[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Rollei] What did you do in the war? (long)


I previously remarked about a Luftwaffen Eigentum marked Rolleiflex
that I saw at Olden Camera in 1944 or '45.  It was gray enameled,
not black.  The markings were on the back of the WLF when folded
down.  In those days there was no financial advantage to counter-
feiting Rolleis or Leicas.


crgrbrts   wrote:

> Here's one for the Rollei historians among us:
> Knowing that I'm a Leica owner, a friend recently gave me a German book on Leica photography published in 1941. It is an interesting but unsettling chronicle of a grim chapter in the camera maker's undeniable history.
> Curiously but predictably, the book's lead chapter on the history of the Leica and its inventor, Oskar Barnack, is illustrated liberally with photos of Wehrmacht soldiers, Kriegsmarine sailors and Luftwaffe airmen cheerfully and efficiently raping their European neighbors. A portrait of Hitler in "full cry" ends the introduction.
> Given the context and time of the book's printing, this clumsy propaganda did not disturb me unduly. By the book's end, however, I felt much less charitable. In a late, graphic and chilling chapter on "medical" photography, for instance, the Leica is slyly but unmistakenly portrayed as a "scientific" tool useful in racial and ethnic profiling (literally).
> Thoroughly disgusted, I slammed the book shut and reflected darkly upon those who designed, assembled and marketed my pre-1960 Leicas. I am neither young nor naive, but a periodic reminder of some of the uses to which these masterfully crafted machines were put -- and reflection upon the fact that Leitz provided the Nazi war machine with untold thousands of its instruments -- still has the power to sicken me (as well it should).
> This incident got me to wondering: what was Franke & Heidecke's contribution to the German war effort? We never hear of a "Luftwaffe Rollei", for instance. What were the men and women of the Rollei-Werke doing during the war years?
> Craig Roberts
> Washington, DC