September 14, 2006

The Führer’s Photographer


Walter Frentz

He was the Führer’s most favored photographer and cameraman. Walter Frentz was the man Adolf Hitler trusted to put him in the right light. Now a new biography has uncovered pictures of the Nazi leader never seen before.

On his 34th birthday Walter Frentz was accorded a special honor. Adolf Hitler’s preferred photographer and cameraman was allowed to sit next to the Nazi dictator in 1941. Although he never became a member of the Nazi party, Frentz played a unique role in Hitler’s entourage during the Third Reich. For years he was trusted to film Hitler for the weekly newsreels and other important pieces of Nazi propaganda.

Wherever the Führer was, Frentz was too. But most of the photographs he took were never meant for the public. A new biography by Hans Georg Hiller von Gaertringen (Das Auge des Dritten Reiches or The Eye of the Third Reich from Deutscher Kunstverlag) presents previously unpublished shots of Hitler and other top Nazis. Despite spending time with people responsible for some of the worst atrocities of World War II — he was reportedly witness to a massacre of Jews and partisans in Minsk while traveling with SS leader Heinrich Himmler — there is no new photographic evidence of such incidents.