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Hitlers photos

by Beniton

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Adolf Hitler
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Germany WW2 Solerno Landings
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09 May 2004

Photos from an SS officer ref Hitlers suit

Enclosed is the one of the photos 55 pictures in all found on an SS officer who was arrested and searched after the landings at Solerno. Each photo is based on propaganda and has writing on the back which i can scan but it is in German could you please see if you could find anybody who may shed some light or knows anything about these pictures Beniton.

Peter has varified my initial research, the IWM has varified the Princess Josaphine Charlotte at Solerno with German POW's onboard. Apparently The photos may have been given as a gift to certain troops. I can scan another photo as there are 55 in all Beniton

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Message 1 - Hitlers photos

Posted on: 11 May 2004 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

This photograph was taken in 1934 at the annual youth rally at the National Socialist Assembly on the Strength of the Party. The man following Hitler is Baldur von Schirach, the Reich Youth Leader. His father was Carl Bailer von Schirach, an officer in the prestigious Garde-Kürassier Regiment Willhelm II. In this picture Schirrach was 27. He was sentenced to 20 years at Nuremburg and released in 1966; he died in Kröv on 8 August 1974. I recognised the photo at once because it is widely known. It first appeared in a German propaganda book edited by Goebbels called "Adolf Hitler - Pictures from the Life of the Führer" published in 1936 at page 110. But it has been reproduced many times since, for example in "Hitler - A History in Photographs" edited by Herbert Walther, at page 79.

Of more interest to me is that you say that this photo was "found on an SS officer who was arrested and searched after the landings at Solerno". There was no general warrant for the arrest of members of the SS until May 1945, so I am assuming you mean that he was taken as a PoW at Salerno. But there were no SS officers at Salerno either.

In opposition to the Salerno Landings the Germans rushed in troops from the north and south of the landing area, but these were all regular Wehrmacht troops and not Waffen-SS. By 12 September 1943 elements of the 26th Panzer Division and the 29th Panzer Grenadier Division, arriving from the south, had reinforced the 16th Panzer Division in the Battipaglia-Eboli area. From the north the Hermann Goering Division with detachments of the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division had also come to form another concentration in the Nocera district. The 3d Panzer Grenadier Division had at least one battalion in the line on 14 September, but neither at this initial stage nor later were any SS or Waffen-SS troops in the line at Salerno.

The crack SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler was in Italy, but hundreds of miles north of Salerno. After being stopped by fierce Soviet resistance in the Battle for Kursk, the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler was pulled out and moved to northern Italy to be used in anti-partisan operations. However, re-equiped and renamed as a full Panzer Division the LAH, in November 1943, was sent back to the Eastern Front.

Other SS troops did arrive later, but they were in Northern Italy fighting the partisans not the Allied Armies until the later stages of the Allied advance; crack SS troops were thought best fighting where the Geneva Convention did not apply: Russia, the Balkans, and in Northern Italy against the increasing partisan formations.

After the SS division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler left, there were no SS troops in Italy until 1944, when the partisan threat became severe. These, in 1944, were:

The 16.SS-Panzergrenadier-Division "Reichsführer SS" was in the following higher formations in 1944:

June - July LXXXV Korps Armee-Abteilung Zangen at Grosseto
August - September XIV Korps, 14 Armee at Carrara
October I. Fallsch. Korps, 14 Armee at Bologna
November - December I. Fallsch. Korps, 10 Armee at Bologna
January 45 LXXIII Korps, 10 Armee, still at Bologna, after which they were moved to Hungary.

The 24.Waffen-Gebirgs-(Karstjager) Division der SS, in northern Italy for anti-partisan operations. They surrendered at Isonzo to the British army in 1945, thus many wanted by the Partisans slipped through the net.

The 29.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (Italienische Nr.1)

This SS division was raised from die-hard Italian Republican Fascists, used in anti-partisan warfare. It comprised the following units:

81.Waffen-Grenadier-Regiment der SS
82.Waffen-Grenadier-Regiment der SS
29th SS Divisional Support Units

Also a separate Italian SS brigade, the Waffen-Grenadier-Brigade der SS (Italienische Nr.1)
(its original title was 1.Italienische Freiwilligen-Sturm-Brigade Milizia Armata; then 1.Sturmbrigade Italienische Freiwilligen-Legion).

Whilst there were no SS at Salerno, it will be seen from the above what the partisans contributed in tying down these crack forces and diverting them from the Eastern Front. This was not generally known to Allied troops.



Message 2 - Hitlers photos

Posted on: 13 May 2004 by Beniton

I actually do thank you for your imput Peter the information you have generated has confirmed my initial research which is good. The sailor which i have been working with in relation to these photos was on the Princess Josaphine Charlotte at Solerno.

They had collected German POW on the Charlotte destination England. He has explained in detail about the defiant SS officer, who he states he had to kick him to get him to co-operate. In doing so certain documents dropped from him.

His recalled memory has been confirmed by the IWM, where what and when is not problem. The SS story, i have not a problem in believing his story because being a trained theraputic counsellor i was able to test his memory for variations of it over a period of time. It never wavered, as it was given to me as a first hand experience. Not second or third or passed down through generations.

In my question Peter i actually asked does anyone know anything about these photos as propaganda photos, their is writing on the back of them in Italic writing. I thank you though for your imput Best regards Beniton


Message 3 - Hitlers photos

Posted on: 13 May 2004 by Beniton

I have just recieved this through my internal mail. 'the photographs may have been given to certain troops as a present'. I dont know if this is true either. I can post some more of the photos if you feel it might generate some feedback Peter, what do you think? Beniton


Message 4 - Hitlers photos

Posted on: 13 May 2004 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper


There were no SS officers at Salerno. At the time of Operation Avalanche (the Salerno Landings on 9 September 1943) the only SS Division in Italy was Hitler's very best, the prestigious SS-Panzer-Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, but that division was in northern Italy and left for the Russian front shortly afterwards. As I said above, the SS were then absent from Italy until mid 1944.

As to the German officer you mentioned, a PoW, a lot goes on in the heat of battle and is understandable but to kick a defenceless PoW is despicable and a serious military offence, no matter how sullen or defiant a PoW is.

The photo is not a propaganda photo, it is a well known one. It was taken in 1934 and immediately appeared in magazines. As I said above, it first appeared in a book of photographs of Hitler in 1936 edited by the Minister of Propaganda Dr Joseph Goebbels, all the photographs for the book were selected by Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler's personal photographer, under his official title "Press Photographer of the Reich". Hoffmann was a superb photographer and usually used a Rolleiflex for these shots. Incidentally, it was at Hoffmann's photographic shop that Hitler first met Eva Brown, where she worked as his assistant.

The preface to the book is by Göring and is dated 15 September 1935, although published the following year. All the top Nazis wrote articles for the book and your particular photo of Hitler is one of ten which accompany the article contributed by Baldur von Schirach, the Nazi Youth Leader. The actual caption to that picture is "National Socialist Assembly on the Strength of the Party, 1934. At the stadium with young people" The entire 1936 edition was translated by a team of specialists and printed in Canada. It is now, of course, a valuable historical document.

You ask if it was used for propaganda purposes in the army. There is a misunderstanding about 'propaganda', before WW2 it was a highly respected term taken from the Catholic church. It originally meant to 'propagate' information, what might now be termed 'publicity'. Photos of Hitler were not distributed for propaganda purposes as we understand it. He was extremely popular in Germany and regarded as a national hero. Very little propaganda was required to motivate either the public or the army. It is pure conjecture on my part, but I would imagine that all the youths in that photograph would have made sure that they got a copy, and it could well be that the German officer was one of them.



Message 5 - Hitlers photos

Posted on: 13 May 2004 by Beniton

Excellent stuff here. The photos go on to show Adolf Hitler with women and children in endearing poses as if he put the people first.

The German was kicked because he refused to eat or move places, arrogance was the term the sailor used. He stated that the captain of the Charlotte was not going to have the German officer disobediant and he considered having him shot and throwing him overboard.

Eventually after being man handled and kicked he did what he was told. Of course i did not like his treatment but i can only refer to his own words. Thans for you help Peter best regards Beniton


Message 6 - Hitlers photos

Posted on: 07 September 2005 by gergoo

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