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Another book I recently acquired is Deutsche Heimat in Afrika by the photographer Ilse Steinhoff published in 1939 by Wilhelm Limpert Verlag. In the pre-war period women had successfully carved out careers as professional photographers and Steinhoff was one example of the 'new woman'. As a travel photographer Steinhoff was an example of the new freedom women were enjoying in a profession that had recently opened up to them during the Third Reich. Steinhoff was glamorous and talented and often posed herself juxtaposed against 'exotic' peoples or locations. One of the interesting things here for me are the portraits executed in that tightly cropped style popularised by photographers like Erna Lendvai-Dircksen and Erich Retzlaff. This book is both attractive picture book and simultaneously underlines the fact that these are Germany's 'lost' colonies in Africa.

the book's cover
Ilse Steinhoff in South West Africa (today Namibia)

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