U-Boat Watch history
U-Boat? The Unterseeboot responsible for sinking untold allied ships during World War II, costing many lives and so impressing Winston Churchill that he said, "The only thing that really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril"? That U-boat? Yes, apparently. And that raises another question: Who would buy, not to mention wear, a watch named after a killer sub that, while used in World War I, really earned its rep in World War II as a fighter on the side of the Nazis? In other words, who could be so ahistorical, ignorant, or just plain tasteless to wear something on their wrist that immediately brings to mind, among other things, the ovens of Auschwitz?
One answer is that it has to be the same people who will soon bid on the car CNNMoney.com and AOL both called "Hitler race car." This Auto Union D-Type is expected to go for as much as $12 million at a Paris auction. The car was built by Ferdinand Porsche, then with Auto Union, the company now known as Audi. In the '30s, Porsche accepted Hitler's challenge to build a car that would showcase German technological advances. This 485-horsepower little buggy was the result. It could do a cool 185 miles per hour, but it cannot, at least for me, outrun its unsavory genesis.
I suppose that whoever buys the car can say that Hitler never actually owned it or used it or, maybe, even saw it. It ought to be no more odious than your run-of-the-mill Volkswagen, which was also produced (by the ubiquitous F. Porsche) at the suggestion of the late Führer, or the Mercedes-Benz open touring car, the one often seen in pictures of Nazi rallies—Hitler standing, offering the stiff-armed Nazi salute. Still, the fact that the D-Type has been called "Hitler's race car" is enough for me. I could not slip into the car without thinking of how it came about.