Hugo Jaeger—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Nuremberg, Germany 1938


This image is one of many Nuremberg rallies that took place in Germany in 1938.  The photo was captured by Hugo Jaeger, who was formerly known as Adolf Hitler’s personal photographer in the years leading up to and throughout World War II.  The first thing about this picture which caught my attention is simply that it is in color.  Normally, we see pictures of this time frame in black and white; however the color seems to add a more reflective perspective of Nazi Germany and not just the negative denotation and connotation associated with this picture (as if in black and white), in which entails German Nationalism, anti-Semitism, and Nazi propaganda. 

I say more reflective because the first perspective that came to mind was a more realistic view of what life was like in Germany with such solid colors that symbolized their ethnocentric culture and most of the males at least seemed to be dressed in a uniform.  The fact that you can see their faces and clothes clearer in color than in black and white makes it more humanized.

The colors on the banner are significant because those were the main colors for their propaganda and created a deeper symbolism within the symbols itself.  There is linear perspective in this photo that shows the viewer these colossal swastika banners that are draping the street on every side of the buildings.  These banners were not going to go unnoticed to German citizens and this picture embodies the heavy use of symbolism in propaganda that sought to garner attention and loyalty, and to demonstrate the Nazi party as being very powerful.  So it puts a perspective that people delved into this culture in order to survive and finally have sovereignty which was not present prior to Hitler’s arrival and after the first war.  Germany was seen to be weak and was plagued by economic depression, scarcity of food, and resources that were vital.  So the fact that the National Socialist German Workers’ Party was able to accumulate this amount of people shows their strength as a nation and demonstrates their once super-powerful cohesive government. 

The photographer embodies perspective realism and his point of view seems to be coming from the initial starting point of the rally since you can see the vast amount of people subsumed on the side of the street all the way down to where it gets blurry.  The fact that most of the people’s heads are faced down toward the street and their body language is calm and neat, demonstrates that they are awaiting for somebody to appear or looking at who just drove past.