Sandler, Willeke
March 2013
Journal of Women's History;Spring2013, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p37
Academic Journal
In 1939, photographer Ilse Steinhoff published a photograph album of her 1937 trip to the former German colonies of Southwest and East Africa. Through a close study of this photograph album, this article elucidates larger themes in the visual culture of post-colonial and National Socialist Germany. The photographs in Deutsche Heimat in Afrika visualize the colonialist imaginary--peaceful but separate racial relations; the German qualities imposed by the settlers on the landscape and in the cities; an expansion of German women's roles that still maintained the traditional realm of family and culture; and the fertility of the African landscape and the next generation of colonial Germans. Steinhoff showed metropolitan Germans the importance of the colonial space through a visual aesthetic that resonated with that of Nazi Germany, thereby combining the fantasy of the past with the ideals of the present to further colonial revisionism in the Third Reich.


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