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– 1911, April 3rd: Walter Ballhause is born in Hameln as the son of the shoemaker Karl Ballhause [born in Nordhausen] and the leather stepper Anna (born Helbig [in Brandis]).

– 1917–1925: Attends primary school. In eight years he changes schools eight times and his place of residence ten times.

– 1919: After his parents' divorce, he lives with his mother; they move to Hanover.

– 1925: Factory worker at the Hanoverian Maschinenbau-Aktien-Gesellschaft (Hanomag) in Hanover. Participates in the Social Democratic youth group Rote Falken. Member of the Arbeiter-Turn und Sportbund (ATSB)

– 1926–1929: Ballhause does an apprenticeship as a laboratory assistant at Hanomag and is subsequently unemployed. He begins to take photographs.

– 1929–1931: Member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)

– 1930–1933: He takes photographs of the world economic crisis. Ballhause primarily photographs people from the proletarian milieu with a "concealed camera". His pictures have the expression of unstaged reality and a high degree of authenticity.

– 1931: He is a short-term laboratory assistant at Hanomag. Founding member of the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (SAP) […]. Photographs from the Rote Falken holiday camp, about party work and actions by the SAP against the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP)

– 1931, from: Unemployment

– 1934: Arrested by the Secret State Police (Gestapo) in Hanover for "left-wing activity"

– 1934–1941: Laboratory assistant at Hanomag

– 1938–1941: Ballhause completes evening studies, graduating as a chemical technician.

– 1941: Moves to Straßberg near Plauen

– 1941–1944: Laboratory manager at Vomag in Plauen

– 1944: August 30th: Arrested again. He is accused of contact with anti-fascist cells [...]. Imprisonment in Plauen and Zwickau

– 1945, April 17th: Liberated from the Zwickau prison

– 1945–1947: Mayor of the community of Straßberg. Photo documentation about refugees in Straßberg

– 1947–1965: As a foundry manager at Plamag in Plauen, he builds up the company and manages it.

– 1947: Series of portraits of foundry workers in his company

Honorary member of the Association of Visual Artists (1988). Honorary member of Arbeiterfotografie e.V. (1982)

– 1954: Move to Plauen

– 1965–1971:  manager of the Plamag foundry in Plauen

– 1971: He retires.

– 1971/72: He provides about 100 prints of his photographs for the exhibition "Resistance in Lower Saxony".

– 1977, from: Participation in exhibitions in both German states

– 1981, from: International solo exhibitions

– 1982, from: Honorary member of the Arbeiterfotografie e.V. Ballhause gives slide-tone lectures in the GDR, the Federal Republic and the USA.

– 1988, from: Honorary member of the Verband Bildender Künstler

– 1991, July 8th: Walter Ballhause dies in Plauen.

(Boström, Jörg: Ein Nachruf auf den Fotografen Walter Ballhause, in: Website Arbeiterfotografie, accessed on 02.02.2021, URL:

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