Lee Miller not Just a lady in a bathtub..(updated 6 Feb.2022)

One of the most iconic pictures of women during WWII is the picture of Lee Miller sitting in Adolf Hitler’s bathtub, in his Munich apartment in 1945.

“I was living in Hitler’s private apartment in Munich when his death was announced.” she said afterwards.

Lee Miller however wasn’t just a lady in a bathtub.

Elizabeth “Lee” Miller, Lady Penrose was an American photographer and photojournalist. She was a fashion model in New York City in the 1920s before going to Paris, where she became a fashion and fine art photographer. She was unapologetically sexual. A strong woman in a male dominated world.

During World War 2,she was a war correspondent for Vogue, covering events such as the London Blitz, the liberation of Paris, and the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau, despite having no military training.

It is this part I want to focus on.

The magazine Vogue is a well known Fashion magazine. You would not associate it with hard hitting journalism , yet in June 1945 it published pictures taken by Lee Miller of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

“I don’t usually take pictures of horrors. But don’t think that every town and every area isn’t rich with them. I hope Vogue will feel that it can publish there pictures.” Lee Miller wrote to her editor in the cover letter that was sent with her manuscripts and photographs of the liberation of Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps.
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and Vogue did publish it. ‘BELIEVE IT’ was the title of the article published in American Vogue. British Vogue also published images.
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In her manuscripts she writes ‘The overcrowded blocks of prisoners were re-crowded by incoming evacuated prisoners from other camps. The triple decker bunks without blankets, or even straw, held two and three men per bunk who lay in bed too weak to circulate the camp in victory and liberation marches or songs, although they mostly grinned and cheered, peering over the edge. In the few minutes it took me to take my pictures two men were found dead, and were unceremoniously dragged out and thrown on the heap outside the block. Nobody seemed to mind except me. The doctor said it was too late for more than half the others in the building anyway.’

sources

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20140903-in-hitlers-bathtub

https://www.instagram.com/leemillerarchives/?hl=en

https://www.leemiller.co.uk/component/Main/17ToA3p1yfaBss9G2InA3w..a

https://archive.vogue.com/article/1945/6/germans-are-like-this

Auschwitz Erkennungsdienst-Auschwitz Identification service.

The Nazis in Auschwitz were determined to document all prisoners. They also kept records of their experiments and war crimes. That is how arrogant they were, they didn’t think that they would be held accountable and that all these records would be used against them.

The Politische Abteilung Erkennungsdienst -“Political Department Identification Service”-in Auschwitz was a kommando of SS officers and prisoners who photographed camp events, visiting dignitaries, and building works on behalf of the camp’s commandant, Rudolf Höss.

One function of the Erkennungsdienst was to take three photographs of each newly registered prisoner, unregistered prisoners were gassed on arrival, and to create prisoner identification papers with fingerprints. These details were circulated to the police in the event of an escape. If a prisoner died as a result of an escape attempt or suicide, the Erkennungsdienst took photographs of the body, which were added to the prisoner’s file and forwarded to SS-WVHA Office Group D (the Concentration Camps Inspectorate).

Prisoners were photographed soon after their arrival in Auschwitz-Birkenau by fellow-prisoners who were forced to work in the camp photo laboratory in Block 26. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum identifies names of some of these camp photographers: Wilhelm Brasse (No. 3444), Alfred Woycicki (no. 39247), Tadeusz Myszkowski (no. 593), Józef Pysz (no. 1420) Józef Światłoch (no. 3529), Eugeniusz Dembek (no. 63764), Bronisław Jureczek (no. 26672), Tadeusz Krzysica (no. 120557), Stanisław Trałka (no. 660), and Zdzisław Pazio (no. 3078).

Wilhelm Brasse died on October 23,2012. These are some of the photographs he took. I will only post the pictures and the names. It is up to every reader to find out what happened to them. That is a task I am setting for all of you. I also want you to look into the eyes of these poor souls and see the fear in them. The picture above is of Stefania Siebler.

Krystyna Trzesniewska
Gottlieb Wagner
Rozalia Kowalczyk
Czeslawa Kwoka

sources

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/jan/20/secondworldwar.warcrimes

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9344309/Wilhelm-Brasse-risked-life-Nazis-hide-atrocities.html

http://auschwitz.org/en/museum/about-the-available-data/prisoners-photos

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Hugo Jaeger-Documenting ghetto life

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Hugo Jaeger was one of Hitler’s personal photographers who has been granted special access to Third Reich and Hitler’s personal space. He is famous for being one of few photographers from that time period who used color photograph, which makes people assume that these photos have been “colorized” from black and white originals, when in reality these are the originals.

 

Hugo Jaeger’s photographs normally celebrated the ‘glory and triumphalism’ of the Third Reich. But in this set he depicts the tragic circumstances of Jews.What his reasons were is not clear, was it compassion or just another bit of propaganda.

The pictures do tell a powerful  tale.

Despite the awfulness of her predicament, this Jewish woman manages to smile brightly for the camera as she poses for Jaeger.article-0-158DC232000005DC-165_964x1432

An elderly man with a yellow Star of David fixed to his chest, speaks with German officers as he and other Jews are rounded up in Kutno, German-occupied Poland in 1939. The German officers appear to be sneering him
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With their clean clothes and hair neatly coiffured, these three young women do not, at first glance, appear anything like Jaeger’s other subjects. But look closer and you find a star of David on the coat of the girl on the left

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Ghetto boys: In their tattered rags the two boys smile for the camera, but the man in the centre, most probably their father, has a look of distrust etched across his face.article-0-15880210000005DC-376_964x643

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The picture of the last man to die

 

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Robert Capa (born Endre Friedmann;October 22, 1913 – May 25, 1954) was a Hungarian war photographer and photo journalist, arguably the greatest combat and adventure photographer in history. Capa was born into a Jewish family in Budapest, where his parents were tailors

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During his career he risked his life numerous times, most dramatically as the only photographer landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day. He documented the course of World War II in London, North Africa, Italy, and the liberation of Paris.

On April 18, 1945, Capa captured images of a fight to secure a bridge in Leipzig, Germany. These pictures included an image of Raymond J. Bowman’s death by sniper fire.

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This image became famous in a spread in Life magazine with the caption “The picture of the last man to die”

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Raymond_Bowman_robert_capa_3(Picture taken minutes before Raymond J. Bowman (on the right) was killed, the other soldier is Clarence Ridgeway (on the left)

Robert Capa climbed through a balcony window into the flat to photograph the dead man, who lay in the open door, a looted Luftwaffe sheepskin helmet on his head. The subsequent series of photographs show the rapid spread of the soldier’s blood across the parquet floor as other GIs attended to him and his fellow gunner took over his post at the machine gun.

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The Life magazine article did not identify the soldiers in the photographs by name, although Bowman’s family recognized him by the small pin (which bore his initials) that he always wore on his collar.

In the early 1950s, Capa traveled to Japan for an exhibition associated with Magnum Photos. While there, Life magazine asked him to go on assignment to Southeast Asia, where the French had been fighting for eight years in the First Indochina War,

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and was killed when he stepped on a land mine. He was 40 years old.

Bowman received many honors for his service, including the Bronze Star Medal, an Army Good Conduct Medal, and two Purple Hearts.

In July 2015, the city of Leipzig, Germany voted to name the street (previously called Jahnallee 61) in front of the apartment building where Bowman was killed “Bowmanstraße” after him. The renaming took place on April 17, 2016. The apartment building now contains a small memorial with Capa’s photographs and information about Bowman.

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