The National Archive has digitized, restored, and released 1,270 photos of Adolf Hitler, originally taken by his personal photographer, Henrich Hoffmann. Most have never been seen before, and range from studio portraits to Nazi rallies.
Created from a trove of 41,000 glass negatives, many of which were broken and had to be reassembled, the process has been overseen Richard E. Schneider. The project took around nine months to complete.
What makes this digitization project special is that the ensuing image has been reproduced from the original negative, rather than it being a copy or copy of a copy. This results in unmatched quality […] Anytime I came across a picture of [Hitler] looking at me, it sent shivers.
The photos, taken by Hoffmann, helped to shape the public’s perception of Hitler, often portraying him as a hero that was adored by millions of Germans. Many are carefully curated, with heavy manipulated angles and staging. An established photographer when he joined the Nazis in 1920, Hoffmann spent years documenting Hitler, with his negatives being confiscated by the army in 1962. This, so says supervisory archivist Billy Wade, is how they ended up with the National Archives.
Wade also revealed the images will soon be available for viewing online.
All images courtesy National Archives.