Friedrich Franz Bauer

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Friedrich Franz Bauer (born January 18, 1903 in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm , † 1972 ) was a German photographer .


After an apprenticeship as a photographer in his parents' studio in Pfaffenhofen, he continued his education in Munich at the Bavarian State Institute for Photography. In the 1920s and early 1930s, he received several awards for his photographic work. In 1930 he and his younger brother Karl Ferdinand Bauer (* 1904) opened their own photo studio in Munich. During the National Socialist era , he became known for his photographs for Nazi propaganda .

FF Bauer GmbH

The brothers joined the NSDAP and the SA as early as 1922 . After it was banned and again lifted, they rejoined the party (Karl Ferdinand in 1929, Friedrich Franz in 1930 with membership number 293.916), then joined the SS in July 1933 . Through personal contacts between Friedrich Franz Bauer and Heinrich Himmler , they quickly advanced to become official Nazi photographers. Due to financial difficulties, the photo studio was moved to the “F. F. Bauer GmbH ”, in which the SS held the majority and which was subordinate to the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office (WVHA) . In 1939 the business premises were relocated from Munich to Berlin . In Berlin, Bauer set up an official SS archive in the Reich Security Main Office at 8 Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse.

Tensions between the photographer brothers, who, as Heinrich Himmler's protégés, always stuck to their topical and press photography, and those responsible at the WVHA, who intended to use the GmbH primarily as a picture publisher, led FF Bauer GmbH to be dismissed from the WVHA's supervision in 1942 . Friedrich Franz Bauer was able to prevent Oswald Pohl from being disembarked through his contacts with Himmler and took over the company himself, while Pohl instead founded the Großdeutschen Bilderdienst , which was renamed Völkischer Kunstverlag after half a year in September 1942 .


Before 1932, Friedrich Franz Bauer made a name for himself as an art photographer. He also directed photo reporting on the Oberammergau Passion Play in 1930 and on the Salzburg Festival in 1932. As an SS photographer, he was best known for his Nazi propaganda photographs: architectural photography and portraits of prominent National Socialists and SS leaders; he was also considered by the public as “Himmler's personal photographer”. In particular photos from the Dachau concentration camp , which appeared in the Munich Illustrated Press as early as 1933 under the title “The Truth About Dachau” and were intended to dispel rumors about the concentration camp through a positive article, as well as photos made in 1936 for the magazine Illustrierter Beobachter made him a questionable documentarist of the early National Socialist camp system. Bauer was present at many important events; for example during the invasion of Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938 at the side of Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Hitler .


  • Hermann Kaienburg : The economy of the SS . Metropol-Verlag, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-936411-04-2 , pp. 194ff, 488.
  • U. Wrocklage: The photographer Friedrich Franz Bauer in the 20s and 30s. From art photographer to SS documentarist . In: D. Mayer-Gürr (Ed.): Photography & History: Timm Starl for his 60th birthday . Jonas-Verlag, Marburg 2000, ISBN 3-89445-264-1 , pp. 30-50.
  • Klaus Hesse, Philipp Springer, Reinhard Rürup : In front of everyone: Photo documents of the National Socialist terror in the provinces . Plain text, 2001
  • Janina Struk: Photographing the Holocaust: interpretations of the evidence . IB Tauris, 2003
  • Dachauer Hefte , Vol. 17-19, 2001

Web links

Commons : Photographs by Friedrich Franz Bauer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Oliver Rathkolb (ed.): The misappropriated truth. Hitler's propagandists in Austria's media . Otto Müller Verlag, 1997, p. 58
  2. ^ Hermann Kaienburg: The economy of the SS . Metropol Verlag, 2002, p. 195