Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Hitler practices his speech

with 34 comments

Adolf Hitler, in these photos taken by his personal photographer, rehearses gestures intended to look spontaneous while listening to a recording of one his speeches. In 1927, when Heinrich Hoffman took these action shots, Adolf Hitler has already restored the Nazi party to the political significance (just one year after becoming its Führer). The 38-year old was also already a millionaire, thanks to his book Mein Kampf.

The impoverished failed artist had already come a long way, but he had his sights on a bigger price. He carefully cultivated his image as the party leader using the propagandistic value of photographs. Hoffman, Hitler’s good friend and exclusive photographer, captioned it: “Adolf Hitler rehearses supposedly spontaneous gestures while listening to a recording of one of his previous speeches”. The photos undermined the myth of Hitler’s “natural” oratorial skills and Hitler ordered Hoffman to destroy the negatives since they were “beneath one’s dignity”.

Hoffman didn’t and they were published in Hoffmann’s memoirs Hitler was my Friend (1955). In the book was a photo of Hitler wearing glasses (something the dictator also forbade publishing during his lifetime). Hoffmann, who introduced Hitler to his then-studio assistant Eva Braun, survived the war and spent four years in prison for Nazi profiteering. He died in 1957, aged 72.


[* Initially people were tricked into buying the book: they thought it was a revealing autobiography or an account of the Beer Hall Putsch. From the royalties, Hitler was able to afford a Mercedes while still in prison. He spent years evading taxes, and waived his taxes himself when he became the dictator. After Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, millions of copies were sold (ten million by the end of the war), but mostly to the German government, which purchased six million copies to be given as gifts at weddings, graduations, and birthdays. Before 1939, all the royalties abroad went to Hitler too.

In addition to evading the taxes, Hitler also charged the German government for the right to reproduce his likeness on the stamps, postcards and posters. Following Hoffmann’s suggestion, both he and Hitler received royalties from all uses of Hitler’s image, which made the photographer also rich.]

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

March 12, 2010 at 7:36 pm

34 Responses

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  1. where do the royalties go now? my secret hope is for jewish student scholarships:D


    March 13, 2010 at 2:10 am

    • or Palestinian student scholarships 😀


      April 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm

  2. […] Hitler ensayando gestos para sus discursos (1925)  iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/hitler-practices-his-s…  por Asumido hace 2 segundos […]

  3. Hitler is a discrase to jewish ppl out dare fool! he needs ta get a life im glad his wrinkly butt died!


    May 3, 2010 at 5:37 pm

  4. UNITED RACES and The Holy Book of Racial Government

    From London to The Shires to Britain to Europe to The World.


    This is the most powerful religio-political movement for more than 3500 years, possibly.



    United Races

    July 14, 2011 at 11:12 am

  5. 1) Hitler wasn’t a Jew. He was a Catholic.
    2)You’re grammar is a disgrace to English speaking and writing humans.
    3)If you are going to make a comment about how it’s a good thing he died(which it is) don’t talk like a incompetent moronic teenager.

    Claire Raines

    March 4, 2012 at 3:51 am

    • Claire – You mean to say, “YOUR grammar is a disgrace to…” rather than “You’re grammar is a disgrace to…”


      Gun-Ho West

      March 21, 2012 at 3:54 am

  6. […] fascist politics has never just been about uniformed thuggery. Adolf Hitler spent the late 1920s wearing a civilian business suit and courting electoral respectability. There’s no evidence that Robinson or Carroll have […]

  7. […] After the war, his rise in a defeated and dejected Germany was meteoric. In 1926, he became the Führer of the National Socialists; the then-37-year old was also already a millionaire, thanks to his book Mein […]

  8. […] Hitler bad Hoffman förstöra alla bildbevis eftersom han ansåg dem vara ”under hans värdighet”. […]

  9. […] After the war, his rise in a defeated and dejected Germany was meteoric. In 1926, he became the Führer of the National Socialists; the then-37-year old was also already a millionaire, thanks to his book Mein […]

  10. […] After the war, his rise in a defeated and dejected Germany was meteoric. In 1926, he became the Führer of the National Socialists; the then-37-year old was also already a millionaire, thanks to his book Mein Kampf. (More […]

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