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Object | Accession Number: 2005.46.1

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    Brief Narrative
    Adolf Hitler - Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers [Adolf Hitler - Pictures of the Life of the Führer), a cigarette card album with 188 b&w and colored colored mounted cards, an encomium by Hermann Goering; text by Joseph Goebbels and others. Cigarette cards were a popular collectible item in Germany beginning about 1920. Large albums with text, but no pictures, were published for each series and the cards were collected to be added as illustrations. The album for this series has text and photo captions that tell the story of Hitler's life from birth in 1899, to his 1933 appointment as Chancellor, and then Fuhrer of Germany.
    Adolf Hitler: Bilder aus dem Leben des Führers
    publication/distribution:  1936
    publication: Hamburg (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Tom Schmieder
    Author: Joseph Goebbels
    Publisher: Cigaretten-Bilderdienst, Gm.b.H.
    Author: Heinrich Hoffmann
    Paul Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945) was born in Rheydt, Germany, to Friedrich Goebbels, and Katharina Maria Odenhausen. He was the third of five children and the family members were strict Catholics. Goebbels had polio as a child, which left him with a deformed foot that hindered his ability to walk and exempted him from military service during World War I(1914-1918). He graduated from the University of Heidelberg in 1920 with a doctorate in German literature.

    In 1924, Goebbels joined the Nazi Party and became the editor of the Nazi paper, Völkische Freiheit (Folkish Freedom) in Ebersfeld, Germany. Goebbels rose swiftly through party ranks due to his organizational talent, deft use of propaganda techniques, and tireless work ethic. In 1926, Adolf Hitler appointed Goebbels Nazi Party chief (Gauleiter) for Greater Berlin. In 1928, Goebbels was elected to the Reichstag, representing the Nazi Party from Berlin. When Hitler and the Nazi Party ascended to power in 1933, Goebbels was appointed the Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. The ministry exerted control over film, radio, theater, and the press, and was responsible for promoting Nazi ideology and antisemitism.

    Goebbels created a massive propaganda campaign to win the loyalty of German citizens and their acquiescence in Nazi anti-Jewish measures. His propaganda praised values such as loyalty to the Führer and racial purity, and the persecution of Jews and other “dissident” groups. Goebbels was a chief instigator of Kristallnacht, the violent attack on the Jewish community in Germany on November 9, 1938. During World War II, Goebbels advocated for total war and used the propaganda ministry to keep public morale high. With allied troops advancing inside Berlin, Hitler, Goebbels, and several high ranking Nazis, their families, and staff members, were living in Hitler’s underground bunker. On April 30, Hitler committed suicide, leaving Goebbels as Reich Chancellor, which he held until May 1 when Goebbels killed himself and his family inside the bunker.
    Heinrich Hoffmann (1885-1957) was a German photographer and Nazi propagandist. The son and nephew of photographers, he worked in the Hoppé studio in London before setting up in Munich as a portraitist and photojournalist. His photograph of cheering crowds on 2 August 1914 unwittingly captured the young Adolf Hitler, an event which would later benefit Hoffmann's career. Drifting to the far right after the First World War and revolutionary events in Bavaria, he joined the Nazi Party in 1920 and convinced an initially camera-shy Hitler of photography's political value. Hoffman’s assistant, Eva Braun, became Hitler’s mistress in 1930. After 1933, his virtual monopoly of Hitler photographs, as ‘the man who sees the Führer for us’, made him one of the Third Reich's major profiteers. His scenes of carefully constructed intimacy, presenting his master, especially in the regime's early years, as a clean-living, nature-loving man of the people, were massively disseminated. After 1945, though claiming to have been a mere chronicler of events, he was fined and imprisoned. His extensive photo archive survives, including photographs of German political and religious figures, as well as actors, painters, and musicians.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Albums (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    132p., 3 leaves of plates : mounted ill., plates, 2 ports. (incl. col. front.) ; 31 cm.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The cigarette card album was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Tom Schmieder.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:11:55
    This page:

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