SA men took part in a solidarity strike near Göttingen and demanded the withdrawal of a worker’s dismissal without notice, which had been given due to insulting superiors. In November 1934, the payment of the daily allowance was stopped in Upper Franconia, whereupon numerous workers laid down their work tools and publicly chanted the International . For this reason, twenty of the instigators were taken to the central prison in Bayreuth by SA troops . In addition, workers in the Saar in East Prussia in the RAB camp Groß-Rödersdorf and also in Württemberg had temporary work stoppages with the aim of improving the social situation of the RAB workers.

The workers' movement organizations ( Social Democratic Party , KPD ), which had been forced into illegality, were only able to register the protests when they were powerless. Organizational structures in order to be able to influence conflict behavior directly had been eliminated by the Nazi state.

Strike precautionary measures

Standard barrack of a Reichsautobahn camp

In the Todt case, the displeasure of the RAB construction workers that had been discharged in this way could not have built up surprisingly. Inspection trips gave him an obvious picture of the poor conditions at the RAB workplaces. As a quick measure, he tried to isolate the motorway warehouse and construction sites from the public. From now on, visits should only be possible with the approval of Todt or the respective construction management. He also tried to influence employment offices in such a way that they only sent workers or SA people who were loyal to the line if possible, under no circumstances "insufficiently established or Marxist elements". At this point in time, the attractiveness of the RAB jobs had already dwindled among the SA people. It was increasingly important to ensure the motivation of the existing RAB construction teams. Todt boldly assured the "work comrades" that they would stand up for their concerns and provide proper accommodation and food. Now the leisure activities of the construction workers should be upgraded - a task of the DAF sub-organization “ Kraft durch Freude ” (KdF). In the evening, sound films were shown to the RAB workforce in the model camps, the Nazi band played and occasionally a comedian also appeared. In the fall of 1935, a traveling theater was also established. Thirty traveling libraries commuted between the RAB camps. Puzzle magazines, daily newspapers and the official edition of the magazine, the general inspector himself for the German road system, Die Strasse were made available. The propaganda volume " Feierabend an der Reichsautobahn " by Hans Schmodde from 1937 was also intended to consolidate a more harmonious image of the RAB construction sites from the outside and at the same time to conceal the continued poor working and living conditions in the RAB camps. As of December 13, 1934, the “Law on Accommodation in Buildings” obliged construction companies to provide suitable sleeping and lounging rooms. Kitchen, common and drying rooms as well as washrooms with running cold and warm water were prescribed in the accommodations.

Todt's half-hearted social policy measures could not improve the conditions for the bulk of the construction workers decisively. When there was talk of so-called “full employment” in 1936, labor was scarce - and the construction companies had to grant RAB workers higher wages. If you look closely, it was market-economy processes that brought about a slight improvement, at least in the financial situation of the RAB workers. In addition, the increasing mechanization of construction processes due to the increased use of construction machinery also played an at least partially positive role.

Political Resistance

There were isolated acts of resistance against the Nazi project. Ludwig Gehm and his comrades from the Frankfurt ISK caused a sensation with their "Autobahn Action" on May 19, 1935. Hitler intended to ceremoniously open the first section of the Autobahn between Frankfurt and Darmstadt. On the night before Sunday, the ISK , which had already been banned for a long time, had painted counter slogans on the roadway and on the bridges: "Hitler = war" or "Down with Hitler". In addition, some of the large speakers were made unusable. On the bridges the following morning, what was written on the Nazi side was covered with swastika flags, and the roadways were covered with sand. But the rain and the vehicles made the writing legible again. The Nazi propaganda film for the inauguration act later had to be cut in numerous places in order to keep the whole thing hidden. But in the " Reinhart Letter " of June 1935, printed illegally , it was made public that ISK members had managed to write counter slogans on the RAB system using chemicals that only became visible when exposed to light.

Gehm: "Some of the twelve huge devices simply transmitted nothing". The “drive” for this action was to show it “to those who were not in favor of the Nazis at all: that there are others”.

Route overview

Sections of the Reichsautobahn opened by 1942 (selection)
start of building Approval
from - to
(route) No.
motorway / expressway
September 23, 1933 May 19, 1935 Frankfurt am Main - Darmstadt 34 A 5
October 3, 1935 Darmstadt - Viernheim - Mannheim - Heidelberg 34 A 67 , A 6 , A 656
March 21, 1934 April 5, 1936 Braunschweig / West - Lehrte 4th A 2
April / May 1935 April 20, 1936 Halle - Leipzig 72 A 14
November 1, 1933 May 21, 1936 Cologne - Düsseldorf 5 A 3
March 21, 1934 in Oyten July 25, 1936 Bremen - Hamburg / Wilhelmsburg
(71 km section Bremen / Oyten - Dibbersen)
15th A 1
17th August 1936 Groß Kreutz / R 1 - Schermen / R 1 4th A 10 / A 2
17th August 1936 Helmstedt - Braunschweig / West 4th A 2
17th August 1936 Lehrte - Hanover / East 4th A 2
September 27, 1936 Berlin - Szczecin 54 A 11 ,
A6 (today Poland)
September 27, 1936 Wroclaw - Liegnitz 62 A4 (now Poland)
September 27, 1936 Frankfurt am Main - Giessen 30th A 5
September 27, 1936 Heidelberg - Karlsruhe 35 A 5
December 12, 1936 Düsseldorf - Oberhausen 6th A 3 / A 2
January 10, 1937 Schermen / R 1 - Helmstedt 4th A 2
May 13, 1937 Hamburg - Lübeck 18th A 1
September 13, 1934 June 20, 1937 Kassel - Göttingen 27 A 7
March 21, 1934 June 23, 1937 Dresden - Meerane 83 A 4
November 27, 1937 Bunzlau - Sagan 61 A18 and DK 18 (today Poland)
December 17, 1937 Oberhausen - Recklinghausen 1 A 2
1937 Berlin - Frankfurt (Oder) 58 A 12
May 1, 1938 Lübeck - Travemünde (Kücknitz) 18I A 1 / A 226
November 5, 1938 Berlin - Munich a 66/67/68/69 (total route) A 9
November 12, 1938 Recklinghausen - Gütersloh 1/2 A 2
December 10, 1938 Munich - Stuttgart - Karlsruhe 36/42/43 (total route) A 8
December 14, 1938 Hanover / East - Bad Nenndorf 2 A 2
December 15, 1938 Gütersloh - Herford / Bad Salzuflen 2 A 2
December 12, 1933 1938 Elbing - Koenigsberg 55 S22 (now Poland),
R516 (now Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
1938 Leonberg - Ludwigsburg / North (with Engelberg tunnel ) 39 A 81
August 18, 1939 Jena - Weimar 80 A 4
September 23, 1939 Frankfurt am Main - Limburg 31 A 3
September 23, 1939 Bad Nenndorf - Bad Salzuflen b 2 A 2
March 21, 1940 Ludwigsburg / North - Weinsberg 39 A 81
May 1, 1940 Leverkusen - Remscheid / Lennep 7th A 1
July 1, 1940 Dresden - Bautzen - Weissenberg 73 A 4
March 21, 1934 September 13, 1941 Munich - Salzburg ( Walserberg ) 47 A 8
  December 12, 1933 Reichsautobahn Berlin - Königsberg 54/55/93/56 (total route) A 11 ,
A6 , S22 (today Poland),
R516 (today Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia)
a Total distance
b single lane
RAB number 1938 RAB number 1942 Today's BAB number Section / course (based on 1942)
1 18th 1 Hamburg - Puttgarden (Fehmarn)
2 15th 1 Hamburg - Bremen
3 56 - Gdansk - Koenigsberg
4a, b 54, 55, 93 11.00 Berlin - Stettin, Stettin - Bärwalde, Bärwalde - (Polish Corridor) - Danzig
5 1, 2 2 Oberhausen - Dortmund, Dortmund - Hanover
6th 3, 4 2 Hanover - Magdeburg, Magdeburg - Berliner Ring
7a, b, c 48, 49, 50, 51 10 Berlin Ring
8th 58 12 Berliner Ring - Frankfurt (Oder)
9 60, 61, 62 13, 15, - Berliner Ring - Forst (Baršć), Forst - Liegnitz, Liegnitz - Wroclaw
10 6th 3 Oberhausen - Cologne
11 28 7th Hanover - Hersfeld
12 29, 30 5 Hersfeld - Giessen, Giessen - Frankfurt (Main)
13 66 9 Berliner Ring - Leipzig
14th 23, 72 14th Magdeburg - Leipzig, Leipzig - Dresden
15th 65 13 Lübbenau - Dresden
16 67, 68 9 Leipzig - Bayreuth, Bayreuth - Nuremberg
17th 81, 79, 80 4th Hersfeld - Eisenach, Eisenach - Erfurt, Erfurt - Gera
18th 80, 83 4th Gera - Chemnitz, Chemnitz - Dresden
19th 73 4th Dresden - Görlitz
20th 84 72 Hof - Chemnitz
21st 31 3 Cologne - Frankfurt (Main)
22nd 34, 35, 94 5, 67, 656, 5 Frankfurt (Main) - Mannheim / Heidelberg, Mannheim / Heidelberg - Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe - Basel
23 38 6th Kaiserslautern - Mannheim
24 36 8th Karlsruhe - Stuttgart
25th 40, 39, 44, 45 81, B 27 Würzburg - Heilbronn, Heilbronn - Stuttgart, Stuttgart - Oberndorf, Oberndorf - Donaueschingen
25a 76 B 31, 98 Donaueschingen - Lindau
29 63, 64 - Breslau - Gliwice, Gliwice - Bytom

Connection points

Reichsautobahn with two KdF cars at the Lehnin junction (today's BAB 2)

Junction points (at the beginning also called “Autobahnhöfe”) were created at a distance of about 15 to 20 kilometers from one another and were intended to connect the Reichsautobahn with the existing infrastructure around larger cities or places with economic or tourist relevance. They were designed in three classes (first, second and third class junctions).

The first and second class junctions were most often built as symmetrically as possible with 100 meter long acceleration and deceleration lanes in both directions. Subsequently, both strips were led together to the feeder road, which crossed with the motorway by means of an overpass or underpass structure (" half clover "). A special feature were the connections between the deceleration and acceleration lanes running parallel to the motorway. On the right edge of the “connecting triangle”, bus / stopping bays, sometimes gas stations and rest areas, were built as a rule. The first and second class junctions only differed in terms of the curve radii and gradients in the connecting ramps.

The third-class junctions were often referred to as "construction ramps" and ended directly on the motorway without any acceleration or deceleration lanes. This design was chosen when only small amounts of traffic were to be expected or the local conditions prevented a more complex structure. During the construction phases, they were used to transport materials or to divert traffic from the end of an as yet unfinished route onto alternative roads. However, in order to maintain traffic safety, the clarity of the affected motorway section had to be guaranteed. Around 1970 there were still two unilateral junctions on the Bad Hersfeld - Obersuhl route for access and exit in both directions (near Hönebach and Sorga), and the through traffic was crossed.

Connections with special traffic significance were also planned in the dimensions of a motorway junction, for example a roundabout with construction costs of half a million Reichsmarks was planned for the connection point “Chemnitz-Süd” of route 84 (today's federal motorway 72 ) . The connection was then implemented as a clover leaf , which is still preserved today.


Fuel supply

Gas station on a Reichsautobahn, 1938/1939

Reichsautobahn-Fuel GmbH was founded in Berlin to supply fuel along the German Reichsautobahn . It had the sales monopoly on 500 meters width on both sides of the motorway. It sold the fuel obtained from the mineral oil companies unbranded as Reichsautobahn gasoline and Reichsautobahn mixture .

Unfinished routes

Line 46 Fulda - Würzburg When the line was rebuilt after the Second World War, a different route was chosen. On the old route there are almost a dozen unfinished structures, most of them in the forest. In Rupboden , a district road crosses the tree-covered route, which is still clearly visible today ( 50 ° 15 ′ 59.2 ″  N , 9 ° 42 ′ 47.5 ″  E ). Near Gräfendorf , an unfinished pillar now serves as a climbing rock for alpinists ( 50 ° 6 ′ 35.7 ″  N , 9 ° 43 ′ 35.1 ″  E ). Although protected as a monument, apart from signs against property damage, there is still no commemorative plaque to commemorate the Reichsautobahn route that ended in ruins and was completely displaced for many years.

Motorway bridge south of
Maribo (Denmark) with granite stone facing

Route 145 During the German occupation of Denmark ,earthworks for a Reichsautobahn “route 145” beganfrom the ferry port Rødbyhavn to Majbølle on Guldborgsund in September 1941. Some bridges crossing it are still in use today. This motorway was completed in the 1950s and has been part of Europastraße 47 ( Vogelfluglinie )since 1963.

Route 24 Hamburg - Hanover It built on the plans of the HaFraBa association. However, further construction of themotorway construction site set upduring the Nazi era was not pursued for a longer section after the war: the route between Hamburg and Hanover was not as planned between Schwarmstedt and Buchholzafter the war, eastwards past Negenborn in a south-south-west direction to become today's A 2continuedat Garbsen , but rather as the A 7 traversed eastwards past Hanover.

Line 85 Eisenach - Bamberg Along the federal highway 19 between Eisenach and Meiningen there are still some remains of the planned and already under construction " Line 85 " Eisenach - Bamberg . At Fambach , the abutments for the motorway bridges have been preserved to this day and the new bypasses for Barchfeld and Breitungen are completely on the old route, which was already completed over a length of around ten kilometers down to the road surface. The construction work was stopped after the start of the war andnot resumedafter the war because of the division of Germany . A section was only completed between Meiningen and Wasungen and is used as the B 19.

Route 77 Hamm - Kassel The triangle southeast of the town of Osttünnen was completed, with the bridge over the A 2 being demolished as part of the six-lane expansion, as well as overpasses and underpasses over a length of around 7.7 kilometers. The buildings were no longer used after the war.

Route 138 Vienna - Wroclaw A special project was the " Reichsautobahn Wien - Breslau ", "Route 138", which was planned by the important road construction engineer Hans Lorenz and the landscape architect Friedrich Schaub by the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and partially built from 1939 to 1942. It has been excellently documented by the extensive research carried out by Tomas Janda from the RSD in the Czech Republic and is one of the largest motorway ruins.

Route 53 Dernbacher Dreieck - Koblenz - Trier 26 bridges, 13.6 km of carriageway and extensive earthworks were completed. This preparatory work was used on the route to Wittlich after the end of the war for further expansion. The section Kaisersesch - Wittlich was passable as federal road 408 , the Vulkaneifel motorway triangle was initially unfinished. Today the federal motorway 48 and the A1 run on this route.

Sudetenautobahn Zittau - Reichenberg - Eger - Bayreuth The planning of a motorway through the northern Sudetenland began immediately after the integration of the area into the German Reich in October 1938. The construction of the line had started between Zittau and Reichenberg and near Eger, without any sections until the end of the war have been put into operation. Near Reichenberg (today: Liberec) parts of the route are now developed as the Silnice I / 13 expressway , and near Eger (today: Cheb) as the Dálnice 6 motorway .


Oldest to May 2015 existing highway bridge on the HaFraBa - highway on the A 67 at Pfungstadt 1934
The Munich-West motorway maintenance facility on the Stuttgart-Munich motorway in Munich-Obermenzing, completed in 1940

From 1944 onwards, RAB systems became more and more targets of Allied attacks. The largest suspension bridge in Europe, over the Rhine near Cologne-Rodenkirchen , for example, was hit by bombs several times and collapsed on January 28, 1945. The road service of the RAB road maintenance service was given up at the end of January 1945.

On March 19, 1945, Hitler gave the order to destroy all infrastructure in the Wehrmacht's inevitable withdrawal operations. A large number of RAB large bridges and RAB valley crossings were also blown up. Previously, high-ranking Nazi functionaries had been able to use the still functioning RAB sections to break away. Sections of the nearly four thousand kilometers of the completed RAB route were increasingly crushed by advancing tank columns.

The majority of the RAB network survived the war with limited functionality. In the time that followed, it formed an indispensable infrastructural basis for the reconstruction and economic rise of the Federal Republic of Germany. In Austria, the advanced RAB plans in particular were an initial basis for the gradual creation of a high-level road network after the end of the war.

After the mass motorization that the population had hoped for had actually set in in the 1950s, the highways were able to fulfill their transport policy purpose. They became an important mode of transport in a developing industrial and leisure society. Swastikas and other Nazi relics were dismantled or chiseled away from bridge pillars. Only structural features refer to RAB structures. Occasionally, bridge fragments or routing for never completed or unused motorway routes can be found in the landscape.

The Polish Autostrada 18 still shows the concrete pavement of the Reichsautobahn 9 Berlin – Breslau on a section of the southern carriageway.

As the most lasting remnant of the "Reichsautobahnen enterprise" can be seen its legends, which continue to this day, although Hitler generally failed in the implementation of his goals. The myths sprinkled with Nazi propaganda have reverberated up to this day and developed a life of their own.


  • Reichsautobahn. Documentary, black and white, by Hartmut Bitomsky (Germany, 1985).
  • The myth of the Autobahn. Documentary, Series: Facts and Legends. By HG Abmayer (SDR, 1997).
  • An american dream. The German Autobahn. Documentary, by Henry Schipper (ZDFinfo, 2011).
  • Streets of the Past - The Reichsautobahn 1933 to 1945. Documentary, by Dirk Alt (Polar-Film, 2013)


  • Wolfgang Benz , Hermann Graml , Hermann Weiss (eds.): Encyclopedia of National Socialism. Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-33007-4 .
  • Christian Hoebel: The history of motorway construction in the German Reich between 1933 and 1945. An overview for Westphalia. In: Preservation of monuments in Westphalia-Lippe. Issue 2/11. Transport monuments in the 19th and 20th centuries. P. 57 ff. ( PDF ).
  • Kurt Kaftan: The fight for the highways. History and development of the autobahn concept in Germany from 1907–1935, taking into account similar plans and efforts in the rest of Europe. Wigankow, Berlin 1955.
  • Friedrich Kittler : Auto Railways. In: kultuRRevolution. Vol. 3, H. 5, 1984, ISSN  0723-8088 , pp. 44-46.
  • Joachim Kleinmanns: Great, full! A brief cultural history of the gas station. Jonas Verlag, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-89445-297-8 .
  • Bertram Kurz: Reichsautobahn in Central Germany. Chemnitz 2014, ISBN 978-3-00-048180-2 .
  • Karl Lärmer: Motorway construction in Germany 1933 to 1945. On the background (=  research on economic history . Volume 6 ). Akademie-Verlag, 1975, ISSN  0138-5100 , DNB  750476516 .
  • Peter Liptau: The city entrances of the Reichsautobahn. Master's thesis at the State University for Design Karlsruhe, 2013.
  • Peter Norden: Company Autobahn. The adventurous development into the most modern transport network in Europe. Hestia-Verlag, Bayreuth 1983, ISBN 3-7770-0264-X .
  • Hermann Rafetseder: Motorway construction - different facets of forced labor in a special prestige project . In: Hermann Rafetseder (Ed.): NS-Zwangsarbeits-Schicksale. Findings on manifestations of the oppression and on the Nazi camp system from the work of the Austrian Reconciliation Fund. A documentation on behalf of the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria . Linz 2014, ISBN 978-3-944690-28-5 , pp. 356–361 ( online (PDF) in the forum - corrected print version of a text that remained unpublished in 2007 for data protection reasons).
  • Charlotte Reitsam: Reichsautobahn in the field of tension between nature and technology. International and interdisciplinary links. Technical University of Munich - Faculty of Architecture, Munich 2006 (Habilitation thesis 2004, PDF; 9.92 MB ).
  • Charlotte Reitsam: Reichsautobahn landscapes in the field of tension between nature and technology. Transatlantic and interdisciplinary links. VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, Saarbrücken 2008, ISBN 978-3-639-08556-3 .
  • Erhard Schütz , Eckhard Gruber: Myth Reichsautobahn. Construction and staging of the “streets of the Führer”. 1933-1941. Links, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-86153-117-8 .
  • Benjamin Steininger: Space-Machine Reichsautobahn. On the dynamics of a known / unknown building. Kulturverlag Kadmos, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-86599-002-9 ( Kaleidograms 2).
  • Dieter Stockmann: Route 46. The forgotten motorway. (NaturPark Spessart). 3rd revised and supplemented edition, self-published, Veitshöchheim 2007, ISBN 978-3-9811192-0-6 .
  • Rainer Stommer (Ed.): Reichsautobahn. Pyramids of the Third Reich. Analysis of the aesthetics of an unresolved myth. Jonas Verlag, Marburg 1982, ISBN 3-922561-12-8 (3rd edition, ibid 1995).
  • Waldemar Wucher (editor): Five years of work on the streets of the Führer . Ed .: General Inspector for German Roads. Volk und Reich Verlag, Berlin 1938 (96 pages).

Web links

Commons : Reichsautobahnen  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Michael Matzke: "The streets of Adolf Hitler" - Reichsautobahnen 1933–1941. (PDF, 11.398 kB) Diploma thesis. University of Vienna , October 2008, accessed on June 16, 2012 (diploma thesis, major in history).
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  4. ^ Richard Vahrenkamp : The logistic revolution. The rise of logistics in the mass consumer society. Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-593-39215-8 , p. 194.
  5. a b c Kurt Kaftan: The battle for the highways. History of the motorways in Germany 1907–1935 . Berlin 1955. DNB 452290414
  6. ^ Richard Vahrenkamp: The logistic revolution. The rise of logistics in the mass consumer society. Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-593-39215-8 , p. 175.
  7. ^ Richard Vahrenkamp: The logistic revolution. The rise of logistics in the mass consumer society. Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-593-39215-8 , p. 184.
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  9. ^ Richard Vahrenkamp: The logistic revolution. The rise of logistics in the mass consumer society. Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-593-39215-8 , p. 191.
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  • Karl Lärmer: Motorway construction in Germany 1933 to 1945. On the background (=  research on economic history . Volume 6 ). Akademie-Verlag, 1975, ISSN  0138-5100 , DNB  750476516 .
  1. p. 113 ff.
  2. p. 119
  3. a b c p. 121
  4. p. 122
  5. p. 88
  6. P. 99-105 with further references.
  7. P. 133 fmw N.
  8. p. 132 mw N.
  9. p. 138 mw N.
  10. p. 140 mw N.
  11. a b p. 137
  12. p. 135 mw N.