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



Craig,

None of this is unusual and is only disturbing when the winning side sees
the losing side's propaganda. Some, no doubt, even though they lost, would
find modern day Fox news to be of the same caliber you describe below. It
happens all the time and a good lesson from this historical evidence would
be to keep us on our toes when it comes to contemporary parallels. I'm
sure most are agreed that the less we see of it today and in the future,
the better.

All the best,
Daniel


On Fri, 16 May 2003 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
>
>

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