Help with a familiar picture sought

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
palaisfan
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Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by palaisfan » 26 Mar 2021 06:09

Since this is probably a case of re-hashing something solved, I wanted to ask if it had been persuasively determined when and where this picture is from? Usually see it associated with Haus Wachenfeld, pre conversion to Berghof. But that wall and bookcase doesn't match bookcase of the original Living room in Obersalzberg even allowing for lack of many pictures. It certainly is not the 1936 onward construction. Having gone through the nearly 400 plus pages of the Berghof thread didn't see this (page 341 did discuss a bookcase photo and its important in ruling this out) so if covered before, apologies. Besides, the date seem definitely after Wachenfeld phase.

Now Bayerische Staatsbibliothek says it is Hitler's Munich flat; a photo take in the apartment in August 1937. It cites as proof the brochure of German Art on the table. Since the House of German Art opened in mid-July 1937 this is the earliest the photo could be, true. But is it the apartment? It seems inconceivable the Staatsbibliothek could be incorrect, but so much doesn't line up.

führerwohnung-Bayerische-Aug1937.jpg


The art brochure is potentially decisive, but a 1937 date can't really fit Hitler's desk in the flat. We know what it looked like from 1935 to the end of the war, and this is not it. Besides, even if the slanted wall in background might suggest the wedge-shaped Foyer Hall in the Munich apartment, there is no such desk in the plan and none present in 1945. That bookcase doesn't match the type found in the wedge Hall either; nor the one near the Dining Room and east bay window. The 1945 photos match the 1935 plan as far as can determine for a furniture piece.

So while the brochure seems conclusive proof of the approximate date --- it clashes with what is known of the apartment. Does anyone recall if this was solved. Its has bearing on when Albert Speer had his first meeting. It is possible it has not been settled, and that's understandable too.

Thanks,

- palaisfan
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Widar
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by Widar » 28 Mar 2021 01:21

I don't know if that helps but the illustration in front of the chair is "Tag der Deutschen Kunst" München 1937
16-18 July.

palaisfan
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by palaisfan » 28 Mar 2021 05:50

Widar wrote:
28 Mar 2021 01:21
I don't know if that helps but the illustration in front of the chair is "Tag der Deutschen Kunst" München 1937
16-18 July.
Hello Widar,

It certainly does help to confirm the general date of the brochure, thanks for the reply. It seems this is a tricky one to pinpoint after all.

I remain inclined that this is not the Munich apartment since this picture is after the 1935 renovation, but may have thought of a possible match: The second Reichskanzlei in Berchtesgaden was completed in 1937 also, and some of the fittings, especially that lamp, look something like the look of that region. I seem to remember its desk was somewhat in a corner too. If this is correct, it explains both brochure and the fact that is indeed clearly Hitler's space somewhere.

For now fairly sure that this same picture of Eva Braun is the one on the desk. Just by chance noticed it when the quote drew attention to the picture, and did a double-take. But it sure looks like it the same pose, everything. Whether it is actually Gretl wouldn't change much, but might matter as it could mean this is a room actually of Eva's? All that seems definite is it is 1937-ish and has Eva or Gretl on the desk. A Berchtesgaden location would also fit with the more open display of the relationship.

Thanks for all those that have read the thread; sometimes knowing an item is difficult is itself a clue,

Eva-quote-might-be-picture(Gretl perhaps).jpg
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palaisfan
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by palaisfan » 12 Apr 2021 22:59

Can now add to the above clues. The photograph of the first post really cannot be in the Prinzregetenplatz apartment since Widar confirmed its as late as mid-July 1937 which also even matches its caption. It looks like it is in a corner, true. But this is the 1935 arrangement plan of the Foyer wedge-shaped Halle in 1935 and it can be seen to have the identical fittings * basically still as late as 1945 as seen at the Lee Miller site and the two pictures clearly associated with this Foyer Halle. It never looked like this 1937 picture given all the evidence. Its got to be from somewhere else. It is interesting indeed though if that is Gretl on the desk. It may remain unidentified, but now fairly confident is not a view at Hitler apartment post 1935.

Note: It is not a location in the bay windows either, because these too, match between 1935 -1945 in most respects and type of desk.

* Bookcase, padded bench, table with lamp on west wall, what looks like a Kommode and another case on the opposite wall with a characteristic round table with chairs in center.

Foyer-Hall-1935matches1945.jpg
Despina Stratigakos, "Hitler at Home"
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palaisfan
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by palaisfan » 12 Apr 2021 23:16

With the above established in post # 4, it is quite remarkable how much the mystery picture however does resemble the kind of arrangements found in the Second Reichskanzlei near Berchtesgaden. Compare to this thumbnail preview picture of Hitler's office there from AKG. The desk is of similar form, even the lamp is similar, but not quite. We can't compare any fittings on the left side of the desk like the wall and bookcase because of the point of view. The similarity of what can be compared is great, but not quite an exact match. Yet it seems reasonable to conclude it could be a picture from somewhere in the complex or another in the region. The parallels and even the mid-1937 date are very close. Thoughts?
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Whithaus
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by Whithaus » 13 Apr 2021 03:32

I can’t help but notice in the floor plan that the bedroom has an angled wall with a bookcase along the wall and a desk in front of the window. Has it been ruled out as a possibility?

Biber
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by Biber » 13 Apr 2021 12:57

Would Hitler really have had a picture of himself in his study? Somehow I don't see him as being that vain.

palaisfan
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by palaisfan » 13 Apr 2021 14:34

Biber wrote:
13 Apr 2021 12:57
Would Hitler really have had a picture of himself in his study? Somehow I don't see him as being that vain.
Odd as it may seem, I agree with you. It has always had an `off' note to it. One long-shot possibility is someone like Hoffman's office--who might both display Hitler and if is the desk Eva worked at, one of the Brauns. (If that picture is one of them as it appears to be in larger scale ones). But you are right--- despite all the display of his portrait, in his inner spaces things scaled down sharply, almost reserved. `Hitler at Home' goes into this at length. Good point.
Last edited by palaisfan on 13 Apr 2021 14:39, edited 1 time in total.

palaisfan
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by palaisfan » 13 Apr 2021 14:38

Whithaus wrote:
13 Apr 2021 03:32
I can’t help but notice in the floor plan that the bedroom has an angled wall with a bookcase along the wall and a desk in front of the window. Has it been ruled out as a possibility?
That's a fascinating suggestion -- the one picture of that room just shows the very generic flat bed and sink of the plan. Your possibility cannot be ruled out. The room seems a bit small, even in present-day views --- but it should be considered. Perhaps its nature is misunderstood, and it was as much a reserve office as it was guest bedroom. Since Eva may have used it (and Traudl did) it just might fit. It would solve the clear contradiction of other evidence for the main office before or after 1935.

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Geoff Walden
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by Geoff Walden » 14 Apr 2021 21:23

The only point I can add to this discussion is that is definitely Gretl in the photo with the quote from EB. (a common error)
"Ordnung ist das halbe Leben" - I live in the other half.
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palaisfan
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by palaisfan » 15 Apr 2021 17:17

Geoff Walden wrote:
14 Apr 2021 21:23
The only point I can add to this discussion is that is definitely Gretl in the photo with the quote from EB. (a common error)
Thanks for reading. That point is not trivial, and every little bit is helpful. For if that photo is Gretl it points to something other than a Hitler desk wherever it is. Add that to Biber's point about the doubtfulness of Hitler posting his portrait that way and Whithaus' posted suggestion, it all ads up to a different location.

In any case if it is in the Munich flat at all, it cannot be Hitler's office after 1935 and is not in the Halle Foyer or the bow windows room. Whithaus' suggestion of the wedged Guest room is the only fit if in the flat. Perhaps a sink and bed should be imagined out of frame to the right.

The wildcard is if that is Gretl, it most likely is a space associated with Eva, not Hitler. This would fit with the use of the guest room and is probably where should leave this. Or if Eva had a desk of hers anywhere this might fit--her house or even somewhere at Berchtesgaden which the moose (?)deer sculpture and lamp style somewhat evokes.

Close-up of the picture. The resemblance is strong.
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palaisfan
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by palaisfan » 16 May 2021 01:49

Geoff Walden wrote:
14 Apr 2021 21:23
The only point I can add to this discussion is that is definitely Gretl in the photo with the quote from EB. (a common error)
Hello all, :idea:

I am very pleased to report a major breakthrough on this, that may be of some interest beyond any connection to the Munich apartment, for it may solve some Berghof questions. While leafing through some old stacks of books, I was a bit startled to notice this picture on page 78 of the old rather common TIME-LIFE volume of WW II that deals with the Nazis. The caption puzzled, because it looked nothing like Hitler's wide Berghof office. But then I noticed the peculiar and very distinctive phone connection cables on the right, and suddenly realizing it might match, began a comparison with the familiar mystery photo above. Lo and behold, it is an exact match --- even down to the circular object on the desk, the lamp's stand, and the patterns of carpet. According to the TIME-LIFE book it associated it as "Hitlers Sitting Room as the place he went to be alone".

This exact match is important because if not previously recognized as suspect, it allows association of the famous picture with the Berghof and a small office that appears to have a picture of Gretl on the desk. The two windows revealed and other furnishings absolutely rule out Prinzregentenplatz with the very longshot exception of one room on the west wing. But the windows don't at all look like the type. Incidentally it is worth remembering Biber's doubting Hitler would have a portrait of himself in his office. If it is the Berghof it is not that room.

While cannot solve where this room is, can now clearly indicate its one with two windows and a door opposite its bookcase and almost certainly not the Munich apartment (other than again with the cautionary disclaimer of the two window room facing the Prinzegetenplatz but the window frames simply do not match at all)

Hope of interest,

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palaisfan
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by palaisfan » 24 May 2021 17:17

Just an update while here. Now fairly persuaded this `Sitting Room' may be correctly labeled, but apparently is not in the Berghof and definitely not in the Prinzregentenplatz apartment. However, those windows are a very good match for a location in the Braunes Haus. This may be a sitting room next to the office there. There is an old 1939 book that describes the Braunes Haus and mentions after it ceased to be a party HQ, it continued to be used by Hitler and some others for less formal meetings. Both the familiar picture in post #1 and that in #12 above are definitely the same room. If it is in the Braunes Haus, it might explain much. Apparently there is relatively little description of it or plans despite ample photos. (One other candidate location that should be mentioned is Eva's part of the Old Reich Chancellery, a completely unknown area. Windows might match that building too - but looks like Braunes Haus type.)

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Helly Angel
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by Helly Angel » 27 May 2021 02:39

Widar wrote:
28 Mar 2021 01:21
I don't know if that helps but the illustration in front of the chair is "Tag der Deutschen Kunst" München 1937
16-18 July.
That one!
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Wessel
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Re: Help with a familiar picture sought

Post by Wessel » 27 May 2021 13:49

...or it could just be any copy of the German Art Magazine.
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