Life.com Unveils Rare Color Photos Of Adolf Hitler


originalIt’s amazing how color can change perspective. I’m a lover of black and white photography, both in stills and cinema, but there is something undeniably “life-like” about seeing real-life individuals in color.

According to Life.com:

Between 1936 and 1945, German photographer Hugo Jaeger was granted unprecedented access to Adolf Hitler, traveling and chronicling, in color, the Fuhrer and his confidants at small gatherings, public events, and, quite often, in private moments. Here, and in several other galleries on LIFE, we now present never-before-published photographs from Jaeger’s astonishing — and chilling — collection.

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The Huffington Post goes on to detail the history of these astonishing photographs:

The Story:
Between 1936 and 1943, German photographer Hugo Jaeger was granted unprecedented access to Adolf Hitler, traveling and chronicling, in color, the Fuhrer and his confidants at small gatherings, public events, and, quite often, in private moments. Here, and in several other galleries on LIFE, we present never-before-published photographs from Jaeger’s astonishing — and chilling — collection.

Hugo Jaeger in 1970. Twenty-five years earlier, in 1945, when the Allies were making their final push toward Munich, Jaeger found himself face to face with six American soldiers in a small town west of the city. During a search of the house where Jaeger was staying, the Americans found the leather suitcase in which Jaeger had hidden thousands of his color negatives. He knew he would be arrested (or worse) if the Americans discovered his film and his close connection to Hitler. But what happened next astonished him.

Inside the suitcase that held the Hitler images, Jaeger had also placed a bottle of cognac. Happy with their find, the soldiers proceeded to shared the bottle with Jaeger and the owner of the house. The suitcase was forgotten.

After the Americans left, Jaeger packed the slides into 12 glass jars and buried them on the outskirts of town. In the years following the war, Jaeger occasionally returned to his multiple caches, digging them up, repacking, and reburying them. He finally retrieved the colllection
for good–2,000 transparencies, all of them, amazingly, still in good shape — and in 1965 sold them to LIFE.

Life.com offers several categories of photos:

Adolf Hitler: Up Close

Adolf Hitler’s Private World: A rare look inside Hitler’s apartment, what he saw each day, and how he lived.

Hitler’s Humble Beginnings: Chronicling Adolf Hitler’s Earliest Days

Adolf Hitler: Among the Crowds: The Fuhrer at Public Events

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Life.com Unveils Rare Color Photos Of Adolf Hitler

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