An absolutely glorious story

In 1935, with the city rife with anti-semitic attacks, Pauline Levinsons took her six-month-old daughter Hessy to a well-known Berlin photographer to have her baby photograph taken.

A few months later, she was horrified to find her daughter’s picture on the front cover of Sonne ins Hause, a major Nazi family magazine.

Terrified the family would be exposed as Jews, she rushed to the photographer, Hans Ballin. He told her he knew the family was Jewish, and had deliberately submitted the photograph to a contest to find the most beautiful Aryan baby.

“I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous,” the photographer told her.

He succeeded: the picture won the contest, and was believed to have been chosen personally by the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

No, really, the winner of the Nazi contest to find the perfect Aryan baby was a Jewess.

The universe really does have a sense of humour.

10 comments on “An absolutely glorious story

  1. They still murdered them by the million though, so on balance making them look (secretly) ridiculous made less than fuck all difference.

  2. While using ridicule as a weapon against the Nazis is laudable, it is a little less effective than a T-34.

  3. Since nobody (except the photographer and the parents) knew the baby was Jewish it failed to make Goebbels and friends look “ridiculous” at the time and, unfortunately, now it’s a bit late.

  4. “In 1935, with the city rife with anti-semitic attacks,…”: 1935 was in the lull when many of those Jews who had fled in ’33 returned to Germany, only to flee again in ’38, or stay and be murdered during the war. And many of those who fled were murdered too, having fled no further than France or Czechoslovakia or The Netherlands.

    Poor sods. God’s sense of humour was no defence.

  5. If I understand correctly, the photographer meant to tell everyone it was a Jewish baby once the picture had been widely circulated, but realised/was persuaded that that would be a really, really bad plan.

  6. Yep, “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Private joke verses a Russian Tank Army. Hmmm.

  7. I’m not sure the snapper thought it was a better way of dealing with the Nazis than Georgy Zukov or George Patton, but fair play to him for doing what he could in the context. In many ways, taking the piss out of twats like Hitler is actually very effective, eventually, which is why so many people get murdered for it in totalitarian regimes.

    It also provides us, now, with an insight into the Nazi mindset all these years later, viz what a load of fucking dickheads they were. It’s important not to take them too seriously. (As distinct from what they did.)

  8. The cretins over at the modern-day incarnation of the Volkischer Beobachter and Pravda, the Guardian, have absolutely no sense of humour either. It’s pathetically easy to mock them, as they make themselves so mockable, and it drives them nuts.

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