• Germany's news in English
 

Famous Hitler rally picture probably faked

Published: 14 Oct 2010 16:05 GMT+02:00

Düsseldorf historian Gerd Krumeich has studied the picture and its history and concluded that Hitler was superimposed to lend credibility to the image of the Nazi leader as a patriot and a man of the people, daily Die Welt reported Thursday.

The photo was taken by Munich photographer Heinrich Hoffmann at a rally in support of war against the allies in Munich’s Odeonplatz on August 2, 1914.

But it was not until March 12, 1932 that it was published in the Nazi party newspaper the Illustrierte Beobachter, or "Illustrated Observer," the day before the presidential election, after Hitler’s opponents had attacked Hitler over his flight from military service in Austria-Hungary and questioned his patriotism.

The caption on the picture read: “Adolf Hitler, the German patriot … in the middle of the crowd stands with blazing eyes – Adolf Hitler.”

The photo went on to become a favourite Nazi propaganda picture, appearing with captions such as “Adolf Hitler: a man of the people.”

Hoffmann, who was one of the founders and the main supplier of pictures for the Nazi paper, always claimed he had discovered Hitler in the photo by chance after the future Führer visited his studio in 1929. Hitler had told him he was at the rally, Hoffmann said.

Hoffmann then dug out a glass picture negative he’d planned to throw away and found Hitler in the image.

“I only needed to search for a very short time, one standing there, yes, it’s him – his hair falls over the forehead,” Hoffmann once said. “His face cannot deceive – it is him.”

Until now, that version has been regarded as fact. The photo of the future Führer in Odeonplatz has been used countless times in newspapers, Hitler biographies and school books.

Most damningly, Krumeich found a different version of the picture in the Hoffmann photo archive in Bavaria. In that image, Hitler’s characteristic lock of hair over the forehead looks clearly different – suggesting the photo had been retouched.

The glass plate negative to the picture has never been found.

Krumeich has looked for other photos of the same rally both in archives and in newspapers and books. He noticed that other pictures of the event taken from different standpoints, including a picture taken by Hoffmann, do not show Hitler.

The picture is included in the new exhibition, “Hitler and the Germans – Nation and Crime,” which opens Friday. The caption on the picture mentions the doubts about its authenticity.

The Local/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:25 October 14, 2010 by maxbrando
Perhaps the different photo recently discovered was touched up! It's all relative, anyway.
22:04 October 14, 2010 by wxman
I saw this photo the first time about 20 years ago, and thought the same thing at the time. Not that he wouldn't have attended such a rally, but seriously, what are the odds that he would end up in the picture?
00:40 October 15, 2010 by Prufrock2010
It's completely irrelevant at this point. History has recorded what "a man of the people" he was. And he wasn't elected because of this photograph, doctored or otherwise.
08:33 October 15, 2010 by 1FCK_1FCK
Are they really just figuring this out? What are the odds that this photo would have a clear shot of Hitler? Anyone with half a brain could see it's a fake. He's about the only person in the crowd seemingly looking right at the camera!
09:47 October 15, 2010 by freechoice
what do you mean probably?

either it is fake or not, no such thing call probably...
10:05 October 15, 2010 by Da Goat
Yeah right they had photo shop before the war

If it is fake they have done a great job

it might be a fake Hitler
14:08 October 15, 2010 by StephenTTDuffy
Isnt it the Neo-Nazi who usually go round saying pictures (of the Holocaust) are fake? Is this some kind of a 'its our turn now' to destroy a documented historical reality, so as to discredit an already utterly discredited historical figure some more. But lets say, for the sake of arguement, that it was 'touched up'. So what! He still enlisted in the German army in 1914. He still won the Iron Cross (twice) while fighting on the western front. He still went on to destroy Europe as it was. It doesnt change anything.
17:29 October 15, 2010 by chuckfm
Well Freechoice seems to find "probably" too subjective? There's a lot to be said about "probably". But I must admit in the end it doesn't make much difference.

[On the theme "probably" I kindly invite any/everybody to my blog on just this theme

http://my.opera.com/chck/blog/2010/08/17/the-photographic-truth-alexander-gardner-vs-ansel-adams]

It was enough for the propaganda factory and the idea was too hard to resist. I do think the post from Stephen TDuffy is right on in it's assessment
18:04 October 15, 2010 by SteveFromBayShore
This theory is absolute garbage. At least 10 years ago actual film footage was found that shows a moving image of Hitler in the crowd the same day this photo was taken by Hoffmann. I have it on DVD somewhere, but YouTube has a low res clip of it and it shows Hitler standing right where he appears in the photo. Check it out. He was there. I wish fake "historians" would stop trying to change real history.

To see the clip go to YouTube and seach the term Rare Hitler Footage 1914
20:59 October 15, 2010 by wxman
The Soviets didn't need Photoshop to add or remove out-of-favor bureaucrats form photos to "adjust" history. Today, Photoshop makes the task much easier, but skilled technicians with a lot of patience and skill were effectively doing this several decades ago.
13:57 October 17, 2010 by wenddiver
So whats's the point??? I am willing to concede the point that Hitler was a German Natinalist, a German Militarist and probably thought starting a World War was a good thing. Actually, real news would be that he didn't attend the rally.
14:56 October 19, 2010 by anastasia2657
Is there anything that is NOT fake about Hitler? The Rauschling tapes of his private conversations which were used in thousands of books about Hitler were found 30 years later to be wholly fraudulent; his suicide has been shown to be unlikely (Russian archives contain an affidavit by a German doctor that he was killed from his wounds); his so-called "best-friend" he did not know at all. Is there anything that was reported that is true about Hitler? For goodness sake, we still see him on television every night. Yet, we know nothing about him, except this fake history that has been constructed.
10:26 October 30, 2010 by 1918Militaria
Some insight can be found at this thread,

http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/showthread.php?t=467490&goto=newpost

And the best post from a guy who should know reads as follows...

Sorry Gents

I dont understand this post at all. They exists the original film footage of the event. It was discovered not long ago among some other period canned film from old achives. As mentioned it even shows still photographers taking pictures on the steps. All the film is in remarkable condition because it was never shown untill recently.

It was filmed outside the Feldhern Hall in Munich Aug2 1914.

They was a lot of filming done during the first weeks outside public buildings all over Europe where huge crowds would gather to hear latest announcements and see postings.

This latest story is news grabbing hogwash. imo

E
Today's headlines
'Blackfacing' is Anglicism of the Year
They may be collecting for charity, but this is not really OK. Photo: DPA

'Blackfacing' is Anglicism of the Year

"Blackfacing", used by Germans to describe white people painting their skin dark to mimic black people, has been named Anglicism of the Year by a jury of linguists. READ  

Cocaine-cop trial shakes Bavarian Alps
File photo: DPA

Cocaine-cop trial shakes Bavarian Alps

For 20 years no-one noticed that the head of the drug squad in Kempten, Bavaria, was on a personal rampage of narcotics- and domestic abuse - until his wife shopped him for the €250,000 brick of cocaine he had stashed. But the local population isn't buying the story. READ  

Merkel wishes Tsipras 'strength and success'
Photo: DPA

Merkel wishes Tsipras 'strength and success'

Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday and wished him "much strength and success" after his anti-austerity party's election victory. READ  

Refugees suffer over 200 attacks in 2014
Swastika graffiti at a refugee home in Bavaria with text reading "No asylum seekers". Photo: DPA

Refugees suffer over 200 attacks in 2014

Refugee NGOs' first annual report on violence against asylum seekers found that there were over 200 attacks on people and accommodation in 2014. READ  

'No German identity without Auschwitz'
President Gauck addressing the Bundestag on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Photo: DPA

'No German identity without Auschwitz'

President Joachim Gauck on Tuesday warned Germans against drawing a line under the Holocaust as the Bundestag (parliament) opened a day of commemorations on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. READ  

Handball! Neuer blows whistle on wax double
Manuel Neuer at the inauguration of his double in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Handball! Neuer blows whistle on wax double

Madame Tussauds' hottest new effigy was unveiled to the public in Berlin on Tuesday, costing a euro for each of the 150,000 hairs on keeper Manuel Neuer's head. Pity about the handball goal frame though… READ  

Railway union threatens strike over €2
EVG members outside a station during a 2013 strike. Photo: DPA

Railway union threatens strike over €2

As railway operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) continues negotiations with train drivers' union GDL, its other major union EVG has threatened a strike over pay differences between employees. READ  

Dresden tolerance concert draws 22,000
Photo: DPA

Dresden tolerance concert draws 22,000

As Pegida supporters and opponents clashed in Hanover, musicians threw a free concert in central Dresden on Monday evening to show another side to the city famous for spawning the anti-Islam movement. READ  

Germany remembers horror of Auschwitz
"Work will set you free," the gate at Auschwitz-Birkenau tells inmates. Photo: DPA

Germany remembers horror of Auschwitz

Chancellor Angela Merkel joined survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Berlin on Monday to open a series of events dedicated to the end of the Holocaust camp regime 70 years ago. READ  

JobTalk Germany: Entrepreneur series
'Work I love and a rewarding family life'
Working mum photo: Shutterstock

'Work I love and a rewarding family life'

Melanie Fieseler is a British business/career consultant and coach, and founder of Berlin-based WorkSmart. She is on a mission to help ambitious mums like herself successfully combine motherhood with building a fulfilling and rewarding career or business. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,797
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd