What made Hitler gift away his car Maybach to the Maharajah of Patiala?

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy with the Maharaja of Patiala 

German car Maybach once used by Hitler in the 1930's commons.wikimedia.org

Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945), was the Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945  and F├╝hrer ("leader") of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. In the 1930s his passion and dream of  making Germany the most powerful country in the world was on his mind,  and through sustained efforts  during his early period,  the development of people's car - Volkswagen, better quality high ways - autobahn, long distance  traveling  powerful rockets  with destructive power,  superior aircrafts  and warships, etc.,  became a reality. Gradually he became a powerful European leader,  superseding England and other countries in every field. Driven by over ambition and arrogance, he wanted to become a conqueror of the world. His powerful military and  effective leadership vastly improved the morale of Germans but  gave jitters to the English  and other European leaders.

However,  his regime lasted only 12 years and he became the most cruel and despicable  character ever lived on this earth. Because  the Nazi regime under Hitler had obsession with racially motivated ideology of race superiority. This  ultimately led to the worst crime in the annals of world history - the genocide of at least 5.5 million innocent Jews and millions of other victims  between 1941 and 1945, not to speak of millions of civilians. It was the darkest chapter in world history

On the other side of his life, in 1930s' Hitler was also well known for his personal character and enjoyment of life. He had special liking for the  classic and impressive German car Maybach (the company was founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach and his son), 
which  he  personally  used.

 Maybach 57 and 62 models  2005 Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, CA.en.wikipedia.org

It was a ceremonial car for the Fuhrer. The car was sturdy with huge bonnet and powerful 12 'Zeppelin' engine. A good example of German  engineering;  quality  wise  slightly better than Rolls Royce. Well known  features  were   wide  bodied, it could seat two in the front, including driver and three  in the back,  cream colored  maroon upholstery,  the boot to open  the  front seats, fold up  seats  like American cars  Buick  and  Cadillacs and foot  rest for  passengers. Terribly it was a gas guzzler, could do three miles a gallon!!  In  this  modern  world, with  unpredictable oil  politics, unstable economy and   recession  Maybach  is  fit  to  be  in  the automobile museum rather than on the street. it will be a costly affair if you make a short trip between Poona and Bombay or  Seattle to Spokane, WA, USA. 

There were only six cars ever made of this type. The fabled  car  had one powerful cylinder.  Cranking up all  12 cylinder  would  drain  any normal battery. So, It had  a  series  of  batteries  to crank up first. If you switch if off  one  hour  later,  one cylinder will give enough power, while all the 11 will go through decompression. You need to use the switch and not the  starter button. When you hit the switch one cylinder will come back alive and fire the other cylinders with out draining the battery. The disadvantage is when you rest the car for more than 4 plus hours, the main cylinder will lose the compression. So, you have to start all over. 

1938 Maybach SW 38,en.wikipedia.org

Maharajah  Bhupinder Singh, (12 October 1891 – 23 March 1938 ),  the flamboyant  ruler  of  the princely state of Patiala, Punjab, India from 1900 to 1938 was quite well known in India and abroad

As  a very  rich ruler, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh neither wasted his time nor his money power. He was not an Epicurean Philosopher, but he enjoyed  his life to his heart's content.  Being  highly motivated  and  well  mannered, to him life was to be enjoyed,  explored and not to be wasted. No doubt  he actively  got  involved  in every  thing around him and his personality was such that no passing acquaintance, would leave him with  out getting very much  impressed  by the aura about him.  Actually his weakness is his rakish mannerism. Of course, he was also fond of through-bred women and had many wives and he had the money to do it. but, at the same time he happened to be a good ruler and never deviated from his royal duties.

He was a well known 'First Class' as well as 'Test'  cricket player, a leader of the chamber of  Indian princes,   owner of the highest cricket ground in the world, and scores of buildings, etc. He won several coveted  honors  from  the British Crown. An  avid collector of  costly  jewelry,  gemstones, etc, owner of  the  world famous  "Patiala Necklace" made  of diamonds and gemstones. He was a personal friend of so many  European  Kings  and  was  very influential on the royal circuit.

On a visit to  Germany in 1935 long  before the holocaust - genocide of  Jews and others , he sought an  audience of  the Fuhrer. The story of this gift - car is recounted  by  his grandson  Raja  Malvinder Singh in his book “The Automobiles of the Maharajas”. He says:

.....“My grandfather Maharaja Bhupinder Singh went  to  Germany in 1935 and asked to  see  Adolf Hitler  who very  reluctantly  gave him 10 to 15 minutes. They got into  conversation, one thing led to another and 15 minutes became 30 and then 60. The Fuhrer  asked  grandfather to stay on for lunch and  then  asked him  to  come back the next day and then a third day. On the third day, he gave him German weapons like Lignose, Walther and Luger pistols and  a magnificent Maybach.''.... Back in India,  Maybach  was  kept  in the  ruler's  vast  garage  along  with a  fleet  of other  expensive cars  including 27 Rolls Royce at his residence Moti Bagh palace, Patiala.

The moot question is  how come such a powerful leader took a  sudden decision to gift away the famous and costly  Maybach car, which was close to his heart, to an Indian Maharajah without ever knowing  or meeting him before. Perhaps, it may be for the following  logical reasons:
01. Hitler had a grand design to become a powerful world leader and his nation a powerful one.

02. Being a shrewd strategist, as he was, Fuhrer wanted to use the highly popular Indian ruler's good office to get other Indian rulers' support.  

03. Gradual expansion of German influence in SE Asia will have political and strategic advantage. He frantically wanted an alley against the British. When the Indian rulers support  Germany, obviously, the Indian people will also follow suit.

 04. Popularity and the influence of England in the vast Indian sub continent could be a threat to German influence and business. 

 05. Numerical support means, it will be advantage to Germany and its future hegemony in Asia, if a populous country like  India, is fully   behind Germany  and it's tirade against British Imperialism.

 06. India' support to Germany underscores the fact that it will pay a path for the British to exit the Indian soil as early as possible.

07. The Fuhrer knew well, the ruler of  Patiala was a an automobile buff, a costly presentation of German car  Maybach  would  turn  the tide  against  the oppressive British rule in the Indian sub continent.

Likewise Hitler gifted away the other two Maybach cars - one to the king of Nepal and the other to King Farrukh of Egypt. This was to get political mileage
out of it.

In the second world war, the British did not make any valuable contribution worthy of mention  except Churchill's  inspirational speech: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."(House of Commons of the Parliament of the U.K on 13 May, 1940). The powerful  German army , in reality,  was  defeated  because of  American  interference  plus Russia's  military strategy.  Like wise  Japan was subdued by the Americans. As for Churchill's emotional  and passionate war speeches in the British Parliament during the war time,  they  were  full of  sound  and fury, signifying nothing; indeed,an exercise in rhetoric  Being a famous  India baiter, he was against giving  full freedom to India. He was one of the reasons for the death of million plus people in the wake of Bengal famine. Any way, the second world war tainted the image of the British  Crown  in India. Thanks to arrogant and irrational politicians like  Churchill and his minions in the British parliament. As for the Maharajah, he knew that the British Sahibs  one  day  would quit and leave the Indian shores for good and the days were not far off.

The expensive and elegant  Maybach car  was  with  the Patiala family until 1957, later gifted away. It became a sort of proverbial white elephant.




                      (Re-modification  done : March 02, 2016)