Feature documentary to tell the story of the Jewish inventor behind Hitler’s favourite car.

It was Adolf Hitler’s favourite motor car - and now the tragicomic story of the inventor behind the Volkswagen is to be told on screen in a new feature documentary announced during Berlin’s European Film Market (Feb 5-13).

How I Invented The Volkswagen (working title) is produced by Submarine, the Dutch production outfit behind Peter Greenaway’s Berlinale competition entry, Eisenstein in Guanajuato, sold by Films Boutique.

The project, which will be directed by Suzanne Raes (The Rainbow Warriors of Waiheke Island), has already received support from the Netherlands Film Fund.

The car was the brainchild of the Jewish engineer Josef Ganz, the eccentric editor-in-chief of the controversial but hugely influential trade journal Motor-Kritik. He first appeared in a revolutionary tiny car in 1932.

Ganz presented the car at a fair in 1933 where it was seen by Adolf Hitler, who has recently become German Chancellor. Hitler dreamed of a new affordable car for the masses and he felt Ganz’s new vehicle fitted the bill. As Hitler commandeered the design, Ganz ended up being written out of history. He was arrested by the Gestapo in the summer of 1933 snd was eventually forced to flee Germany.

The film is based on the book, The Extraordinary Life of Josef Ganz: The Jewish Engineer Behind Hitler’s Volkswagen by Paul Schilperoord.

Submarine’s Femke Wolting was at the EFM, talking to potential funders.