Who founded the age of the automobile? There are those who claim that the father of the first car was a Jew. They say the facts were concealed as part of a conspiracy dating back to the Nazi era. Germany’s wholesale destruction of evidence will probably leave this issue shrouded in eternal mystery. It is unlikely that the truth will ever emerge.
WHAT IS A CAR?
The question of “Who invented the car?” is intimately bound up with a second question – what is your definition of a car? If you include any self-moving machinery, pride of place goes to the French military engineer, Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, who built the first steam automobile in 5529/1769. His clumsy contraption ran along at the stately pace of 2½ mph and had neither gears nor brakes. Therefore, Cugnot is also credited with the first automobile accident because during the second demonstration of his brainchild, the lumbering vehicle could not be brought to a stop and demolished a wall. Cugnot’s idea caught on and steam carriages became a popular fixture in England beginning in 5561/1801. They were popular enough to threaten stagecoach companies which used political leverage to strangle the steam carriages’ development by imposing heavy tariffs that effectively put them out of business.
Steam cars became highly popular in America. In 5660/1900, 1.170 out of 2,300 cars registered in various American cities were run by steam. 800 were run by electric and only 400 by gasoline. However, Cugnot is not reckoned as father of the automobile since nowadays the word generally connotes a vehicle running with an internal combustion engine. That is, an engine that burns its propellant as opposed to a steam engine where the propellant (steam) is heated by a secondary source (fire). The first such engine, designed by the Dutch physicist Christian Huygens in 5440/1680, was intended to be fueled with gunpowder. According to this definition of a car, the inventor of the automobile is the Belgian Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir. He invented an internal combustion engine powered by coal gas, mounted it on a three-wheeled wagon, and set off on a fifty-mile jaunt in 5622/1862. However, he is cast out of the hall of fame because “the powers that be” prefer to define the first car as one driven by liquid fuel.
The Jews lay their claim to fame through two co-religionists, the inventor of gasoline, Abraham Schreiner ( 5 5 7 0 / 1 8 1 0 – 5630/1870) of Galicia, and the inventor of the early car, Siegfried Marcus. Oil was once so plentiful in Schreiner’s Drohobitch district of Galicia that all one had to do to mine crude oil was to dig a simple pit and the oil seeped in by itself. There was not much use for it. Some of the foul-smelling grease had been used for street lighting since 5260/1500. The black viscous substance was also used for lubrication, leather working and quack medicines. Schreiner began by producing candles from crude oil. When he tried his hand splitting the crude oil into its elements in a pot on his stove, he almost blew himself to pieces in the process. Schreiner eventually managed to extract gasoline from oil. He became impoverished after his workshop burnt down and Americans started producing gasoline for a cheaper price. He spent the last years of his life in the timehonored Jewish profession of selling liquor to peasants.
Car constructor Marcus was born in Malchin, Germany in 5591/1831 and moved to Austria at the age of 21. A prolific inventor, he licensed 131 patents in 16 countries.
His car invention was a by-product of an attempt to create light by igniting a mixture of gasoline and air. Realizing that the resulting explosive effect could be harnessed to fuel a car, he produced a primitive carburetor and built his first prototype car in 5624/1864. It bumped along for 200 yards. Known as the “First Marcus Car,” it was started up by a strong person lifting up the back and giving the rear wheels a hefty spin. This automobile is acknowledged as the first car ever to be powered by liquid gasoline. However, it is regarded as too primitive to count as the prototype of the modern steeds of the road. Marcus then improved his car and came out with the “Second Marcus Car” which could qualify as being the first car ever built. Most historians agree that there is no concrete evidence that it was built before 5648/1888, and their opinion is generally accepted.
NAZI CULTURE BATTLE
Those who claim that Marcus built the first car blame the scarcity of evidence on Nazi Germany’s policy of trying to eradicate all evidence that science was advanced by anyone except members of the Aryan race. An example of this kind of activity is recorded in the following German regulation of December 28, 5698/1938:
“Minister President General Field Marshal Goering, Commissioner for the Four-Year Plan. “SECRET. “Pursuant to my report, the Fuehrer has made the following decisions on the Jewish question…. An immediate concern is the aryanization of plants and business enterprises, farm property, forests, etc… Jewish patents are property values and therefore to be aryanized, too… “Signed: GOERING.”
The process is also mentioned in a German publication (“Du bist sofort im Bilde”) a year later which describes how Germany was dealing with “the Jewish problem.”
“Jews are prohibited from owning shops, mail order firms or branches, and independent craft firms. They are further prohibited from offering goods or business services at markets, exhibitions or trade fairs of any kind… Important patents and commercial secrets must be transferred to non-Jewish control.”
Following the enactment of this policy, after the German Anschluss (annexation) of Austria, the Germans combed through patent office files, destroying records of Jewish inventors. Physical evidence of Jewish genius, too, was eradicated. They removed a monument erected in Marcus’ memory in front of the Vienna Technical University.
They even planned to destroy the “Second Marcus Car” that had been lovingly preserved, in working condition, in the Vienna Museum of Trade and Industry. The car was saved at the eleventh hour by unidentified museum personnel who concealed it by erecting a brick wall.
Marcus was rehabilitated through official recognition after the war, the Viennese mayor replaced his monument in 5709/1949 and a year later his refurbished car was driven triumphantly through the city’s streets at a stately 5 mph. There was even a Siegfried Marcus Society founded in Austria in 5758/1998 which has the lofty goal “to provide a public rectification of the long-enduring injustice done to the ingenious creator and inventor of the automobile, Siegfried Marcus.”
However, it is unlikely that the Society will ever succeed. The evidence, if it existed in the first place, seems to have been lost forever.
Therefore the honor of building the first cars goes to two Germans: Gottlieb Daimler (assisted by Jewish helper, Max Rose), who received a patent in 5645/1885 for a prototype of the modern gasoline engine and to Carl Benz, who obtained a patent for the first gasoline-fueled car in 5646/1886.