Photo archive of Heinrich Hoffmann

Short biography and photo archive

Heinrich Hoffmann (1885 – 1957), around 1942 | © BSB/Image Archive
Heinrich Hoffmann (1885 – 1957), around 1942 | © BSB/Image Archive

The photographer and publisher Heinrich Hoffmann (1885 – 1957) was a "Reichsbildberichterstatter" (photo reporter of the German Reich) and as such was the personal photographer of Adolf Hitler. Up to the end of the Second World War, he set up a company with ten subsidiaries in various European cities.


The partial archive maintained by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek comprises photos from the period between 1914 and 1945 on historical events in Bavaria and Germany, on the history of the NSDAP and portraits of high-ranking politicians, members of the armed forces, NS functionaries, etc.


The central image archive of Heinrich Hoffmann’s company was seized by the US-American military government after the end of the war as spoils of war. Important parts of the archive are today located in the US National Archives in Maryland.
US National Archives in Maryland


The part of the photo archive remaining in Europe could be acquired by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek with the support of the German Research Foundation in 1992, 2001 and 2003.


The archive comprises almost 70,000 negatives and prints. It also contains a number of photos taken by Hoffmann’s son Heinrich Hoffmann jun. from the time after the war, among other things of the Nuremberg Trials, as well as holdings of the Vienna subsidiary of Hoffmann’s company (around 6,700 motifs), which were acquired complementarily in 2002.


The photo archive has been catalogued and digitized in its entirety.


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Horn, Reinhard: Heinrich Hoffmann – Reichsbildberichterstatter. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 22 (1994), p. 87-95.

Herz, Rudolf: Hoffmann & Hitler: Fotografie als Medium des Führer-Mythos. München, 1994.

Sebastian Peters: Heinrich Hoffmann. Verlag nationalsozialistischer Bilder. In: Historisches Lexikon Bayerns. Published on 27/11/2019.
[Access on 21/09/2021].

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