…"First things first: the Nazis didn't invent the Autobahn. Instead, the idea of constructing motorways connecting Germany's expanding cities after World War I was conceived in the post-war Weimar Republic. The first public road of this kind was completed in 1932, linking Cologne and Bonn. It still exists -- today, it's part of Autobahn 555.
After Hitler rose to power in 1933 he used the Autobahn for political gain, appointing Fritz Todt as "Inspector General of German Road Construction," and tasking him with increasing the Autobahn network.
Todt was behind a jobs creation program which, according to Nazi propaganda, helped eradicate unemployment in Germany. Autobahn workers lived in work camps near their construction sites, though often did not come here voluntarily -- they were conscripted through the compulsory Reich Labor Service (that way, they were removed from the unemployment registry)."
Is there really no speed limit on the Autobahn? It's the one thing everyone wants to know about Germany's freeway network. But there's far more to its history, from the Nazi development project to Kraftwerk to Tom Hanks.