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Deutsches Technikmuseum - Hans Schaller, aerial photographer

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:

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The donation contains six locations:

Black and white photo: Hans Grade in his flight gear. The propeller is vertically upright behind his head.

Hans Grade, the aviation pioneer in front of his monoplane from 1909 at Johannisthal airfield, 1934.

Black and white photo: Rühmann with aviator glasses and short jacket laughing as he holds the aircraft nose with both arms raised.

Heinz Rühmann, actor, director and sports pilot, with his De Havilland "Motte" in Staaken, 1935.

Black and white photo: A boy in short trousers and boots with both hands holding his model airplane that looks like a floating duck.

Young flyer with model canard plane at the Wasserkuppe, 1935.

Black and white photo: Udet, in uniform, with cap and medals, stands in front of the huge engine of his aircraft.

Autographed postcard by Ernst Udet in front of his Curtiss "Hawk", 1934.

Black and white photo: Man with aviator cap and aviator glasses uses both hands to move the large fixed camera like a searchlight.

Military observer of a Luftwaffe reconnaissance group demonstrates how to use an aerial camera, 1935.

Black and white photo: Only the head of the pilot is visible as he sits in the cockpit and looks through a telescopic sight.

View of the pilot in a dive bomber Junkers Ju 87B, 1940.

Hans Schaller, aerial photographer

Gallery at the Photo Technology permanent exhibition

11 February to 26 April 2015

Black and white photo: A young woman in civil clothing sits laughing in the cockpit of a biplane.

Luise Hoffmann, the works pilot from the Bücker aircraft factory, in front of a Bücker "Jungmann", 1935.

A leading protagonist since the mid-1930s, Berlin's Hans Schaller (1911-1966) helped shape the face of aerial photography in Germany.

He would have liked to have been a pilot himself but devoted his professional life to photography, focusing mainly on the world of aviation.

Schaller took around 7,500 photos for his comprehensive work "Photo Archives for Contemporary History and Aviation". In 1989, the Historical Archives acquired the collection from his wife Bona Schaller. Now, a representative cross-section of this work is to be seen for the first time in the form of some 90 original photographs.

Black and white photo: At least 20 aircraft stand side-by-side on the grass and are being prepared for take-off by a large number of men.

View of Tempelhof with the planes assembled to compete in the Deutschlandflug (Germany Flight), a Klemm aircraft is in the foreground, 1935.

Peaceful Rhön gliding competitions, major military flight days and famous flying friends

Schaller's first photographic reports appeared at the beginning of the 1930s featuring major gliding events at the Wasserkuppe in the Rhön and followed by myriad reports from the world of aviation.

In 1933, political propaganda dominated the illustrated articles and publications containing Schaller's photographs. His main area of expertise became gliding, popularly known as "Germany's National Sport".

Major civil and military flight days were taking place at the same time under the shadow of rearmament. He took numerous photos documenting these events and also the promotional activities of the German Aviation Sports Association and the work of the German Research Institute for Aviation in Berlin-Adlershof.

Black and white photo: Top view of the flying wing aircraft: It appears to consist of only two triangles assembled together.

Flying wing aircraft Horten II L in flight over the Wasserkuppe, 1938. The only surviving example of this type, the D-10-125, is today housed in the German Museum of Technology, Berlin.

Wartime and the post-war era

Schaller was drafted into Company 1 of the Luftwaffe as a war correspondent in August 1939 and took part in the French campaign as a photojournalist.

Exempted from military service time and again, he worked until the end of the war as a still photographer; for example, on film productions for his friend Heinz Rühmann.

Drafted once more into military service in February 1945, Schaller fell into American hands. In 1946, he returned to Berlin-Wilmersdorf where he worked as a freelance photo journalist until his death.

Companion volume

The Aviatic Verlag has published an illustrated biography by Jörg Schmalfuß and Holger Steinle entitled "Hans Schaller, Luftfahrtfotograf" to accompany the exhibition.

The title of 104 pages (ISBN: 978-3-942645-05-8) contains around 200 photographs and can be purchased from the museum shop for EUR 19.80.

Header photo: With 1 HP uphill! After landing near the Wasserkuppe, a horse pulls the sailplane back to the take-off area, 1932.

© Each photo: SDTB / Historial archive, photographs: Hans Schaller