Adolf Hitler certainly did not like all of the photographs that were taken of him. So much so that if he thought a photograph was undignified he had it banned from publication.
Veteran British soldier, Private Alf Robinson, was one of the first British soldiers on the ground in devastated Berlin. While on patrol he found an original Nazi propaganda book in the ruins of a bombed house. He kept the book as a ‘souvenir’ along with a couple of German-made weapons.
Alf kept the book all these years, unable to read it because it was in German, but kept it as a part of his wartime memories. 70 years later and the book is about to be re-published in other languages including English.
The reason it is being re-published is to show the craze and fanaticism of the Nazi regime. Deutschland Erwache or Germany Awaken, as it was known, was an official Nazi publication aimed at the younger generation. The one Alf found was written in the 1930s when the Nazis were still rising to power.
The book describes Hitler as honest and humble and is strong and kind. Images of Hitler posing in shorts are some of the most humorous in the book.
It wasn’t until later, during the war, that Hitler decided that these kinds of photographs of him in shorts were a little humiliating and thus he banned them.
Other photographs show scenes of Hitler’s travels amongst the German people including with children, workers and his own close circle of Nazi leaders and advisors.
Captions that accompanied the images made claims of how Hitler was worthy of worship, and that all German people loved him.
The author of this particular book, von Schirach, first met Hitler in 1925 and gradually made his way up the Nazi party career ladder.
Von Schirach was awarded the Nazi’s Iron Cross for his voluntary service. But after he was put in charge of the deportation of the Jews from Vienna, he became deeply unsettled by the wrong doing of the task. When he and his wife openly criticised the deportation they both fell out of favour with the Nazi leadership.
After the war, Von Schirach was sentenced as part of the Nuremberg trials and spent 20 years in a Berlin prison. He died in 1974.