Crowdsourcing Solves Mysteries of a Nazi Photo Album

June 22, 2011 /Photography NewsA photo album showing never-seen-before photos of Hitler and the Nazis has surfaced with photos dating back to 70 years ago.

According to The New York Times' Lens blog, it took less than day for readers to help identify the Nazi photographer who took the 214 pictures in the album.

The Times says it identified Franz Krieger (1914-1993) as the photographer, after getting important crowdsourcing contributions from Harriet Scharnberg, who is studying German propaganda photographs, and Peter Kramml, who, it turns out, has published a book about Krieger's work as a Nazi photographer.

"The photographs, at least a lot of them, were taken by the photographer Franz Krieger (1914-1993). Krieger worked as a photojournalist in Salzburg, Austria. In the summer of 1941, he went to Minsk as a member of the Reichs-Autozug Deutschland. In Minsk, he took pictures of Soviet prisoners of war and he also visited the Jewish ghetto and photographed the poor people there. On his way back to Berlin, he took the pictures of Hitler meeting [Adm. Miklos] Horthy in Marienburg," Harriet Scharnberg wrote.

The current owner of the album that contains over 200 photos is a 72 year old fashion executive from New Jersey. The man who owns the album lent in to the Times in the hope that the media coverage would increase the album's value into 'six figures' so that he could use proceeds from a sale to pay off medical bills that have forced him to declare bankruptcy. Because of the dire financial circumstances forcing the sharing of the album, the owner has asked the newspaper not to disclose his identity. As for where the current owner got the album, he received it as payment of a loan from a friend, who had, in turn, received it from a German man for whom the second owner did landscape work.

Check out the photos at the New York Times.


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