A historic photo - 356 Nr. 1. with Ferry and Ferdinand Porsche:
Karl Ludvigsen wrote in his book: "Porsche - Origin of the Species.": All to often Komenda's crucial contribution is disowned by cropping him out of this picture.
ONE DAY BEFORE HE DIED KOMENDA SIGNED A LAST WILL/TESTAMENT: READ ALOUD BY A NOTARY AND CONFIRMED BY TWO WITNESSES: FERRY PORSCHE'S FIRST COUSIN, PORSCHE ARCHIVAR GHISLAENE KAES, AND PORSCHE CHIEF SECRETARY ILSE GUTT. From medical point of view it should be noted, that his legal capacity was probably restricted at this time.
In June 1966 Erwin Komenda fell ill with lung cancer and died as an active Porsche employee on August 22, 1966 in the hospital Schillerhöhe in Stuttgart, without the presence of relatives - his family and wife lived in Weyer.
One day before he died, Porsche archivist Ghislaine Kaes came with a civil law notary into the hospital. Komenda signed a last will, that was spoken in front of two witnesses: Porsche archivar Ghislaine Kaes and his long-standing Porsche secretary Ilse Gutt. This all happened
without the presence of relatives. From medical point of view it should be noted, that his legal capacity was probably restricted at this time.
The testament, which treated Komenda's Austrian property, was sent by Porsche to a notary to Gmünd and reached until months later, the competent district court Weyer.
Four days after Komenda died, the widow came to Stuttgart. At the same day the Porsche company sold her a car at a preferential price and my grandmother wrote Ghisalaene Kaes a power of attorney for vehicle registration.
My grandmother went back to Weyer and Ferry Porsche's cousin, Ghislaene Kaes, and Porsche secretary Ilse Gutt headed the relocation and administration of the estate, therefore Kaes spent a few weeks in Weyer and visited the widow daily. After his death the Porsche company took over the transfer of Komenda's household to his hometown Weyer. Komenda's private technical archive, which was located in his apartment in Stuttgart, was confiscated by Porsche: All photos, diaries, notebooks, sketches, ...
Ingrid, Komenda's daughter, remembered: "My father had in our apartment in Stuttgart a study, he worked there every night - even in the company PORSCHE he had his own office - the entire contents of these two rooms was packed by the company Porsche in his little brown, briefcase leather bag in which I found greetings card of his 50th birthday."
It is worth mentioning, that my mother, Ingrid, return to Stuttgart in 2001 and visited the Porsche Museum - there she was offended and crying, when she had seen her father was not mentioned by name and behind the first 356, his creation, he was cut off from wall photo.
In addition, Ingrid saw in the Porsche Museum objects from the office of her father - he once declared them as birthday gifts.
And the Secret Porsche History continues in the 21st century
I was interested very early in the live and work of my grandfather. After graduation from university I work on a biography of Erwin Komenda. It drew me to Stuttgart. Together with my family I visited Stuttgart in 2001, the Porsche Museum and the Porsche archive. Shortly after, I had a conversation with representatives of the Porsche company management, these showed interest in the project.
I submitted my manuscript and asked for support and cooperation. Page after page of the manuscript has been inspected - when the last page was reached, they told me that the company Porsche was not interested in producing a Komenda Biography and would not support this project - I was banned by the company's management, to visit the Porsche archive or development center in Weissach.
This prohibition was pronounced in the presence of my brother Karl Steineck.
I have addressed the misrepresentation of the real Porsche history and recent Porsche publicity statements in this special meeting with the company management. The meeting ended with the sentence: "Don't worry - we know what we have in our Komenda!"
Surely Porsche had after this conversation intensive legal advice.
Immediately after my Contact Porsche had changed the website presentation of official Porsche history. The name of Ferdinand Porsche and Ferry Porsche not be named as an inventor but as a company director. Only FA "Butzi" Porsche continues to be identified as the inventor of the 911.
If you look at the legal situation in more detail, it is noticeable that at that time, in which the working atmosphere of Porsche's engineering office had exacerbated and Porsche family members took over key positions in Porsche development process, there have been legislative changes in the utilization of service inventions.
In 1957 the German Employees' Inventions Act was put into force, this applied particularly to the innovative-thinking company Porsche, as it governs the material exploitation of inventions and appropriate remuneration of the inventor.
Viewed from a legal perspective, it is striking that Erwin Komenda has not bequeathed more property than a simple worker of that time, which is surprising, since the German Employee Invention Act 1957 was guilty and he had developed countless inventions, until today Komenda's inventions constitute the wealth of the Porsche company.
Komenda had a private technical archive in Weyer concerning his early years by Porsche from 1931 to 1950, it is owned by the family of Komenda.
Why was his archive in Stuttgart, concerning the years 1950 to 1966, confiscated by Porsche?
Is the Causa Komenda not only a psychological profile of individuals involved in Porsche history but also an economic crime?
A serious, historical treatment of Komendas influence on the development of the Porsche 911 is difficult like Balzac’s novel "Lost Illusions" - it ends with an exposition of the difference between “official history” and “secret history” – the real story. It used to be possible to obscure history’s truths for a long time.
Erwin Komenda (April 6, 1904 - August 22, 1966) was a Porsche employee, and a lead contributor to the design of the bodies for the VW Beetle and various ...