The Face of the Weimar Republic Photography, Physiognomy, and Propaganda in Weimar Germany

Matthias Uecker


The Weimar years were characterized by an immense rise in photographic publications, accompanied by a discourse that ascribed authenticity and reliability to the medium and saw it as superior to language. The article analyzes photographic books by August Sander, Ernst Jünger, and Kurt Tucholsky focusing on the communication strategies in which photographic images were embedded. It shows that the photographic series, its combination with text, and its reliance on physiognomic knowledge created an arrangement in which the visible details of individual images were displaced or functionalized in favour of a pre-existing ideological knowledge which images were merely capable of illustrating. (MU)

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