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

A remarkable number of German corporations were a part of Hitler's war
effort and were able to capitalize on inventions afterwards.  Although this
is a camera list, some might remember that BASF invented magnetic tape
during the WWII and their invention spread afterwards, notably by the work
of Bing Crosby.  Also, a number of American corporations supported
(financially and otherwise) Nazi Germany before it became politically
detrimental.  Dupont comes to mind, although there were many others.

I once heard a very chilling anecdote a long time ago when I was shopping
with my mother for high-end stoves.  Pointing to the Gassego, the salesmen
wryly noted this was the same manufacturer of the ovens in the concentration
camps.  "You know what the Germans used these for, right?" he asked.


on 5/16/03 3:53 PM, Jerry Lehrer at jerryleh   wrote:

> Craig
> 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.
> Jerry
> 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