“Life is movement, movement is life!” Mobility politics and the circulatory state in Nazi Germany

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EVEN AS THE NAZI PARTY worked feverishly to centralize power and eliminate checks on the authority of Adolf Hitler after his appointment to chancellor on January 30, 1933, the Führer made time in his schedule to deliver a speech on February 11 to commemorate the opening of the German Automobile and Motorcycle Exhibition in Berlin. Dr. Robert Allmers, the president of the German Automobile Industry Association, preceded Hitler at the podium. Allmers traced the history of the German automobile industry, highlighting its collapse after World War I, when German manufacturers were “backward” and “isolated from the world” and Germany lagged France, Britain, and the United States in automobile ownership. He told his audience of party officials, industry insiders, and automobile enthusiasts that revitalizing the German automobile industry was a matter of national pride and economic necessity, declaring, “Life is movement, movement is life!” 1 Although Allmers did not dwell on the implications of this statement, Hitler's subsequent speech demonstrated that it was not merely a pithy catchphrase meant to jumpstart German automobile manufacturing. It was a veritable mission statement for the Nazi New Order.




Denning, A. (2018, December 1). “Life is movement, movement is life!” Mobility politics and the circulatory state in Nazi Germany. American Historical Review. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/rhy201

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