Datation

  1. The datation process
  2. Adolf Hitler's uniforms and apparel
  3. Adolf Hitler's entourage
  4. Places

The datation process

A lot of photos found on the web and books are misdated, or even simply "undated", and more importantly the description may be wrong, leading to false statements that are transmitted over the years, even by historians and writers.

The main particularity of this website is to put accurate dates on the photos, some of them have a correct date for the first time, and are positioned in their actual event. My research being a huge work in progress, I don't claim that this is 100% error-free, and this page lists only a few examples of dating clues.

Here is a perfect example of a widely transmitted misdated/misdescribed picture:

This photo is taken directly from Wikipedia, one of the main source of knowledge and research on the Internet. The description says “Adolf Hitler, accompanied by other German officials, grimly inspects bomb damage in a German city in 1944, in this German film captured by the U.S. Army Signal Corps on the western front. Ca. 1944.”

This photo was certainly not taken in 1944, the first clue is Hitler’s armband: from September 1st 1939 until his death, he always exclusively wore his field grey uniform with the army eagle embroidered on the left arm. The NSDAP armband was never worn during the second world war, that means: Each photo of Adolf Hitler wearing his armband is prewar, that’s a first, important, and easy clue.

The second clue is Adolf Hitler's belt buckle, this one is the early type that he wore with the NSDAP uniform from his access to power (January 1933) until about August 1934, that means the picture is pre-August 1934.

The third clue that can help refine the date is Bruno Gesche's (one of Hitler’s bodyguard, on the left side of the pic) uniform: here he has the SS-Untersturmführer rank, and we know that he was promoted to SS-Obersturmführer on November 9th 1933, that means this photo is even earlier.

As a conclusion, an erroneous picture can be used and shared by anyone and end up on “trusted” pages like Wikipedia without any verification.

You can find the exact date and description of this picture (with other ones of the same event) here.

There are many other examples, but this one is particularly speaking and unfortunately, widely spread: a simple Google research will show a hundred of this same picture with the same mistaken date/description.

The dating process is similar to a detective job, sometimes the smallest details will help to confirm a date. Here are some of the clues I found can help refine a date:

ADOLF HITLER'S UNIFORMS AND APPAREL

Depending on the period, Hitler wore different apparel:

More in-depth information about Adolf Hitler's uniforms.
More in-depth information about Adolf Hitler's awards, badges and tinnies.

ADOLF HITLER'S ENTOURAGE

PLACES

Just as for the uniforms and people in Hitler's entourage, here are a few examples of how the different places can help identify/put a date on a photo: