This is a photo of Joseph Goebbels – Hitler’s right-hand man, head of the Nazi party’s propaganda machine and a strong and passionate anti-Semite.
So much so that it eventually leads to the mass killing – one could almost call it “industrial” – of millions of Jews, other nationalities, prisoners of war, political prisoners, and what the Nazis regarded as underhuman (disabled).
At the time of this photograph, in 1933, Goebbels was in Geneva, in a magnificent hotel, to participate in the meetings of the League of Nations.
Alfred Eisenstaedt – a Jewish photographer – approached him and began his work to take pictures of Goebbels.
Without knowing that Eisenstaedt is a Jew, Goebbels was at first very friendly and cheerful towards the photographer.
When he learned of Eisenstaedt’s Jewish ancestry, everything changed so much that the next image, called “Eyes of Hate,” became a cool and powerful photo of this man’s psychopathic nature.
It is the true face of Goebbels, after his mask fell as confronted with the object of his obsessive hostility: it is a naked expression so strongly marked by unadulterated hatred, disgust and hostility that it is characterized by the Black-and-white photo seems to seep into the real world in a dark and vicious aura.
The man was filled with megalomania and superiority over all others, to the point where the existence of a single person, whom he considered a “grain of dust” and a “leech”, is a personal insult.
But Eisenstaedt was not impressed by crystal-clear murderous hostility:
“He looked at me with hateful eyes and waited for me to stunt.
But I’m not stunted. If I have a camera in my hand, I don’t know any fear.”
Eisenstaedt survived the war, and when the Japanese officially gave up on August 14, 1945, he was the photographer who took this famous image of a naval sailor impulsively pulling a nurse into a passionate kiss in the middle of Time’s Square.It appeared on the cover of the August 27, 1945 issue of Life Magazine.