A young American woman soaks in Adolf Hitler’s bathtub
“Lee Miller: A Woman’s War.” a new exhibition at London’s Imperial War Museum
Lee Miller is a Twenties fashion model who became a Surrealist and later the only female combat photographer in Europe during the World War II. She documented the liberation of Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps. The American-born Miller started her career as a model and made the leap to photography. She trained with Surrealist Man Ray and befriended many of Paris’s most notable artists, including Picasso and Max Ernst, and appeared in Cocteau’s film Le Sang d’un poète in 1929.
A young American woman soaks in Adolf Hitler’s bathtub, her muddy boots staining his bath mat, and an official portrait of the Fuehrer sits on the tub’s edge. This image is one of the highlights of a new exhibition.
“This was actually taken on the day that Hitler committed suicide, although Lee Miller didn’t know that until after the event,” said Hilary Roberts, research curator of photography at the Museum, who put together the show.
Miller’s photography document terrible scenes of death and destruction during the war, including the London Blitz and stark images of the liberation of concentration camps at Dachau and Buchenwald.
On April 29, 1945, she walked through the gates of Dachau as American forces liberated it. She was deeply shocked seeing the Nazis’ extermination of the Jews and other “enemies” of the Third Reich. Her photographs are stark and sickening and have lost none of their emotional impacts.
Later that day, she accompanied the GIs into Munich, where they went to Hitler’s apartment. Lee had herself photographed naked in Hitler’s bath. It is a striking, unsettling image. “I think she was sticking two fingers up at Hitler,” says Antony. “On the floor are her boots, covered with the filth of Dachau, which she has trodden all over Hitler’s bathroom floor. She is saying she is the victor. But what she didn’t know was that a few hours later in Berlin, Hitler and Eva Braun would kill themselves in his bunker.”
Source: CBS News