The Terrifying Power of a Single Book

Brendan Simms at Literary Hub:

Incarceration gave Hitler a chance to read more widely and gather his thoughts. One of his main preoccupations in Landsberg was the United States, which he was coming to regard as the model state and society, perhaps even more so than the British Empire. He “devoured” the memoirs of a returned German emigrant to the United States. “One should take America as a model,” he proclaimed.

Hess wrote that Hitler was captivated by Henry Ford’s methods of production which made automobiles available to the “broad mass” of the people. This appears to have been the genesis of the Volkswagen. Hitler envisaged that the automobile would further serve as “the small man’s means of transport into nature—as in America.” He also planned to apply methods of mass production to housing, and experimented with designs for a Volkshaus for families with three to five children which would have five rooms and a bathroom with a garage in large terraced settlements.

more here.