Peter Martin Bleibtreu (1921-94) – 66 photographs taken by the journalist associated with Hitler, up to the Nuremberg Military Tribunals
International Military History from 1919 | A89r | Live auction | 900 Lots
DescriptionThe photos of Hitler's inner circle predominantly pasted on old, perforated paper pages, some with typewritten or handwritten captions.
(Tr.) "Hitler learns of France's surrender": seven pictures measuring 6.5 x 9.5/10 cm. Hitler at the Führerhauptquartier "Wolfsschlucht" (6 to 26 June 1940), receiving a telephone call from Marshal Pétain, informing him of France's surrender on 17 June 1940, wearing a visor cap in four, without in three photos.
Followed by two slightly different photographs of Hitler, Göring and Keitel bending over a card table in the "Führerzug", taken from outside through the train window. Dimensions approx. 10.5 x 13.5 cm each. Moreover, a photograph of Hitler with Alfred Jodl and Reich Press Chief Dietrich in front of the "Führerzug", 15.5 x 11.5 cm. Possibly taken on the train journey from Frankfurt am Main to Munich on 18 June 1940 to meet with Mussolini on the same day in Munich.
"Hitler's milieu": loose photo, Hitler in a light trench coat, with an SS escort, walking through lines of waiting people (presumably taken during the Vosges trip, 1940), 13 x 18 cm. Six pictures of Mussolini visiting Obersalzberg in 1941, Hitler and Mussolini inside and outside the Berghof, in the car and in the train. Dimensions approx. 16.5 x 11.5 cm (4x) and 11.5 x 11 cm. Loose, an outdoor scene at the FHQ "Felsennest" (10 May - 5 June 1940), 17.5 x 24 cm. Three photos of Hitler taking strolls and at a meeting outside an FHQ (probably "Tannenberg" or "Werwolf"), plus two exterior shots of an FHQ ("Werwolf"?), 16 x 12 and 15 x 11 cm.
A loose photograph of Hitler with von Brauchitsch and von Bock during the French campaign, a soldier in the background holding the standard of the "Führer und Oberste Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht", 16 x 17 cm, two photojournalist stamps on the back (Scher in Vienna and Hilscher in Berlin) and the stamp of the Austrian newspaper "Express" (1958-71) for a post-war publication, with the handwritten note (tr.) "Express, page 8".
Three photographs of Hitler with children, stamped on the back (tr.) "For private use only", 8.5 x 11.5 cm.
All other photographs are loose. Hitler receiving Bulgarian officers in FHQ "Wolfsschanze", the back stamped (tr.) "Submitted to the Führer and approved for publication" with handwritten date "10.5.42" and several overlapping stamps "Copyright Heinrich Hoffmann", 12 x 11.5 cm. Hitler and Göring in front of the Führerzug, 17 x 12 cm. Rudolf Heß in SS uniform in the Old Reich Chancellery, a cropped stamp on the back and pencilled notes "Berlin März 1933 - Reichskanzlei - Übernahme durch Hitler - (Poli)tischer Zentralkommissar d.NSDAP, Hess, Arbeitszimmer d. Reichskanzlers" and "Frei für historische Zwecke" and "Bleibtreu" (in pen), 14 x 10.5 cm. Photograph of an arrested resistance fighter (?), dated 20 July 1944 with police officers, inscribed on the back "20. Juli", 13 x 18 cm. A photo of Gerd von Rundstedt in GFM uniform, reading a book, 21 x 16 cm.
Dating from the post-war era/Nuremberg Trials: "Field Marshal von Kleist captured", von Kleist in greatcoat, holding his interim baton, with two American MPs, text in English on the back, 23 x 18 cm. Six large-format photographs taken in the courtroom at the Nuremberg Trials: the accused in the dock during the WVHA Trial of the SS, German text and stamp of "Oberösterreichische Nachrichten" on the back, 17.5 x 24 cm. Three photographs of the accused from one of the twelve subsequent Nuremberg Trials, each stamped on the back "From Public Relations Photo Section - Office Chief of Counsel for War Crimes - Nürnberg, Germany, APO 696-A, US-Army" with a handwritten number, each 21 x 25 cm. Two photographs of the Doctors' trial, showing the accused and Karl Brandt in the dock, English text on the back of each, one labelled "by Fred Tonne", the other "Bleibtreu", each 20.5 x 25 cm. Gerd von Rundstedt taking an oath before the court, the back stamped "Oberösterreichische Nachrichten" and labelled "Bleibtreu", 14 x 11 cm. Alfred Jodl writing a letter in his cell, traces of glue on the back, 19.5 x 16 cm. A picture of a war criminal in handcuffs, escorted by U.S. and Polish soldiers, the back stamped "Dana-Bilderdienst" and labelled "Bleibtreu", 18 x 12.5 cm.
Moreover, 19 photos taken during the post-war era, mainly measuring 11 x 17 cm, some with photojournalists' stamps on the back, descriptions or labelled "Bleibtreu": captured U.S. soldiers in 1943, ruins of houses/bridges, seized tanks in Brest Litovsk, prisoners in Dunkirk in 1943, Hitler and GFM Keitel, Hitler with Seyss-Inquart and Kaltenbrunner in Vienna in 1938, Hitler with generals in a front line town (Battle of France?), Italian marshals at the Berghof, Hitler with Göring, Raeder and Hess in front of the Compiègne Wagon (8 x 11 cm), German war graves at the Maginot Line in 1940, description and stamp of approval on the back "Ministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda", Hitler with Amann in Strasbourg Cathedral, an early portrait of Göring in a "brownshirt" with PLM, English description on the back, Viktor Lutze in France in 1941 and Hitler with soldiers at the front, the back stamped (tr.) "Submitted to the Führer and approved, 24 June".. With an old hard cover binding.
Also includes the (tr.) "Press pass and membership card no. 30" issued by the Professional Journalists Association in Bavaria on 1 March 1948 (photograph removed) with the stamp of the city of Nuremberg and the stamp and signature of Nuremberg Police Headquarters, permitting the carrying and use of cameras (issued in German and English).
Extremely rare photographs, not just from the estate of Peter Martin Bleibtreu, but probably actually taken by him in many cases. Very little is known about the journalist and photographer, born in 1921 to Renato Attilio Bleibtreu (1893 - 1964). Taken during the French campaign in 1940, the early photographs probably indicate his original engagement as a photographer by Heinrich Hoffmann and the subsequent shots as a postcard photographer in the Wehrmacht at the beginning of the war. After the war, he was assigned a position as journalist in Nuremberg by the U.S. authorities, subsequently working for the Nürnberger Nachrichten, and most likely moved to Vienna in the late 1950s/early 1960s. He was editor-in-chief of the Journal für Gesellschaft und Prominenz in 1966, presumably also working for the Express tabloid, which merged with the Kronenzeitung in 1971.
In an auction prior to 2014, the Peace Palace Library in The Hague acquired a significant portion of Bleibtreu's estate, with numerous documents relating to the trials of the war criminals, as well as scores of rare photographs and cartoons by Günter Peis from the courtroom. One extremely interesting fact, which cannot be verified, however, and is probably also implausible, is the claim made by Peter Martin Bleibtreu in 1950 that he was the accomplice who passed the cyanide capsule to Hermann Göring by sticking it with chewing gum at the defendant's place in the dock.
Condition: II - Questions about the lot?