I wrapped up my search at the Photo Archives today. I did a little more digging into an SS Propaganda Company (PK) and compiled a final list of items to request copies of. Although I have narrowed down some particular areas and photographers I intend to focus on, I did encounter several questions and paths I need to further pursue:
– It is extremely difficult to analyze a photograph without contextual or biographical information (i.e. the event being depicted, the name of the photographer, the date, etc.) How should historians go about photographs that have little to no background information? Should they be discarded?
– What kind of directives did the official PK units receive from the RMVP (Propaganda Ministry)? It will be necessary to further research the nature of the directives coming from the RMVP, and possibly from the Wehrmacht Propaganda Department (WPr) if any.
These are only a small sample of questions I need to consider, but I won’t bore you with my internal thought process…
I also had a chance to walk through the exhibits at USHMM after my research day. The permanent exhibit was multiple levels and had an impressive selection of artifacts and a wealth of fascinating information. It was eerie to step into a freight car used to transport Jews and original barracks and bunks from Auschwitz. It was a little difficult to move through the exhibit with so many school groups there, but their presence gives me faith that the future generation will take an active stance against genocide.
Anyway, more note typing to do!