Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was a lot of things, most of them not commendable. There’s very little of him in history that can put him in a positive light.
But many would agree he was a gifted orator and made rousing speeches. But apparently it didn’t all come naturally to him and he had to do a lot of hard work to reach that level. The hard work apparently included practicing his body language to perfection.
These sessions of practice were captured by his private photographer Heinrich Hoffman.
Here they are in their somewhat hilarious glory:
The photos show how carefully Hitler cultivated his public image and how people saw and perceived him. For someone who made death and destruction the business of his daily life, so much concern for what people thought of him seems a bit extraordinary. These photos cement in the fact that he actually cared. Or maybe he just wanted to be "perfect" like his "perfect race" ideology.
We have Hoffman to thank for this insight into the life of one of the most influential people of our times.
Hoffman was born in Fürth, Germany. He was a photography enthusiast who excelled at his passion. He became the official photographer for the the National Socialist German Worker’s Party as well as the party leader, Adolf Hitler.
He was Hitler's only authorized photographer and went everywhere with him. By the fall of the Reich, he had taken around 2 million photographs of the man.
When WWII ended, Hoffman was arrested by the U.S. military and sentenced to four years in prison; his photographs were gathered and sent to the National Archives. He later penned his memoirs, Hitler Was My Friend, that were highly criticized for failing to mention any information about the Holocaust. But as a first-hand insight of the fuhrer, it has its importance.