Walter Frentz ( Heilbronn , Germany , 27 of August of 1907 – Lingen , 6 of July of 2004 ) was an electrical engineer , filmmaker , cameraman officer and lieutenant Luftwaffe at the headquarters of Hitler in the previous period and during the Second World War World . His cinematographic and photographic work with the dome of the Third Reich 1 in the various locations and phases of the war is a historic historical testimonial legacy that has lasted until the present. 2
Walter Frentz was born in Heilbronn in 1907. From an early age, he became a fan of nautical sports and became a cultor and an introducer of kayakism to German universities. He entered the Technical University of Munich and graduated as an engineer in electricity in 1927. As Frentz wanted to show his kayak participation in the University he made a camera and filmed the first films about rafting . Frentz specialized in field cinematography with a style of very own and artistic takes that caught the attention of the then architect of Hitler, Albert Speer , that had known in 1929.
Albert Speer put him in contact with the filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl in 1933 when Frentz worked for the UFA and she became his main cameraman because his subjective style of making shots seemed to him a great artistic sense. He worked side by side as head of cameramen with the famous filmmaker of Nazi propaganda in his most important achievements, such as The Triumph of the Will and Olympia . At the same time he did cultural works for the Propaganda Ministry led by Joseph Goebbels .
In 1939 he accompanied Hitler as an official cameraman on his visit to Austria after the Anschluss , taking the shots of his “triumphal visit” in his official vehicle. Finished his work in Austria, received a position like reporter of war and was tried to inscribe in the SS; what Frentz kindly refused, so he was placed under the eaves of the Air Ministry in 1939 (it was assimilated to the reserve of the Luftwaffe ) working under the direction of Hitler and Goering. Frentz reached the rank of reserve lieutenant of the Luftwaffe. 3
Frentz made cinematographic shots and abundant black and white photographs of the German leader, whether at Wolfsschanze , Berghof or visiting the front, and witnessed many attitudes and scenes from Hitler’s private life, such as the so-called dance of joy Which Hitler gave when he learned that France had surrendered in 1940, or the morning visit to the Eiffel Tower with Albert Speer , and often covered Hitler’s leisure activities in Berghof, where he was able to film an unknown Eva Braun . Frentz also made color film shots of Agfa Farbfilmen from 1943 onwards. 4 Also as a reporter-cameraman, he accompanied Himmler to Minsk and was able to film a mass execution of Ukrainian civilians in 1943. 5 When he consulted with Hitler’s aide- Rudolf Schmundt , on the cause of these executions, this one spit to him that destroyed this film and that he refrained to put the noses where it did not correspond.
Under the wing of Albert Speer as Minister of Armament, he was able to film scenes in the concentration camp of Dora Mittelbau where the project of the V-2 rocket was tried, where he recorded the suffering of the slave-workers who worked on the project. Also from 1944, Frentz filmed the destruction of the German cities by the Allied bombing, and the 20 of March of 1945 realized the last cinema session of Hitler in life, reviewing the children-soldiers in the patio of the Chancery.
On April 24, 1945, Frentz left Berlin and took refuge in Obersalzberg where he was captured by the Americans. Due to his civil status, Frentz was only detained a couple of times to be questioned and was not included in any trial since his work was considered as purely professional. 6
Postwar and final
After the war, Frentz settled with his wife Trudy in a house on Lake Constance and worked more discreetly in cultural outreach programs for the adult and environmentalist public in European and US national parks. Frentz work in the Nazi period was not intended for publication, but designed to meet a historical longing egomaniac Hitler for posterity. 7 Asked about the fate of his work, Frentz mentioned that much of it was lost at the end of the war or else he took the position of “forgetting” those works. However, his works occasionally come to the fore, a biography of Deutscher Kunstverlag’s Hans Georg von Hiller Gaertringen called Das Auge des Dritten Reiches (The Eye of the Third Reich) features unpublished footage of Hitler taken by Frentz and other seniors Nazi hierarchs. 8 His scant surviving work in the Third Reich as a trademark was requested by the various right-wing bibliographical publications and documentaries on World War II.
From 1990, the increasing interest of his work in color of the Third Reich brought it to the public light again and took advantage of commercializing his paintings about that time. In 1998, his wife Trudy died of natural death.
Walter Frentz died in a nursing home in Ueberlingen to its 96 years, 6 of July of 2004 .
His photographic works and filming constitute an authentic documentary legacy about the Third Reich seen from the interior. Referring to Fig.
Bibliographical references and links
- Back to top↑ Official page of Walter Frentz
- Back to top↑ Albert Speer-His struggle with truth-Gitta Sereny; Page.155
- Back to top↑ Albert Speer-His struggle with truth-Gitta Sereny; Pag.459
- Back to top↑ Biography of Walter Frentz (in German)
- Back to top↑ Albert Speer-His struggle with truth-Gitta Sereny; Pag.405
- Back to top↑ Walter Frentz
- Back to top↑ Photo of Frentz filming Hitler
- Back to top↑ Photographer of the Führer
- Back to top↑ Walter Frentz: Handbuch Europa Recht-Wolfgang Graf Vitzthum, Juristenzeitung- ISBN 9783540210740