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From the Kriegsberichter's Eyes: A study in German Press Photos
Old 07-04-2008, 09:53 PM   #1
Todd Gylsen
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Default From the Kriegsberichter's Eyes: A study in German Press Photos

I have been debating for quite some time whether to post this information publicly on the internet or try to publish this information in a book. After many years, it doesn't appear that a book will come true, so I will post this information in this thread to educate collectors what I know regarding press photos.

I have been actively collecting and studying German Press photos for many years and have been able to decipher/identify the markings and styles of captions utilized by the various press agencies during the era of the Third Reich.

If I have posted any information in this thread which is incorrect, please let me know so that I can make the appropriate corrections.

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During the era of the Third Reich, a propaganda section was established to coordinate and approve for release photographs taken by Kriegsberichter’s (war photographers) from all branches of the military and other organizations such as the RAD, SA, etc. This unit was under the direction of the Ministry for National Enlightenment and Propaganda run by Dr. Josef Goebbels. Once the censors approved the photograph for release, it was then distributed for civilian or military publication. These press photos would contain a wide range of subjects ranging from front line action to action on the home front.

All the photographs in this thread (which I will post in the near future) are images from official press photographs released by the Propaganda Ministry to the various German press agencies during the era of the Third Reich. Press photos are emulsion prints and will have a printed caption that is separately attached to the back of the photograph and is normally stamped by the releasing press agency. All the photographs in this thread are German press photos which were released by the various press agencies which existed during the era of the Third Reich. Each photograph is captioned with the original text which is attached to the back of each photo. There are a few photographs in which the text is no longer attached, which is unfortunate. Quite a bit of the value and history in the photograph is lost when the caption is missing.
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:56 PM   #2
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The reader will notice in this thread how the propaganda machine used these photographs to great effect during the war years. Each photograph is captioned with the original caption which is attached to the backs of the photographs. These captions were the captions which were used in the particular magazine or newspaper in which the photograph originally appeared.

The captions below each photo follow a specific pattern. Normally, the top line of the caption lists the specific number of the photo and the headline for the photo. Each press agency had their own system of numbering photos. Below the headline would be the description of the photo. The last line of the photo would consist of the date the press photo was released, the press agency which released the photo and the photographers who took the picture. It is important to note that the date the press photo was released is not necessarily the date the photo was taken. This was done to maximize the effect of propaganda on the people. It is not uncommon to see photos from the same event released on numerous different days. It was also not uncommon to see photos from the same event taken by the same photographer (or even the same photo) released by different press agencies or even the same photo released by different press agencies.

The most well known press agency of the Third Reich was the Hoffmann press agency. The other main press agencies during this time were Atlantic, Weltbild, Presse Bild Zentrale, Orbis, Scherl, Transocean and even the still operating European offices of the Associated Press.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:03 PM   #3
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The first press agency I will discuss is the Atlantic Press Agency.

The Atlantic press agency was located in Berlin and operated pre-war and throughout the war years. Atlantic press photos can be identified by the stamping on the back of the photo as well as the typed script, which will be discussed later. The style of the stampings changed over the years, while the colors of the stampings ranged from a light blue to a dark purple. It did change in the final stamp variation.

The earliest style of Atlantic stamp encountered is the basic circle stamp. This stamp can be seen as early as 1934 and ran through about May 1941.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:04 PM   #4
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A variation of this style of stamp was also utilized. It is not known the reason for this variation. The main difference is the address line at the bottom of the stamp.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:06 PM   #5
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Another style of stamp was utilized by Atlantic in conjunction with the above two. This style can be seen from 1937-1939.
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:07 PM   #6
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This style of stamp was utilized for only a very short period and most likely ended within a few months. It is not known how long it was in existence.
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:03 AM   #7
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Here are mine press photos.

He (name Alfred Jonstrup, oberschaführer) was wounded the 27 october 1944 by a Russian handgranate , some of his jaw was badly wounded therefore he is writing because he could not speak.

Jonstrup never came back to the front line again. He received the wound badge in silver for the wound.
And EK1 the 5/11 1944.

He later in january 1945 received the Ehrennblattspange.

Jonstrup survived the war and died in 1985 (Not sure)

He was also fighting in the Finnish-Russian winter war in 1939.
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File Type: jpg jonstrup1.jpg (90.6 KB, 438 views)

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Old 01-28-2011, 04:09 AM   #8
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:10 AM   #9
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My last
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:56 AM   #10
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Great pics Larsen! Thanks for sharing them in this thread.

49413/ A Black Forest sign in the Soviet Union.
This is the birthday gift from the soldiers to their Division General.
27 September 1941 Hoffmann PK-Bauer
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:57 AM   #11
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H365/ Chaos and destruction.
A photo from the large encirclement battle. In fabulous cooperation, Stuka units,
Panzers and guns destroyed the Bolshevik enemy as they attempted to break out.
28 September 1941 Weltbild PK-Otto
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File Type: jpg 41press038.JPG (141.4 KB, 455 views)
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larsen View Post
Here are mine press photos.

He (name Alfred Jonstrup, oberschaführer) was wounded the 27 october 1944 by a Russian handgranate , some of his jaw was badly wounded therefore he is writing because he could not speak.

Jonstrup never came back to the front line again. He received the wound badge in silver for the wound.
And EK1 the 5/11 1944.

He later in january 1945 received the Ehrennblattspange.

Jonstrup survived the war and died in 1985 (Not sure)

He was also fighting in the Finnish-Russian winter war in 1939.
Jonstrup was a 1939 Finland veteran, as you mention. He then was in the headquarters section of the Frikorps Danmark, and was with commander Christian Frederik von Schalburg when the latter was fatally wounded on June 2, 1942. Jonstrup survived the fatal artillery burst without a scratch, and recovered von Schalburg's body for burial.

Jonstrup then became the Postmaster for SS-PGR 24 Danmark, serving in the regimental headquarters. At the start of the Second Battle of Kurland, he set out to deliver a key message for bringing up reserves, but as related in the original post, he had part of his jaw torn away by a shell fragment. He insisted on writing out his message before seeking medical attention, and the moment was captured by SS-War Reporter Erich Fabiger.

As also mentioned, Jonstrup was listed in the Honor Roll of the German Army on December 25, 1944, and given the Honor Roll Clasp while in a German hospital on January 16, 1945. H.T. Nielsen wrote a detailed article on Jonstrup, with many photos, for Siegrunen issue #57.

Last edited by MarcRikmenspoel; 02-02-2011 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:41 AM   #13
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H399/ A destroyed 52-ton tank of the Soviets.
30 September 1941 Weltbild
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:43 AM   #14
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AV65146/ The Battleship “Nelson” encountered an Italian torpedo aircraft.
The reputation of the Italian aircraft has increased with the attack on a British warship and convoy in the Mediterranean Sea. Churchill himself has now confessed the Battleship “Nelson”, a powerful warship of the English Flotilla, has been attacked with torpedoes. Our picture shows the Battleship “Nelson”.
30 September 1941 Scherl
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:30 AM   #15
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AV65178/ Shot down!
A Soviet fighter was shot down by our forward German positions.
3 October 1941 Scherl PK-Wiesemann
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