Life Magazine – Hugo Jaeger
Saw an really interesting article on Life regarding the release of photos from Hugo Jaeger, Adolf Hitler’s personal photographer.
link to article What makes it interesting, is the fact that he used color photos, which for their day was quite groundbreaking. Hugo Jaeger was an early adopter of the new color photograph technique (by Eastman Kodak), and when the allies won the war, Jaeger who was caught, he had all the photos in a suitcase with a fancy bottle of cognac. When the soldiers discovered Jaeger, and the transparencies, hah…all they did was cared about the posh bottle of cognac! So the rest was history. Jaeger hid the photographs, later put them in a bank vault, and during the 50’s sold them to time Life magazine for about 50k? (not sure of the exact amount). Since then time has pretty much kept the photos in their vault, and has begun to release them. They were afraid that releasing them would be misconstrued as glorifying or aggrandizing ye ole Adolf so they were fearful.
Aside from being one of the most heinous/vile villains throughout the course of human history, I just think the photos are fascinating. How the pictures were taken in dark halls, I wonder if flash was used? On some of the of the darker photos of his apartment, did Hugo use a tripod? What kind of lenses or camera was used? Did he use Carl Zeiss glass? It’s just really cool to see photos of that era. Speaking of which, I was over my parents place to celebrate my birthday on (yesterday) June 6th, and he was telling stories of how the Japanese went to Vietnam back in the day to purchase pure white sand to make glass (for cameras), so we discussed how Nikon, Minolta, and Canon all sort of came about. My dad said he got a chance to see and play with one of the first zoom lenses, but it was too expensive at the time to purchase. He said back then one of the coveted lenses were Zeiss, which I thought was funny because I just happened to have a Zeiss lens on my camera at the time!
But I think the really cool part about that day was when he told stories about what happened after the North Vietnamese took over. How they took over houses and land, and they even took over the hospital that he used to work at. He said the idiots used the water lines at the hospital to water flower beds, and just pretty much ruined everything. One of the more interesting stories was he was forced to be a laborer for some lady who took over his land to grow and sell pigs. Since he was an MD, he told her if you’re going to sell the pigs, 3 days before market inject them or feed them ( I forget the name of the drug he mentioned, but it’s something they use now on cows). She asked him, “are you sure?” And my dad said, “yes”. The pigs grew more dense, gained weight, and she sold them for a lot more money! I asked him
if he knew he wasn’t going to get anything out of helping her, why did he do it? The answer was just very matter of fact and simple. You help them, and you live. When your usefulness ends, they could just shoot you.
Very cool stories, I just wanted to sit there and pick his brain. Here’s to another year I’ll have to spend with him!