Auction 102

Lot 96:

ADOLF HITLER BANNED REHEARSAL PHOTOGRAPH

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Start price: $100

Estimated price:

Auction house commission: 25%

Famous outtake from a series of photographs taken of Adolf Hitler in 1925 by his photographer Heinrich Hoffmann. The photograph bears a long caption on the back in German plus date stamps and archive stamps. The caption was apparently written 17 years (1962) after Hitler’s death and the end of the Third Reich: ‘After 17 years the practice methods of the most disastrous comedian of all time are revealed. The future ‘field marshal’ appeared one day, a gramophone under his arm, at his photographer’s house and had Heinrich Hoffmann take pictures of public speaking poses which Hitler later wanted to check for their effectiveness and potential for improvement. Hitler put one of his speech recordings on the gramophone and then froze in the pose he chose for each of the most impressive sentences in order to give Hoffmann the opportunity to photograph. Most of the theatrical grimaces recorded at the time had to be censored from the public because even Hitler, apart from the gramophone visible in the background, found them too exaggerated and strictly forbade their distribution.’ Hitler requested Hoffmann to destroy the negatives, but Hoffmann knew better. 5.125 x 7inches (13 x 18 cm) creases overall, else a very important photograph.

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