Elly Beinhorn as a Game Hunter (1933)


In 1933, following a solo flight across Africa, celebrated German aviatrix Elly Beinhorn (1907–2007) posed for this photograph, which shows her as a game hunter. Comparing this photograph with the Völkerschau poster makes clear that, when it came to identity markers, whiteness trumped gender. Femininity in this photograph does not signal a threat to imagined borders but rather expresses German domination over space and nature. Beinhorn carried a weapon without appearing deviant; she stood straight, her posture was upright, and her facial expressions controlled.


Source: German pilot Elly Beinhorn in on safari in the 1930s. Alamy, image number: CPJ10N. Photographer: Scherl / Süddeutsche Zeitung

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Bradley Naranch and Geoff Eley, eds., German Colonialism in a Global Age. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2014.

Michael Perraudin, Jürgen Zimmerer, and Kate Heady, eds., German Colonialism and National Identity. New York: Routledge, 2011.

Britta Schilling, Postcolonial Germany. Memories of Empire in a Decolonized Nation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Elly Beinhorn as a Game Hunter (1933), published in: German History Intersections, <https://germanhistory-intersections.org/en/germanness/ghis:image-210> [November 29, 2023].