1st of May had also been turned into a synchronized propaganda event.
The photographer was Gisela Freund, who was 24 at the time. She had come to Frankfurt a year earlier to continue her studies in Sociology and History of Art. She was politically active, a member of the socialist youth movement, and she used the Leica I that her father had given her when she graduated high school, to document the street demonstrations. A year later she barely managed to avoid imprisonment by escaping to Paris. She kept her Leica and the negatives of the pictures she took in Frankfurt, but they were not published. In Paris, she not only completed her dissertation, but, as Gisèle Freund, also became one of the most famous photo reporters of her times. Above all, she became internationally renowned for her colour portraits of authors and artists. Freund died in Paris on March 31, 2001.
For a long time, the early photographs from Frankfurt were forgotten. The first time they were seen was in 1995 at the Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art. Gisèle Freund had taken out the original negatives and printed a selection on Baryt paper. Thanks to a generous donation from Dr. Martin and Margarethe Murtfeld, the History Museum Frankfurt now not only has a spectacular addition of 51 photographs to their collections, but is also able to present a selection of 23 of them in a special exhibition that opened on January 12 and will run till May 3, 2015.