© Focal Point 2000 David Irving
Letters to David Irving on this Website
Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Gary Goodenow of Miami, Florida, writes us on Friday, December 15, 2000
Dating a new Hitler Photo
I OFFER a few ideas on dating the photo of Adolf Hitler at your web site, from the collection of Charles Turner.
- The hat he is holding appears very similar to the one he is holding in photos taken in January 1923, around the time of the Nazi protests of the Ruhr occupation by France. See, e.g. S. Lorant, Sieg Heil: An Illustrated History of Germany from Bismarck to Hitler (1974) at page 126. Note the same hat at the September 1923 celebration of the 1871 victory at Sedan at pages 136-7, and again at 142-3.
- The German tunic he has on looks very much like the one he is wearing in the famous photo as he stares out the window from Landsberg Fortress on his 35th birthday. Id. at 149.
- The hairstyle is very much the same as the slicked back cut he is wearing in the original frontispiece for Mein Kampf in 1924. Id. at 158.
- That he was not contrary to wearing Bavarian short pants can be seen from a photo of him in approximately 1927. Id.at 165, 167 and 169. In fact, the photo at page 169 could be this very outfit as Turner's photo, except for upfolded and button sleeve ends. I note that in a great deal of the photos I have cited, Hitler is carrying not a riding whip but a walking cane.
- In Der Fuhrer: The Life and Times of Adolf Hitler, edited by Herbert Walther (1978), Hitler appears to be holding the same hat in Munich in 1923 at pages 24 and 27. He may also have the hat in his hand at the famous [City Gate of ] Landsberg Fortress departure photo of December 1924. Id. at 32.
- Take a look at photo number 91 of Hitler with Emil Maurice in Landsberg in John Toland, Hitler - The Pictorial History of His Life (1978). He wears what has got to be the same jacket there: double breasted, guilt buttons, no buttoned back sleeves.
- After 1930, I have been unable to see any photos of Hitler in this type of distinctly Bavarian outfit. Rather, he typically appears in typical double breasted dark suits, or SA uniforms, albeit sans the kepi. Perhaps this was consistent with his thinking of himself as a national and not a provincial leader.
Based on all this, my novice dilettante opinion is that this photo was taken of Hitler following his release from prison in 1925 and his purchase from the widow of a Hamburg businessman of Haus Wachenfeld on the Oberzalberg in 1928, but before he gave up Bavarian costume and the "remodeling" of the home in 1933, when it grew into the Berhof complex. In fact, based on a photo, albeit indistinct, on page 9 of Eagle's Nest in the Historical View, I'd say he's leaning on the balustrade of the east side of the building, with the mountains behind him.