Eschen, Fritz - Kamera Geschichten Fritz Eschen 1930 - 1950
ISBN 10: 3803030951 ISBN 13: 9783803030955
Fritz Eschen lived and worked in Berlin, where he photographed many situations and faces. His pictures became important documents of contemporary history. His parents were the merchant Leopold Eschen (d. 1914) and Therese Eschen (d. 1923).
Eschen went to school in Berlin from 1906 to 1918, finally to the Königstädtisches Gymnasium, where, however, he left without graduating. In 1918 he was called up as a radio operator. Before Eschen came to photography, he completed a commercial apprenticeship starting in 1919. He then gained professional experience at Pomosin-Werke GmbH and at Berliner Privattelefon GmbH, where he held a managerial position. However, he did not feel comfortable in this profession, so in 1928 he began working as a freelance photojournalist for agencies such as Associated Press, Defot and Neofot-Fotag. Since he had never learned the craft of a photographer, he described himself as "self-taught and a photoamateur."
Around 1927/28, Eschen married Rose Salomon, a Jewish entrepreneur's daughter whose father was the owner of PRITEG. Their son Peter (January 22, 1931 - December 1942), along with his mother Rose (October 3, 1905 - December 1942), was deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp on December 9, 1941, and then murdered there.
Unlike some of his family members, Fritz Eschen, who came from a Jewish home, survived the Nazi era. Although his second marriage to the "Aryan" Lipsy (Gertrude) Thumm, contracted in 1933, saved him from deportation, it did not save him from arrest by the Gestapo and forced labor for the Marcus-Metallbau Berlin company. Eschen was arrested during the so-called factory action on February 27, 1943, but was released after protests from relatives. The children Thomas (1935-1944) and Klaus (born 1939) were evacuated first to East Prussia, later to the Glatzer Bergland.
Although Eschen's expulsion from the Reichsverband der Deutschen Presse at the end of 1933 meant that he was banned from working, he still received occasional assignments. They came from American agencies, especially the AP, and the German Reichsbahn. The resulting works were often published under a pseudonym or under the name of the agency.
Even shortly before the start of the war, in 1938, Eschen was able to teach photography to fellow believers who were preparing for emigration.
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