Monday, June 04, 2012


Looks like this vernacular photography collecting might be my new hobby :-)

Of course, you don't have to spend much time on a place like German eBay to discover that the majority of photos offered are photos of WWII soldiers which attract many bidders and subsequently sell for high prices (the more medals on their chests, the higher prices)

You will however also discover that there are many sellers who sell less "interesting" photos for an average of 1 to 2 Euro + about the same amount for shipment.

This leaves some opportunities, I believe, because to me, something like the above photo is quite interesting.

If you look closely you will see an early member of Hitler's SA standing at the far left. I imagine he is photographed here with his relatives. On his left side: probably the wife and his, or her, mother is the elderly lady seated in the middle. The sisters or aunts next to the mother. Maybe the SA man's eldest son to the far right with the other children, or nephews, placed in front.
To me these people are simply the average Germans of the era which saw the birth of Nazism. The absence of other grown men could mean they all died in WWI. The elderly woman wear some small tin badges on her chest, denoting membership of National Socialist organisations who cared for war victims (I found this out by posting the photo at a Third Reich militaria collector's forum). The women are heavy from much manual labour and numerous childbirths. Nobody is smiling. They have no time for such nonsense. The are the rank and file, the people who survive on hard work. They know their place. You can have your Jewish writers, your homosexuals, your jazz music and other crazy filth in your big cities. We don't care. We have to get up early and work. We are a family. We stick together, we protect one another. We like Herr Hitler. He is not a career politician in a top hat, or a rich nobleman with a "von" in his name. Hitler is one of us. We believe in Hitler. He believes in us.

Panzer: SdKfz 138/1, Ausf H "Bison"
Maybe the creators of this camouflage scheme had a bit to much wine to drink during their lunch hour... or one of them held a degree in suprematist painting?..


ste said...

interesting and plausible thoughts on the family photograph. am i right in thinking you are trying to attach some blame to the ordinary german for empowering hitler ?

lennard grahn said...

Hitler was elected into the Reichstag. The powerplay of politicians made him Chancellor of Germany, and then he made himself dictator..What I'm saying is that for some people, Hitler seemed like the right choice at the time. In times of deep trouble I think many people would favor inspired leaders over the more rational and businesslike types.
Hitler pointed to the stars and said "follow me, Germany!" and they did. All the way to Hell.

ste said...

i hope that hiccup doesn't stop anyone backing a national socialist candidate in the future.

lennard grahn said...

If that candidate leaves out the socialist part and just stick with the nationalism, and the militarism, I think he has a good chance of getting elected.