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CURIOUS FINDINGS

30.08.2019

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When I was doing some research in Schwerin's Stadtmuseum (city museum), I discovered one particular poster among a whole bunch of them. It had been printed and distributed shortly after the north German city was occupied by units of the 8th American Infantry Division. Being a Leica photographer, this particular one caught my attention.  

It dealt with a petition by the recently appointed Mayor, that appeared ten days after the German capitulation. The Mayor wanted to inform the local population concerning four points to do with the confiscation of certain materials, and requesting the delivery of others. Points one to three referred to plundered items, wood and clothes; but it was point four that caught my attention: “I herewith demand that Leicas and Rolleyflex [sic!] be offered to me for purchase. If the numbers offered for purchase are insufficient, confiscation can be expected, and then without any compensation.”

There is no dependable information about what happened to the cameras, how many were offered for sale voluntarily, or how many were confiscated – but there is certainly plenty of room for speculation and discussion. Two weeks later, the occupying American division was replaced by British troops. Later on, according to the agreements made among the Allies concerning the splitting up of Germany, Schwerin was handed over to the Red Army on July 1, 1945.

Do you also have curious, funny or simply interesting stories or documents pertaining to Leica that you would like to share with us? If so, please send us an email, with the word “Findings” in the reference bar, to: stories@lfi-online.de (dro)
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