The focus on the face had another dimension. Photographers on the left and right of the political spectrum of the Weimar Republic attempted to classify and order the social world via the face. Individual expression was replaced by ethnic groups or professions.
Erich Retzlaff’s popular illustrated books are representative of this. In the 1930s, he staged the face as an expression of ethnicity in his photographs with a strong emphasis on ethnicity.
The way in which the faces were highlighted can be found in a series of postcards showing Göttingen professors, whose photographs were also taken by Retzlaff.

ERICH RETZLAFF: DIE VON DER SCHOLLE – THOSE WHO TILL THE SOIL., Fifty-six photographic images of down-to-earth people, Göttingen 1931

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