The city is very young, since it was planned by the Nazis in order to build a town for the workers of the Volkswagen factories. It was founded in 1938 as KdF-Stadt. Kraft durch Freude (abbreviated KdF and meaning 'strength through joy') was the German state-controlled leisure organization, one of whose centerpieces was the KdF-Wagen, the car that would later be known as the VW Beetle. During World War II there were also jeeps, airplanes and other military equipment built, mainly by forced workers and POWs at these factories.
After the war the city got its present name, after the Wolfsburg castle, that was founded about 1300 on the bank of the Aller river. Today there is another castle at the place, which was built after 1600.
Wolfsburg lacks historical buildings, and the sights include new attractions like the Autostadt (a huge open air museum about automobiles, kept by Volkswagen) and a planetarium.
Some neighbouring towns were incorporated into Wolfsburg after the war, e.g. the town of Fallersleben, which is now a quarter of Wolfsburg. Fallersleben was the home of August Heinrich Hoffmann (commonly known as Hoffmann von Fallersleben), who wrote the lyrics of the German national anthem (Das Lied der Deutschen).