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This is unprecedented in the intensity of objective vision. Quite reportage-like shots, photographed from the side, from behind. Instead of an increased feeling of pity or a gesture of accusation, Ballhause gives these people what is inalienable.

(Beicken, Peter, in: Solidarisches Sehen oder Weimars Ende in Hannover. Der Arbeiterfotograf Walter Ballhause, in: Die Horen, 27th year, vol. 2 (1982), issue 126, p. 63–70)

"This is where my childhood memories come to light. [...] These are all cripples from the First World War, with one leg, one eye and other infirmities. In 1931/1932, with the deepening world economic crisis, the funds for social purposes became smaller and smaller [...] among other things, also for the victims of the First World War, who in and of themselves had a very low income, who were literally dependent on going around with harmonica or with a hand organ, to do something. Because, begging was not allowed in public. Or they sat there, offered postcards, playing cards or matches, had something to sell. And people knew exactly that something was to be thrown in their cap or hat."

(Walter Ballhause 1984, in: Interview mit Hannes Schmidt (excerpts published in: Medium, 1985, 11/12, p. 80 ff.))


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