We have almost had the Jubilee of Liberation and 75 years of no war. And in that year we heard a lot of stories and saw classics with a war past. But what is the chance that the wife of 'Reich Commissioner' Seys Inquart drove around in a Beetle from 1940 sometime between 1945-1948?
Beetle or monkey sandwich?
When Eef Peeters, not related to our employee Dolf Peeters, owner of the Arnhem War Museum 40-45 in Zeeland, bumped into the car of - according to say and according to various papers - the wife of the former Reich Commissioner Arthur Seyss Inquart, he thought gold for his museum found. It turned out to be silver. Or bronze. Or according to some critical minds the bad buy of the century, the JSF disregarded for a moment. After some research, the Beetle is not one between 40-45, but most likely dated from 1948-1950. But details such as the 'war lamp' on the front screen, the KDF wheel covers and the steel. footboard for the passenger, the off-road tires make the VW look 'real'. The luggage rack on the roof also seems original. According to the documentation, the car belonged to Gertrud Seyss Inquart. In any case, the 'militarized' spectacle beetle must in any case have lived an adventurous life. It looks exactly like a very rare Type 82E 4WD or a Kommandeurswagen T 87.
The KdF T87
These were usually 4WD vehicles that were built on the chassis of 'Kübelwagen' in the period when Frau Seyss Inquart should have driven this copy. The Typ 82 E was a beetle carriage on the off-road chassis of the VW Typ 82, the 'Kübelwagen'. Only the Typ 82 E had no 4WD. The Typ 87 did have 4WD. Those T 82 E models and T 87s are now untraceable or unaffordable. Oh yes: There have also been some T92s.
An authentic historical find at the bakery in Burg Haamstede in Zeeland.
The Netherlands is teeming with hidden treasures. Or is it: "If something seems too good to be true, then it is usually not true." And why the Beetle has lived in Zeeland for so long? "Us Zeeuwen are bummed." And that refers to being careful with things. Because when it comes to enjoying the good life, Zeelanders are not 'silly', but rather Burgundian. The car would have ended up in Zeeland through all kinds of wanderings and the owners (apparently of Brabant origin, and not Zeelanders *) would have had no knowledge of, no interest or time for old cars. The idea was to use 'the trolley' as an attention grabber for the store. Just until it would have rusted away. An extra exciting detail: German tourists are said to have thrown all kinds of war ghosts into the car over the years. Boots. Documentation. Militaria ...
A kind of pilgrimage site
According to the stories, the Beetle was a kind of pilgrimage site for German tourists who remembered 40-45 well. According to other stories, the Brabant / Zeeland owners of the spectacled beetle were not that open-minded. They would - once as club members of the Air-cooled Volkswagen Club - have 'converted' more old beetles into 'Kriegs Käfer'. And that seems more a possibility in this case than that the VW really belonged to Frau Seys Inquart. But whether he has roots in the time when the phenomenon was not even called 'Volkswagen', but KdF (Kraft durch Freude, the Nazi political movement that was supposed to structure free time in Nazi Germany)? But museum owner Eef Peeters was told exactly what he wanted at the VW. There were even 'war number plates' with swastikas filed down in the car. How real do you want it?
The Zeeland baker seemed honest, by the way. He told the story as he knew it. Upon hearing the preliminary facts behind the find, he immediately stated that he wanted to cancel the purchase. Eef Peeters did not accept that neat offer. After all, the car had in any case belonged to Gertrud Seyss Inquart and the spectacle beetle has brought quite a few extra visitors on the trail of the museum 40-45.
Broad in the media
Because 'de Vondst' buzzed through the media nationwide. The regional newspaper De Gelderlander first delivered the news jubilant and broadloom. And later said goodbye to the story with another article and a sour editorial. By the way, what says a lot about the current media is that the name of the museum owner was spelled 'Peters' instead of 'Peeters' in 90% of the cases. That the museum owner was 'blamed' for the deception was a bit silly. The story was substantiated undermined. In England they would smile with their tongue in the cheek: "Never spoil a good story by telling the truth." But that museum owner had received more publicity than he could have paid for advertising space in his entire life. Until the Telegraaf. So his purchase was a great purchase.
And let's all hope for another 75 years of peace