Vacation Pictures: Nazi Germany #2

(click to enlarge)

In the summer and fall of 1936, my grandfather traveled to Germany.  I have posted a couple more of his pictures below.  These photos are in my family’s possession.  If you download them for any purpose other than personal viewing, please contact me at

My grandfather’s father, Edward H. Harris, Sr., gave a speech before a newspaper publishing group in June 1936 entitled “Foreign Air Propaganda is a Threat.”  Three years earlier, he specifically mentioned Adolph Hitler’s broadcast over two American radio chains in June of 1933 as an example of how “foreign nations have an opportunity to put their propaganda before the American people” through the relatively new medium of radio.  E.H. Harris, Sr. spoke out against Hitler’s propaganda, and I’m sure he would have been horrified and outraged had he lived to learn of the atrocities Hitler committed.

My grandfather, Edward H. Harris, Jr., had the privilege of witnessing history in the summer of 1936.  At 18 years old, he traveled to Europe and–as far as I can tell from the photos and the visa stamps on his passport–got to see the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany.  I can’t imagine the horror he felt only a few years later when the ultimate atrocities of Hitler’s Germany were revealed.

I purchased a book not long ago called The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn.  In it, the author reflects on the impact the holocaust had on his family.  He begins by telling how his older relatives would burst into tears upon seeing him, because they were reminded of his great uncle Shmiel who was killed by the Nazis.  In the story of my family, Nazi Germany is a moment in history; for Daniel Mendelsohn’s family, the Nazis changed everything.  I haven’t had time to finish the whole book, but what I’ve read of it is powerful.

The impact of the Nazis was horrific.  May such atrocities never be repeated.

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7 Responses to Vacation Pictures: Nazi Germany #2

  1. mirroredImages says:

    Cool pictures that speak of a chilling time. I would like to think the Holocaust could never happen again, but as you (a student of history and its cyclical nature) know well, humans have shown themselves more than capable of committing atrocities of shocking magnitude. I have no doubt that both your grandfather and your great-grandfather would be very proud of the man you have become today.

    • Thank you. And yes, humans have shown themselves quite capable of committing atrocities. I have always hoped that as we learn more and more, we would be able to reduce the atrocities, but it doesn’t seem to work that way.

      I appreciate your thoughtful comment.

  2. bronxboy55 says:

    I’m afraid the atrocities continue unabated. The difference is that they’re happening in places we tend not to look for too long, and the perpetrators are better at hiding their crimes. It’s strange to read about people vacationing in Nazi Germany, isn’t it? My daughter just spent two weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia, and I’m still trying to absorb that idea.

    • It is strange to think about vacationing in places that become (or have been) so notorious. Although I am often struck by how normal even the most historical of situations can seem. Somehow, when we’re living in the moment, it’s hard to see the broader perspective. And even the most historically significant moment is still just a moment in time, inhabited by normal human beings, doing mostly normal things. It’s a strange phenomenon.

      It is sad to think how many people around the world suffer every day because of the bad actions of others. Both sad and astounding.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. arnewpunkt says:

    Thanks a lot for your impressing photos! It don’t see a lot of US-Americans that have particular knowledge about that part of history. I appreciate how you keep remembrance alive!
    Greetings from Germany

  4. Pingback: Moore Photography» Blog Archive » Pictures nazi germany

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