1 May 1933
Paul von Hindenburg and Adolf Hitler at the May Day rally in the Berlin Lustgarten
The picture was sold as a “genuine photo postcard.” As chance would have it, Martin Dzubas, who was thirty-two at the time, discovered it at a newsstand and purchased it together with another card on which he was visible. Decades later, the images were found in a small photographic collection that had been donated to the Jewish Museum Berlin. We do not know whether the photographs that Dzubas took himself on that fateful day—only twenty-four hours later trade unions were banned and disbanded—were also published.
Martin Dzubas worked as a photographer for the Photo and Film Department of the Police Institute for Technology and Transport. The son of a Jew, he lost his job after five years of employment in August 1933 and afterward opened a photo studio in the Lichterfelde district of Berlin. Although he had previously had little contact with the Jewish community and Judaism, in 1934 his photographs began appearing in German-Jewish newspapers. In the following years he worked almost exclusively as a sports photographer. Hundreds of his pictures were published in CV-Zeitung, Jüdisches Gemeindeblatt Berlin and Schild, the newspaper brought out by the Reich League of Jewish Frontline Soldiers.
In May 1939 Martin Dzubas, who was married and had a son, was accused of “racial defilement” and incarcerated in the Moabit prison. He was never convicted of any crime. After his release in December, he was forced to do slave labor in a textile factory. He was arrested again in January 1941 and interned in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Seven months later he was transferred to the Gross Rosen concentration camp, where he died on 27 December at the age of forty-one.