• Dr. Münch paves the way for the Wirtschaftswunder era
  • Employees are the focus of his commitment
Production of the Volkswagen Saloon was begun in December 1945 under British control. On February 26th, 1946 the British Board of Control installed commercial lawyer Dr. Hermann Münch as the Chief Trustee. On June 17th, 1946 Münch was additionally appointed to the newly created post of General Director.

Hermann Münch was born on March 20th, 1885 in the town of Iserlohn in Westphalia. After leaving school and studying law, he worked in lawyers' offices and as an industrial lawyer. The doctor of laws and self-proclaimed opponent of National Socialism was engaged by Volkswagenwerk GmbH to establish sound structures and provide clearly defined assignment of roles. In his dual role, Münch worked closely with Major Ivan Hirst, the Senior Resident Officer appointed by the British Military Government, as well as with the company's Works Council, which had been elected for the first time in November 1945.

Committed to the principles of consensus, and an expert in finance, Münch concerned himself with the interests of the approximately 7,000 people employed at the plant. He worked especially hard to procure housing for them. Teamwork between the British Military Government and the German management, paired with a spirit of pragmatism, optimism and an untiring commitment to reconstruction, helped to gradually increase production. On October 14th, 1946 the ten thousandth post-war Volkswagen rolled off the production line.

The agreement negotiated by Dr. Hermann Münch with the Works Council which came into force on May 10th, 1947 safeguarded enhanced rights of co-determination for the employee representatives. Münch effectively prepared the business for the era of Germany's post-war economic miracle, known as the 'Wirtschaftswunder'.

Münch was succeeded with effect from January 1st, 1948 by automotive industry manager Heinrich Nordhoff. His successors in turn have been Kurt Lotz, Rudolf Leiding, Toni Schmücker, Carl Horst Hahn, Ferdinand K. Piëch, Bernd Pischetsrieder, Martin Winterkorn and Matthias Müller.