Adolf Hitler speaking at an undated rally.

Over a thousand glass plates showing Hitler’s rise to power and the Nazi leader throughout World War ll have been digitized by the US National Archive. The plates, some of which were broken into many parts, were the work of Hitler’s personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann and were confiscated from the photographer by US troops at the end of the war.

According to The Washington Post special projects preservationist at the National Archive, Richard E Schneider, spent the better part of a year piecing together 1,270 images from a collection of 41,000 glass plates. The institution plans to make the pictures public soon when they will be released online.

Hoffman was the only photographer allowed to take Hitler’s picture, and the role made him extremely wealthy — he is said to have made over $35 million alone from the royalties on the picture of Hitler used on postage stamps during the Nazi era.

The pictures in the collection are all posed propaganda images used to develop Hitler’s public profile and to further the power of the Nazi party – even Hoffmann wasn’t allowed to take candid pictures. Some show Hitler on his own, while others show him speaking at rallies or posing with groups of senior party members, like Goebbels, Hess and Himmler.

Possibly one of the earliest published photos of Adolf Hitler, taken in 1923 when he was 34 years old.

Hoffmann was made Hitler’s official photographer in 1921 when Hitler took control of the Nazi party and the two became good friends. Eva Braun was Hoffmann’s studio assistant, and it was Hoffmann who introduced Hitler to her in 1929 – Hitler and Braun married the day before committing suicide in the closing stages of WWll.

After the war Hoffmann was arrested by the US Army and was sentenced to four years in jail for profiteering — including stealing and selling art works from Jewish families, museums and galleries. He died in 1957.