Photography in the Third Reich: Art, Physiognomy and Propaganda

Photography in the Third Reich: Art, Physiognomy and Propaganda Christopher Webster (ed.)
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The essays in this volume focus in particular on the work of photographers in the Third Reich…(who used) the photographic nexus of mysticism and 'Ethnos'. As this insightful and richly illustrated volume as a whole demonstrates, it is not true to say the camera never lies.

Paul Bishop, Journal of European Studies 51(2), 2021.

This lucid and comprehensive collection of essays by an international group of scholars constitutes a photo-historical survey of select photographers who embraced National Socialism during the Third Reich. These photographers developed and implemented physiognomic and ethnographic photography, and, through a Selbstgleichschaltung (a self-co-ordination with the regime), continued to practice as photographers throughout the twelve years of the Third Reich.

The volume explores, through photographic reproductions and accompanying analysis, diverse aspects of photography during the Third Reich, ranging from the influence of Modernism, the qualitative effect of propaganda photography, and the utilisation of technology such as colour film, to the photograph as ideological metaphor. With an emphasis on the idealised representation of the German body and the role of physiognomy within this representation, the book examines how select photographers created and developed a visual myth of the ‘master race’ and its antitheses under the auspices of the Nationalist Socialist state.

Photography in the Third Reich approaches its historical source photographs as material culture, examining their production, construction and proliferation. This detailed and informative text will be a valuable resource not only to historians studying the Third Reich, but to scholars and students of film, history of art, politics, media studies, cultural studies and holocaust studies.

Photography in the Third Reich: Art, Physiognomy and Propaganda
Christopher Webster (ed.) | January 2021
310 pp. | 67 colour illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783749140
ISBN Hardback: 9781783749157
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783749164
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783749171
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783749188
ISBN Digital (XML): 9781783749195
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0202
BIC Subject Codes: JFC (Cultural Studies), AJ (Photography and photographs), AJB (Individual photographers), AP (Film, TV and Radio) ; BISAC: PHO007000 (PHOTOGRAPHY / Techniques / Equipment), SOC024000 (SOCIAL SCIENCE / Research). OCLC Number:1230223712.

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Foreword Download
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Editor’s Introduction Download
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Photo Lessons: Teaching Physiognomy during the Weimar Republic Download
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Dark Sky, White Costumes: The Janus State of Modern Photography in Germany 1933–1945 Download
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‘The Deepest Well of German Life’: Hierarchy, Physiognomy and the Imperative of Leadership in Erich Retzlaff’s Portraits of the National Socialist Elite Download
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The Timeless Imprint of Erna Lendvai-Dircksen’s Das deutsche Volksgesicht (Face of the German Race) Download
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Photography, Heimat, Ideology Download
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‘Transmissions from an Extrasensory World’ — Ethnos and Mysticism in the Photographic Nexus Download
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Science and Ideology: Photographic ‘Economies of Demonstration’ in Racial Science Download
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Conclusion Download
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List of Illustrations
About the Team

Ulrich Hägele studied empirical cultural studies and art history at the University of Tübingen. He has been working in Tübingen Media Studies since 2006, and in April 2010 he took over as head of Tübingen's Micro-Europa editorial offices. His research is primarily into the history of photography, illustrated print media, iconographic questions, and the digitisation of visual media and fashion.

Amos Morris-Reich is a professor at the Cohn Institute for the history and philosophy of science and ideas at Tel Aviv University. He previously worked at the Department for Jewish History and Thought and was the director of the Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History and Society at the University of Haifa (2008-2018). His research interests include Jewish history, especially in the context of German social sciences and social theory, history of photography, racism and antisemitism in German science, as well as Israeli cultural ideology.

Rolf Sachsse is a trained photographer who studied art history, communication studies, and German literature at the universities of Munich and Bonn. After finishing his PhD on the relation between architecture and photography in the twentieth century, he worked as a curator, writer, and photographer. He was Professor of  Design History and Design Theory at the University of Fine Arts Saar, Sarrebruck, where he also was Pro-Rector of Academic Affairs until 2017. He has published widely on photographic history, design, architecture, and sound art.

Pepper Stetler is a professor of Art History at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her research focuses on the art and visual culture of early twentieth-century Europe.

Christopher Webster graduated from art school in South Africa in 1989, and then lived and worked as a photographer and lecturer in the Johannesburg area for several years. In 1996 he was appointed lecturer in fine art at Aberystwyth University’s, School of Art. As an artist/photographer, he has participated in many group and solo exhibitions including venues in Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, Tel Aviv, New York, Chicago, Berlin, Baltimore, and Pretoria. In photo-history his work is centred on an investigation of the work of largely forgotten German photographers practicing in the Weimar and Third Reich period of German history.

Andrés Mario Zervigón is professor of the History of Photography at the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. Professor Zervigón specializes in the history of photography and concentrates his scholarship on the interaction between photographs, film, and fine art. His work generally focuses upon moments in history when these media prove inadequate to their presumed task of representing the visual.