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Political Prisoner, 1943
© Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur - August Sander Archiv, Köln/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2015

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Political Prisoner, 1943 1943

Not on display

  • Artist Rooms
August Sander’s monumental photographic project ‘People of the 20th Century’ was an attempt to chronicle the radical social transformations Germany was undergoing in the first half of the century. Taking a methodological approach, Sander classified more than 500 photographs into seven groups representing the social structures and classes of the time. In the mid-1940s he turned his analytical eye to the social upheaval caused by the Nazis, compiling a portfolio of portraits of Jews who had emigrated or been executed entitled ‘The Persecuted’, from the group ‘The City’. Another portfolio, entitled ‘Political Prisoners’, comprises pictures of individuals considered to be enemies of the state. This photograph was taken in Siegburg Prison by Sander’s son Erich who was persecuted in 1934 because of his left wing political activities. Tragically Erich died a few months before the end of his sentence, in March 1944.


  • Acc. No. AL00132
  • Medium Black and white photograph on paper
  • Size 25.60 x 18.90 cm (paper 43.90 x 34.00 cm; mount: 46.00 x 36.00 cm) (framed: 48.20 x 38.20 x 3.20 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010