Historical context




The Danish Jacob Ellehammer becomes the first European to fly an airplane. His flying machine reaches a range about 137 feet.

The German born physicist Arhur Korn succeeds in the telegraphic transmission of a picture over about 1118 miles. First radio transmission by the Canadian Reginald Fessenden.

Heinrich Heidersberger is born on the 10. of June 1906 in Ingolstadt (Germany).


The Deutscher Werkbund (German Work Federation) is founded.


First German engine powered flight by Hans Grade in Magdeburg (Germany).

Heinrich´s brother Friedrich is born.


Ernest Rutherford describes alpha-, beta and gamma-rays. Louis Blériot becomes the first man to fly in an airplane over the English Channel.

The Heidersberger family moves to Ludwigshafen (Germany) because of the relocation of the father.


The World´s Fair „expo“ is opened in Bruxelles (Belgium).

The American Robert Millikan measures the charge on the electron with his oil-drop-experiment.


In Berlin (Germany) the „Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft“, forerunner of the „Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften“ („Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Sciences“) is founded.

The Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his team are the first to reach the South Pole.

The British Joseph John Thomson constructs the first mass spectrometer.

After the father has died the Heidersberger family moves to Linz (Austria) in order to live at the parent´s of the mother.


The American Harriet Quimby is the first woman to cross the English Channel in an monoplane constructed by Louis Blériot.

The ocean liner „Titanic“ sinks on its maiden voyage.

Heinrich starts school in Linz (Austria).


The French Charles Fabry discovers the ozone layer.


Beginning of the First World War.

Opening of the Panama Canal.


First attack of toxic gas by German forces in Ypern (Belgium).

Earthquake in the Abruzzo region of Italy with 30.000 deaths.


The German Albert Einstein publishes his theory of relativity.

Foundation of the artistic movement „Dadaism“ in Zurich (Switzerland).


October Revolution in Russia.

Foundation of the Dutch artistic movement „De Stijl“.

Heinrich enters the popular movement of German youth groups called „Wandervögel“, natural sciences catch his interest and he starts growing cactuses.


End of the First World War, about 9 million people have been killed.

Because of the severe food situation in Germany Heinrich becomes a so called „Wienerkind“ and is sent to Denmark during the summer. There he stays at Holger Hesbek`s and his brother´s. Heinrich learns Danish and till 1925 he comes to Denmark every year.

By the friendship to Thöger Larsen, Börge Ludvigsen and Ester Andersen Heinrich encounters astronomy and amateur radio broadcasting.


In Germany the Weimar Republic is proclaimed.

In Weimar the „Bauhaus“ is established by Walter Gropius.

Heinrich builds his first radio detectors and receivers.


The „NSDAP“ („The National Socialist German Workers Party“) is founded in Munich (Germany).

The the world´s first film prize „Photoplay Award“ is awarded in the USA.


Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the „NSDAP“.


Starting inflation in Germany.

Establishment of the aeroplane fabric „Ernst-Heinkel-Flugzeugwerke“ in Warnemünde (Germany).


Prohibition of the „NSADP“ and the „KPD“ („Communist Party of Germany“). Because of the increasing inflation in Germany one kilogram of bread costs 233 billion „Reichsmark“.


Death of Lenin in the „USSR“.

First man executed in a gas chamber in the USA.

The Leica-Company launches the first miniature camera.


Adolf Hitler publishes his book „Mein Kampf“ („My fight“).

The exhibition „Neue Sachlichkeit“ („New Objectivity“) is opened at the Mannheim Art Gallery.

„Die Neue Sammlung“ (The New Collection) is instituted as the first museum of design in Munich (Germany).

Heinrich graduates from school in Linz (Austria).


Germany is accepted as a member of the League of Nations.

six months Heinrich undertakes an internship at the transfomer-company „Koch & Sterzel“ in Dresden (Germany). For another six months he works as a brick layer at the construction company „Kremeyer“ in Linz (Austria).


Charles Lindbergh flies non-stop across the Atlantic, from New York to Paris.

Heinrich enrolls for architecture in Graz (Austria).


The German Company „Franke & Heidecke Fabrik Photographischer Prazisionsapparate“ (short „Rollei“) in Brunswick invents the „Rolleiflex“: the first medium format roll-film camera.

Heinrich moves to Paris (France) and attends the painting school of Fernand Léger.

Together with his friend Eduard Zak and the nurse Olive Scott, Heinrich stays at the Hotel Dorain in the Rue Vaugirard.Later he moves to the Rue Mouffetard and works at his studio in the Rue Perrier in Montrouge.

Heinrich takes up to photograph with a simple camera made out of wood, a present of his foster father Holger Hesbek.


WThe start of the „Black Thursday“ stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange causes the beginning of a worldwide ecomomic crises.

Opening of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (USA).

Heinrich attends to photography and takes pictures of paintings by his friends.

He meets Ida Kar and starts working with her. Later she becomes a well-known portraits- photographer of.



In Paris Heinrich meets famous artists and writers, e.g. Ernest Hemingway and Henry Miller.


5,7 million unemployed persons in Germany. Wave of bankruptcies, start of an agricultural crisis.

Construction of the Empire State Building in New York (USA).

Heinrich leaves Paris. Together with his friends Pühringer, Zak und G. Burgasser he establishes an literary cabaret named the „Thermopylen“ in Linz (Austria).

Later on Heinrich moves to Den Haag in the Netherlands.

„Selfportrait in the mirror“


About 6 million unemployed persons in Germany describe the climax of the worldwide economic crisis.

The German Werner Heisenberg receives the Nobel Prize in physics for his creation of quantum mechanics.

Heinrich photographs for scientific reports.


Hitler becomes the German Chancellor („Reichskanzler“).

At the 10th „Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin“ the so called „Volksempfänger“ („People's receiver“) is presented.


Death of the German head of state Paul von Hindenburg.

First television broadcast in Germany.

In the Netherlands Heinrich meets Cornelia Botter (Corry). Her parents are against this relationship and let Heinrich be expelled from the country. Via Düsseldorf in Germany Heinrich travels to Copenhagen in Denmark, where many friends of him have moved to in the meanwhile.

„Promenade“, Düsseldorf


Start of the general conscription in Germany.

Beginning constructions of submarines and buildup of the airforce.

Opening of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (USA).

Corry follows Heinrich to Denmark. After a secret marriage the young couple lives in the Laederstraede in Copenhagen.

„Laederstaede“, Kopenhagen


Beginning of the Spanish Civil War.

The German Heinrich Focke builds one of the first helicopters.

Heinrich and Corry move to Berlin and live at Heinrich´s brother Friedrich´s.

Heinrich works as an freelance photo reporter for the publishing companies „Ullstein“ and „Scherl“. First release in the international yearbook „Photography“.

„Bud of a chestnut“


Foundation of the „Reichswerke Hermann Göring“ (today „Salzgitter AG“) in Salzgitter (Germany).

First beverage can is brought to the German market by the „Schmalbach-Blechwarenwerke“ (Schmalbach-Company for plate products) in Brunswick (Germany).

Konrad Zuse baut ersten programmierbaren Rechner nach dem Binärsystem.

Heinich`s first son named Börge is born in Berlin.

The German architect Herbert Rimpl engages Heinrich as photographer for his building of the aeroplane fabric „Heinkel-Flugzeugwerke“ in Oranienburg (Germany).

„Ear of rye“


Invasion of German forces in Austria. „Reichskristallnacht“ („Night of the broken glass“): progrom against Jews througout Germany.

Discovery of the nuclear fission.

The German Konrad Zuse invents the first programmable computer based on the bynary system.

The American Chester Carlson accomplishes the first foto copy.

Heinrich is appointed as head of the photographic department of the steel mill of Salzgitter (Germany).

Release of the book „ Ein deutsches Flugzeugwerk“ („A German aeroplane company“) with his photographs.

„Parkway of birch trees“, „Pinewood“, Berlin


Outbreak of the Second World War.

Heinrich`s second son Anton is born.

Because of the outbreak of the war Corry and the children move to relatives in Austria. Except for some interruptions the family stays in Windisch Garsten (Austria) till 1945.


German forces attack Denmark and Norway.


Jews are forced to wear the so called „Judenstern“ („Yellow Star“).

Discovery of the radioactive plutonium.

Erstes Düsenflugzeug der Welt: Heinkel HE 280.

In the steel mill Charlotte Berger becomes the photographic lab assistent of Heinrich. Since then she accompanies Heinrich till her death in 2002.

Gerhard is born as the third son of Heinrich.


Development of „ENIAC“ (short for „Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer“) as the first large-scale, electronic, digital computer.

Heinrich has an affair with Wadja and the son Pierre is born.


Turning point of the Second World War because of the battle of Stalingrad (Russia).


Start of the „Volkssturm“ („National or people´s storm“).

After the invasion of the American forces Charlotte manages to smuggle some cameras for Heinrich out of the steel mill.

For the reportage „Morgentau über Deutschland“ („Dew above Germany“) Heinrichs takes pictures of sheep in front of the steel mill in Brunswick.


Total capitulation of the German forces causes end of the Second World War.

First dropping of an atomic bomb over Hiroshima (Japan).

Beginning of the „Nürnberger Kriegsverbrecherprozesse“ („Nuremberg Trials“).

In Wolfsburg (Germany) the production of the Volkswagen beetles starts.

Heinrich works as an interpreter for the mayor of Wolfenbüttel (Germany) and for an elite troop of the Royal Engineers, who allow him to open the photographic studio named „Studio Five“ in Brunswick (Germany).


The „Braunschweiger Zeitung“ („The Brunswick Newspaper“) appears as the first approved newspaper in the British zone of occupation.

In his „Studio Five“ Heinrich portraits English soldiers, takes pictures of the Brunswick city life and photographs at the theater and the circus.

He has his first exhibition at the Brunswick Kunstverein „Salve Hospes“.

By the acquaintance with Henri Nannen Heinrich photographs for reports and competions published in the German magazine „Stern“.

Waltraud Saloga and Ditta Helmdach work as interns at Heinrich´s studio.


Thor Heyerdahl sails with his float „Kon-Tiki“ from Peru to Polynesa.

The Polaroid picture system is invented.

By order of the „Stern“ Heinrich travels by ship („Lucy Essberger“) from Bremerhaven in Germany via Algier and Tunis to Istanbul (Turkey). He takes pictures for a report about the first German exports after war.

Solarised nude

Photographic report of the first German exports after war for the magazine „Stern“


German currency reform.

Heinrich Nordhoff becomes chief executive officer of Volkswagen in Wolfsburg (Germany).

First issue of the magazine „Stern“ appears.


Foundation of the „Bundesrepublik Deutschland“ („Federal Republic of Germany“). Konrad Adenauer becomes the first German Chancellor of the Federal Republic.

The Xerox-Company presents the world´s first copier.

Heinrich photographs the bombed city of Brunswick and the demolition of the Brunswick Castle.

„Dress made of light“

Documentation of the bombed city of Brunswick


Inauguration of the first German television broadcaster.

„Shoe in the mud“

Ballett Rambert



Opening of the first international photo fair „Photokina“ in Cologne (Germany).

In Idaho (USA) the first Experimental Breeder Reactor I is started. This is the first nuclear reactor to produce energy effective.

Heinrich photographs dancers and shows of the ballet company „Joos and Rambert“.

„Dress made of light“



Sprengel Museum, Hanover



Volkswagen, Wolfsburg

Voigtländer, Brunswick


First climbing of the Mount Everest.

Heinrich works for the architects Friedrich Wilhelm Kraemer, Dieter Oesterlen and Walter Henn, which are members of the so called „Braunschweiger Schule“ („School of Brunswick“), an German architectural movement. Heinrich spezializes more and more in photography of architecture.

Market Church, Hanover

Audimax, TU Brunswick

Sugar refinery, Schöppenstedt

Views of Brunswick

Credit Bank of Hamburg

„Human being“


Calculators, Brunsviga

ECA-Buildings, Rühme


Invention of the color television based on the NTSC-standard in the USA.

Aboard the cruiser „MS Atlantic“ Heinrich travels together with the Italien photographer Polwer from New York to Cuba. They work as photographers and sell their over-night developed color slides to the passengers.

„St. Petri and St. Andreas“ in Brunswick

American consulate general, Bremen

Veterinary University of Hanover

Smelter, Oberhausen

Casino and post office, Düsseldorf


Conference on peaceful economic use of nuclear energy.

First „documenta“ in Kassel (Germany).

The school of ingeneering in Wolfenbüttel (Germany) commissions Heinrich to create a mural. In search of a possible icon for the faculty of high-frequency engineering Heinrich develops the first so called „rhythmograms“.

Memorial of Gauss, Brunswick

„Brumal landscapes“

Rhythmograms „Cats“ and „Orchis“

Mural, School of Ingeneering in Wolfenbüttel

Impressions of the city of Brunswick


Institution of compulsory military service in Germany.

The honeymoon with his second wife Renate leads Heinrich via Cologne („Photokina“) to South France where he meets with his Norwegian friend Erik Hesselberg. At the same place Heinich gets together with Jean Cocteau who buys a „rythmogram“ as a present for Pablo Picasso.

Cristal plant of Jena

Philips GmbH, Hoesch
Hut Hansen, Brunsviga

Plant photographs for Siemens

Gate lodge and TU of Brunswick


„Roi Soleil“



Heinrichs first son together with Renate, Benjamin, is born.

Heinrich´s appointment to the „Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie e.V.“ („German Society of Photography“) and to the „Deutscher Werkbund e.V.“ („German Work Federation“).


Fabrics of rope, Bremen

Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Brunswick
BrunsvigaFrank & Heidecke (Rollei), Brunswick

Photographic reports for the magazine „Stern“

„Landscape by the time of harvest“


First World´s Fair (Expo) since 1937 in Bruxelles (Belgium) is about atomic energy and aerospace.

Expo, Bruxelles

Panorama of the TU of Brunswick

Castle, Cinema Imperial, the Lovis Corinth-Exhibition and city hall, Wolfsburg


The Soviet „Lunik 2“ is the first spacecraft to land on the moon.

Heinrichs´ first daughter Henriette is born.

Rhythmogram „Prelude”

Industry fair Hanover, Krupp

Plant „Junior“


Deficit of workers in Germany. The government plans to invite guest workers to the country.

The Volkswagen plant changes into private hands and gets transformed into a public company.

Housing developments, post office and models of the new railway station, Wolfsburg

Administration building of VW, Wolfsburg

Company building Siemens, Mühlheim

„Staatshochbauamt“, Göttingen


Start of the construction of the „Berliner Mauer“ („Berlin Wall“).

Juri A. Gagarin becomes the first man in space.

Konstantin is born as the youngest child of Heinrich.

Heinrich moves to Wolfsburg (Germany) where a studio in the Wolfsburg Castle is offered to him. There he is cofounder of the artist´s colony „Schlossstraße 8“.



The American John Glenn orbits the earth with the space craft „Mercury“.

Exhibitions at the City Gallery of Wolfsburg and at the New Gallery in Linz (Austria).

„Beetle and castle“

Rhythmogramm „Initial“

The Alvar Aalto Cultural Centre, Wolfsburg

Views of Wolfsburg for the photobook „Wolfsburg - Bilder einer jungen Stadt“

Views of Goslar for the magazine „Merian“

Administration building of the Krupp-Company, Essen

Building of the Lower Saxon parliament, Hanover


The German TV broadcaster „ZDF“ goes into service.

The German architect Hans Scharoun finishes his work at the new built philharmonics in Berlin (Germany).

Release of the photobook „Wolfsburg - Bilder einer jungen Stadt“.

Engine works, Aerzen

Siemens, Mühlheim

Publishing house Bertelsmann, Gütersloh

Public Services, Brunswick

Plant „Junior“

Preussag, Hanover

Üstra, Hanover

Railway station, Hildesheim


First world´s fair of photography about „What is the human being all about?“

Varta - fabric of batteries

Laboratory buildings of Hoechst, Frankfurt

Castle Wolfsburg, solarisation


Blackout in New York lasts over 14 hours.


First recession after war in Germany. Economic stagnation coexistent to price increase.

In Berlin student´s demonstrations against American participation in Vietnam War.

Heinrich presents a later awarded slide show produced for the company of Jena Glass Works in Frankfurt (Germany).

Osram administration building, München

Krupp´s and Hoesch´s fair halls , Madrid (Spain)


Invention of the color television in Germany.

Heinrich does exhibitions at the gallery „Clarissa“ in Hanover and also at the New Gallery in Linz (Austria).

Institute of automotive engineering and chemical engineering, Brunswick

Varta - Centre of research and development

Administration and laboratory buildings of Hoechst, Frankfurt


Introduction of the sales tax in Germany.

Space craft „Apollo 8“ orbits the moon first.

Oak, negative

Air-inflated marquee of Krupp

German Bank in Wolfsburg

Hüppe, Oldenburg

Mural, architect Schweitzer

Castle artists for the magazine "Profile"


Willy Brandt becomes German Chancellor of the Federal Republic.

The American Neil Armstrong is the first man on the moon.

United German Metal Works, Frankfurt

Motorway restaurant „Dammer Berge“

Mannesmann, Duisburg


Termination of the „Apollo-13-Mission“ after an accident in space.

Head office of the German Federal Railways, Hanover

Plant „Olympia“, Wilhelmshaven

Cafeteria, TU Brunswick

Power station, Brunswick

High rise „DuPontHigh“, Düsseldorf

Building „Hüppe“, Oldenburg


Presentation of the German magnetic levitation train „Transrapid“ in Munich (Germany).

Heinrich does an exhibition at the City Gallery of Wolfsburg.

Power station of the Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg

Plant „Olympia“, Brunswick

Brunswick Smelter

Crematory, Brunswick

Views of Wolfsburg for the Olympic Games in Munich



Olympic Games in Munich, overshadowed by Palestinian terror attacks.

Exhibition of Heinrich´s photographs at the „House Wolfsburg“ in the Olympic Village in Munich (Germany).

Institute of engineering thermodynamics and construction material engineering, Brunswick

Max-Planck-Institute, Göttingen

County building Bergisch Gladbach

Housing estate Adolfstraße, Hamburg

Packet post office, Hamburg


Oil crises because of OPEC´s delivery boycott.


Helmut Schmidt becomes German Chancellor of the Federal Republic.

Institute of hydraulic engineering, Brunswick

Niedersachsen Stadium, Hanover


First corporate space project between USA and USSR.


Disaster of Seveso: Discharge of dioxine in the chemical plant „Icmesa“ near Milan (Italy).

First uncrewed landing of an American spacecraft on Mars.

Gothaer Insurance

Eintracht Stadium, Brunswick

Shell-Building, Hamburg


Kidnapping of the German employer representative Hanns-Martin Schleyer.

Opening of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (France).


Schering-Works, Wolfenbüttel


First test-tube-baby is born.

Aral-Building, Bochum


The Spacecrafts „Pioneer“ and „Voyager“ take pictures of Jupiter and

Letzte Änderung: 30.5.2023