Hoffmann, Heinrich, born 12-09-1885 in Fürth,
four years before Adolf Hitler
(did you know
), the only child of the photographer Robert Hoffmann and his wife Maria, born Kargl. After leaving school he worked in his father’s photography shop. Photography was instilled in him from an early age. At the age of eleven he could already be found in his uncle’s photography studio, where he learned to appreciate the art of portrait photography. He turned out to have talent and his uncle gave him the opportunity to develop that talent. Hoffmann decided to broaden his horizons and at the age of sixteen he left for various German cities such as Darmstad, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Zurich and Bad Homburg to learn from other photographers. Among these photographers were Anita Augspurg and Sophia Goudstikker, owners of the famous Atelier Elvira in Munich,
the first German company founded by women. ”Ausgezeichnete Fotografinnen” (excellent photographers), as Hoffmann called them. This choice to work as an apprentice with other photographers had put Hoffmann on the national map once and for all, but his international success soon followed. He was the one who accidental made the famous picture of Hitler on the Odeonplatz in Munich, on 02-08-1914.
He worked for several photographers as Emil Otto Hoppé in London.
Hoppé died very old age of 94 on 09-10-1972, in London. He also worked in the shop of von Anita Augspurg and Sophia Goudstikker, the Atelier Elvira. Anita Augspurg died on 20-12-1943, age 86, a few months after her partner. Like Lida Gustava Heymann,
she is buried in the Fluntern Cemetery in Zürich, Switzerland.
and he took over the management of the antisemitic magazine “Auf gut deutsch” a weekly magazine about order and rights. He started to make pictures of the Nazi, big bosses, like Hermann Goering
(did you know
) and Rudolf Hess
and Heinrich was chosen by its new leader Hitler (see Alois Hitler
(see William Hitler
) as his official photographer. The two became close friends. Hoffmann’s photographs were published as postage stamps, postcards, posters and picture books. Following Hoffmann’s suggestion, both he and Hitler received royalties from all uses of Hitler’s image, even on postage stamps, which made the photographer wealthy. Hoffmann belonged to the group of intimates around Hitler and followed him closely, with his camera, in all events.
Hoffmann’s wife Therese “Nelly” Baumann, who was very fond of Hitler, with their daughter Henriette (“Henny”) born on 03-02-1913 and followed by son, Heinrich (“Heini”)
on 24-10-1916. Henriette married Reichsjugendführer, National Hitler Youth commander Baldur von Schirach
who provided introductions to many of Hoffmann’s picture books, in 1932. Therese Hoffmann died a sudden and unexpected death in 1928 and Heinrich married Erna Gröbke, in 1929.
“Heini” Hoffmann here with Hitler and Geli Raubal
remembered in an interview: I was 4 or 5 years old when father first started bringing him around, as I said. I remember him well. He would bring me Pralinen, rubber bands, small toy cars. He was a wonderful visitor for me and not just because of the chocolates. One thing I can mention in passing is that Hitler also could play the piano. He wasn’t a very good pianist, but he could pick out tunes and play a little. About his mother, she adored Hitler and always talked him up, she was his greatest supporter. Hitler was very stricken when she died. He spent a great deal of time at our home after my mother left us. In fact I would admit to you that having Hitler around the house after my mother’s passing helped me. He said I was a “brave little comrade” for not crying at my mother’s funeral. He was really very saddened by her death, he had liked her very much.
Heinrich Jr was also asked, did you ever see Hitler cry? Heini answered. Cry? Yes, I have seen this. He cried after Geli died, my father was with him out at the Tegernsee for a few days. He heard him crying for hours behind a closed and locked door, he told me that story many times later on. Then several months later, Esser mentioned Geli at the table when we were eating on the Obersalzberg. I happened to glance at Hitler and he had tears streaming down his face. I also saw him cry after his driver and look alike Julius Schreck
Heinrich Jr died age 72 on 14-09-1988 in Munich.
In 1932 he enlarged his firm of publishers and had at one moment a 300 co-workers and with the exclusive rights of the Hitler photos, the big money came in. He in 1933, as early Party member, was elected to the Reichstag and in 1938 Hitler appointed him a ‘Professor’. The “ mistress” of Hitler and later Mrs. Hitler, Eva Braun
worked in the photographer shop of Hoffmann were she met Hitler many times, then not yet so famous.
Eva was girlfriend with Hoffmann’s daughter Henriette “Henny” Hoffmann
In 1937 he was involved in the seizure of 770 Jewish work of arts, so called „Entartete Kunst“, art the Nazis didn´t allowed and accepted. All art works came from the Art Museum in Hamburg and were sold abroad. He himself had a large valuable collectiion of international forbidden art, most from French, Belgium and Dutch artists. Hitler insisted that he accompanied the German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop
to Moscow for the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 with Josef Stalin
and Viacheslav Molotov
the pictures of that event as of many others from the history of the Third Reich that one sees in books on that era are very frequently those that Hoffmann took. Heinrich Hoffmann out walking in Nuremberg with his wife and step-daughter, and an armed guard, 28-09-1946.
Hoffmann is facing trial for war profiteering. In April 1945 on his last way to Hitler, Heinrich was arrested near Oberwössen, in Bavaria, by the American forces and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment as a Nazi profiteer. After an appeal the sentence remained only four years imprison and the seizure of his total property.
Death and burial ground of Hoffmann, Heinrich.
Upon release from prison on 31-05-1950 he settled in the small village Epfach, 80 kilometres from Munich, where he died 7 years later at age 72, on 11-12-1957. His first wife, Therese “Lelly” Baumann, died in 1928, his son Heini died age 71 on 14-09-1988, Henriette died age 74, on 28-10-1976, in Munich. The Hoffmanns are buried on the Nordfriedhof of Munich,
together with their daughter Henriette “Henny”. Only steps away is the graves of Hitler opponent during the Putz in 1923, Dr. Gustav von Kahr
, President of the Bavarian court and some further the secretary of Hitler, Traudl Junge-Humps and Hans
the Generals Bernd von Freytag Loringhoven
, General der Flieger, Kommandeur Luftwaffe Hongaria
, Kuno Fütterer
and Generalleutnant der Artillerie, Commander of the POW in Wehrkreis IV
, Erich von Botzheim
, Hitler’s driver and founder of the SS, SS Oberführer, Emil Maurice
, Hitler’s doctor SS Obersturmführer, Dr. Ludwig Stumpfegger
, the Troost couple Paul Troost and Gerdy
former Hitler adjutant, SS Standartenführer, Falaise Pocket, 12th SS Panzer Division
, Max Wünsche
and Generaloberst der Gebirgstruppe, Kommandeur der 3th Gebirgs Division
, Eduard Dietl