Photography / Features

Podcast #6: Whoever Saves One Life, Saves the Entire World—A Secret History of Leica

The oft-quoted line paraphrased for our headline, and notably used in reference to Oskar Schindler and Chiune Sugihara, can also be applied to industrialist and Leica camera manufacturer Ernst Leitz II, who used his influence to help many Jews and other subjugated people avoid persecution, maintain their jobs, or even escape Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. Like any story drawn from a terrible era of oppression, heroes are painted with shades of gray, and humanitarianism can be found in small gestures, but historian Frank Dabba Smith creates a narrative derived from primary source research. Our other guest, photographer Jill Enfield, recounts her family’s direct relationship with this chapter of Jewish, German, American, and photographic history. Join us for this engaging conversation.

Guests: Frank Dabba Smith and Jill Enfield

To listen to this week’s episode: Listen to or download on SoundCloud, or subscribe to the B&H Photography Podcast on iTunesStitcher; SoundCloud; or via RSS.

Frank Dabba Smith

From the book, Ernst Leitz II- Ich entscheide hiermit: Es wird riskiert

Jill Enfield, Frank Dabba Smith, and Allan Weitz

Photos by Jill Enfield


Host: Allan Weitz
Producer: John Harris
Engineer: Jason Tables
Executive Producers: Bryan Formhals, Mark Zuppe

Discussion 2

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Rabbi's Smith's explanations of the anatomy of genocide, in this case the holocaust, are brilliant. In hebrew school and elsewhere, I have always heard about the holocaust, horrible beyond belief, but the explanation about launching the process by marginalizing employment options and business success put it into a clear and terrifying formula. The discussion about photography, a "true" depiction, was equally illuminating and frightening. To have a descedant one of the families saved, Jill Enfield, was also much appreciated. Thanks to the hard work and results of the producers and the interviewees for sharing this important story of history and current events.

Thank you for your comment Richard, we are very proud of the effort we put into this episode and could not be happier to have had Frank Dabba Smith and Jill Enfield participate.