2. Group
  3. History

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Corporate Archives

The Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft Corporate Archives, which contain a comprehensive store of documents, represent the Group’s collective memory.

Customers and employees the world over can identify with Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft through its history. The Corporate Archives in Wolfsburg provide the tools for this journey of discovery. The archives only store documents of genuine significance, and make them available for research and other uses. Almost five kilometres of files, nearly a million photos, 1,800 films, 70,000 publications and 15,000 drawings as well as digital data are housed in the archives. This material is the starting point for writing history and the foundation for legal authentication. It is the source of answers to questions on the history of Volkswagen, its products, plants and employees. Access to the documents in the Corporate Archives released for public use is possible by prior arrangement.

Place of Remembrance

The “Place of Remembrance of Forced Labour in the Volkswagen Factory” provides information on forced labour and arms production at the Volkswagen plant during the war.

The “Place of Remembrance of Forced Labour in the Volkswagen Factory” is a permanent exhibition, opened in 1999 and housed in a former air raid bunker at the plant in Wolfsburg. The documents, photos, eye witness accounts and items loaned by victims convey a detailed insight into the scale of forced labour and the extent of the company’s involvement in the National Socialist war economy. The exhibition is divided into six rooms. Room 1 contrasts the socio-utopian dream of mass motorisation with the beginnings of forced labour in the Volkswagen plant at that time. The expansion of arms production and the systematisation of forced labour are documented in Room 2. Room 3 is devoted to the topic of concentration camp prisoners. The decentralisation of arms production and its relocation to underground facilities in 1944/45 is dealt with in Room 4, with special attention given to the liberation of the forced labourers. Room 5 is dedicated to remembrance: eye witness accounts are presented in lightboxes and you can listen to recordings at the audio station. Room 6 analyses the company’s history during the National Socialist period. The exhibition can be visited by prior arrangement.

A catalogue on the exhibition is available as a book in German or English. It can also be downloaded for free.

Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft
Heritage / Volkswagen Communication
Brieffach 1922
38436 Wolfsburg
Email: history@volkswagen.de


A wide range of publications, including audio books and a DVD, highlight the many facets of the history of the Volkswagen Group.

Volkswagen examines a wide range of aspects of its corporate history in numerous publications. For instance, the “Historical Notes” (Historische Notate – HN) series includes eye witness accounts of former forced labourers and publications on the post-war period as well as on various topics relating to the company’s history. The regularly updated Chronicle is also published here in print.

Scientific presentations on various themes relating to the Group’s history are published in a series entitled “Research, Positions, Documents” (Forschungen Positionen Dokumente – FPD). The history of legendary Volkswagen models as well as individual divisions are frequently highlighted in no particular order and separately from the series.

In addition to the printed books, audio books and a DVD have also been released.

The publications are available in German and some in English as well. They are available as books and can also be downloaded for free.

Historical Study: "VW do Brasil in the Brazilian Military Dictatorship 1964 -1985"

On December 14th, 2017 Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft presented in Brasil an independent study by historian Christopher Kopper titled "VW do Brasil in the Brazilian Military Dictatorship 1964 -1985". The study is published in German, English and Portuguese.

PDF Downloads

Historical Notes

  • Volume 9: From the Beetle to a Global Player

    From the Beetle to a Global Player.
    Volkwagen Chronicle

    ISBN 978-3-5112-25-3

    Download PDF

  • Volume 8: Changing Lanes Under British Command

    Markus Lupa

    Changing Lanes Under British Command.
    The Transformation of Volkswagen from a Factory into a Commercial Enterprise, 1945 - 1949

    ISBN 978-3-935112-44-4

    Downlod PDF

  • Volume 7: Volkswagen Chronicle

    Volkswagen Chronicle.
    Becoming a Global Player

    ISBN 978-3-935112-11-6
    (Out of print)

    Download PDF

  • Volume 6: Volkswagen Financial Services AG

    Volkswagen Financial Services AG.
    Bank, Leasing, Insurance – A Chronicle of 60 Years of Financial Services

    ISBN 978-3-935112-38-3
    (Out of print)

    Download PDF

  • Volume 5: Work Exhibition 1

    Manfred Grieger/Dirk Schlinkert

    Work Exhibition 1.
    Images from the Volkswagen Photo Centre 1948 - 1974

    ISBN 978-3-935112-26-0

    Download PDF

  • Volume 4: Ivan Hirst

    Ralf Richter

    Ivan Hirst.
    British Officer and Manager of Volkswagen’s Postwar Recovery

    ISBN 978-3-935112-13-0

    Download PDF

  • Volume 3: Surviving in Fear

    Surviving in Fear.
    Four Jews Describe Their Time at the Volkswagen Factory from 1943 to 1945

    ISBN 978-3-935112-22-2

    Download PDF

  • Volume 2: The British and Their Works

    Markus Lupa

    The British and Their Works.
    The Volkswagenwerk and the Occupying Power 1945 - 1949

    ISBN 978-3-935112-05-5
    (Out of print)

    Download PDF

  • Volume 1: Learning from History

    Klaus Kocks/Hans-Jürgen Uhl

    Learning from History.
    Comments on Efforts by Volkswagen’s Workforce, Labor Representatives, Executives, and Corporate Management to Come to Terms with the Issue of Forced Labor During the Third Reich

    ISBN 978-3-93511215-4
    (Out of print)

    Download PDF

  • Catalogue: Place of Remembrance of Forced Labor in the Volkswagen Factory

    Place of Remembrance of Forced Labor in the Volkswagen Factory

    ISBN 978-3-935112-08-6

    Download PDF

Research, Positions, Documents

  • Volume 3: Towards Mobility

    Towards Mobility.
    Varieties of Automobilism in East and West

    ISBN 3-935112-34-5

    Download PDF

Model histories

  • 25.000.000 Golf

    Golf Barren
    25 000 000 Golf

    ISBN 978-3-935112-29-1

    Download PDF

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