A series of photographs of Adolph Hitler made by Heinrich Hoffmann played a crucial role in increasing his popularity in the 1920s, during his rise to power in Germany.
Heinrich Hoffmann met Hitler in 1919. He became infatuated with Nazi ideology and joined the party in 1920. The next year he was named Hitler’s official photographer, a position he held for the next 25 years.
Hoffmann took pictures of Hitler on various occasions and some 1,270 have only recently been published. These digitalized images are only a small fraction of a much larger collection, containing some 41,000 photographs kept in the US National Archives.
Hitler loved posing with his dog, a German Shepheard he received a gift in 1921. Hoffmann tried to show Hitler’s love for dogs on his photographs, enchanting the Nazi Party leader’s image in public.
There is also a photograph of the party’s senior leadership, including Joseph Goebbels, who would later become Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. Also, present on the photo is Rudolph Hess, Hitler’s deputy who defected to Scotland in 1941 in an effort to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom. He was arrested and sentenced to life in prison.
A large number of Hoffmann’s photographs were seized by the United States Army after the war. Hoffmann himself was arrested and sentenced to four years in prison for war profiteering. His wealth was immense due to the looting of occupied territories during the German occupation. Hoffman had a fall out with Hitler in 1944 after a row he had with Martin Bormann, Hitler’s second-in-command.