Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

Erich Salomon: parliamentary photographer in Berlin and The Hague (1918-1940)

The Montesquieu Institute has facilitated a research project by Dr. Marij Leenders (Centre for Parliamentary History) in co-operation with the German historian dr. Andreas Biefang (KGParl) about Erich Salomon (1918-1940) as parliamentary photographer in Berlin and The Hague.

Since the late nineteenth century there existed a tradition in Germany of parliamentary photojournalism with which Salomon sought to connect. This connection allowed him to develop his own vision and influence the genre of parliamentary photojournalism. In the Netherlands this genre was barely developed. Dignitaries were portrayed as renowned people: Salomon changed this view. To put his work in a historical context, the researchers pay attention to the various visual traditions in the Netherlands and Germany (political cartoons, prints and photographs commenting).

In The Netherlands it was not allowed to take pictures during the debates in the House of Commons or in the Senate. The existing rules and how Salomon, as a German Jewish refugee, was able to circumvent this, is the subject of research. In addition the research looked into journals in which his photographs were published and analyzed how the photos were received.

1.

Erich Salomon & the ideal parliament

This book sheds new light on Erich Salomon, one of the most famous photographers of the 1920's and 1930's. The authors focused on a historical approach, where they examined the photographs of Erich Salomon as journalistic contributions. The pictures of the parliamentary system, taken by Erich Salomon, are central in this book. In Germany, Erich Salomon renewed the parliamentary photography. In the Netherlands, he was the founding father of this kind of photography.

This book also contains articles on parliamentary cartoons in the Interwar period and on the influence of Erich Salomon on the modern photography and film.