by Albert Mroz Few would argue that Daimler-Benz is one of the most prominent and highly regarded motor vehicle manufacturers in automotive history. Its founders, Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz, long have been recognized as pioneer inventors of the gasoline-powered motor vehicle, first developed in 1886. But as the modern transportation industry quickly evolved in Europe after World War I, the company that would become Daimler-Benz and build vehicles named Mercedes-Benz found itself hijacked by a radical new political movement, one that exploited the company’s excellence in engineering and manufacturing. As it did with so much of German industry, the Nazi regime would take advantage of the automaker for its own brutal and aggressive agenda. Cameras in the Nazi era focused on numerous motor vehicles produced in Germany during those troubled times. The fascist fervor leading to World War II invited much media attention. Countless pictures of Adolf Hitler giving the Nazi salute while standing in one of his Mercedes-Benz vehicles still survive, providing a glimpse of both engineering excellence and political dysfunction that co-existed at the time. The Height of German Engineering Among the luxuries Hitler enjoyed as head of the Nazi Party were the best cars that Germany could produce. Those cars happened to be Mercedes-Benzes, some of the finest and best-designed automobiles in the world. The affiliation between Hitler and the auto manufacturer would span the better part o


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