Heinrich Hoffmann (September 12 1885 in
F√ľrth - December 11 1957 in Munich) was a
German photographer best known for his many published photographs
of Adolf Hitler.
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Early life and career
Hoffmann worked in his father's photographic shop and as a
photographer in Munich from 1908. He joined the NSDAP
in 1920 and was chosen by its new leader Hitler
as his official photographer. The two became close friends.
Hoffmann's photographs were published as postage stamps, postcards,
posters and picture books. Following Hoffmann's suggestion, both he
and Hitler received royalties
uses of Hitler's image (even on postage stamps), which made the
photographer wealthy. In 1933 he was elected to the [[Reichstag
(institution)|Reichstag]] and in 1938 Hitler appointed him a
Hoffmann married Therese "Lelly" Baumann in 1911, their daughter
Henriette ("Henny") was born on February
and followed by a son, Heinrich
("Heini") on October 24
. Henriette married Reichsjugendf√ľhrer (National
Youth Leader) Baldur von
, who provided introductions to many of Hoffmann's
picture books, in 1932. Therese Hoffmann died a sudden and
unexpected death in 1928. Hoffmann and his second wife Erna introduced
his Munich studio
assistant Eva Braun to Hitler.
Braun later became Hitler's mistress and ultimately, his wife on
partner in suicide
the following day.
Youth around Hitler, a Hoffmann
During the Third Reich
many books on Hitler such as The Hitler Nobody Knows
and Jugend um Hitler
(1934). In 1938 Hoffmann wrote three books, Hitler in Italy
, Hitler befreit Sudetenland
and Hitler in seiner
. His last book, Das Antlitz des F√ľhrers
was written shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War
Hoffmann was arrested by the Americans on 10 May 1945 and after the
war he was tried and sentenced to four years for Nazi profiteering
. Upon release from prison on
31 May 1950 he settled again in Munich where he died 7 years later
at age 72.
A large archive of his photographs was seized by the United States
government during the Allied occupation of Germany. These are now held by
the National Archives and Records
Administration and comprise an important source of images for
scholars of the Third Reich.
These photographs are
considered to be in the public domain
in the US owing to their status as seized Nazi property (otherwise
their copyrights would not yet have expired).
an archive called the 'Bildarchiv Hoffmann', at the Bavarian State
Library (or Bayerische Staatsbibliothek) in Munich,