Erich Salomon

Erich Salomon

1886-1944

About

Erich Salomon specialized in “candid” photographs and unposed portraits. Born in Berlin in 1886, he studied law and mechanical engineering at the University of Munich. During World War I he was captured by the French and spent four years as a prisoner of war. He went to work in the publicity department of Ullstein Verlag, a publishing house in Berlin and bought his first camera in 1927.

A gadget lover, Salomon put a camera inside a briefcase and fitted levers to trip the shutter and wind the film. He took this hidden camera into a courtroom and photographed a murder trial. The photographs from the trial sold so well that he quit Ullstein and went to work full time as a freelance photographer.

He specialized in photographing meetings, conferences and social gatherings without the use of supplemental light. He was the first European photographer to work in the White House. He published a book of his candid photographs of more than 170 famous people.

During the Nazi regime he left to go to Holland with his family. When Holland fell, he went into hiding, but was betrayed by a Dutch Nazi. Salomon was last seen on May 24, 1944 en route to the concentration camp at Auschwitz.

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