Not many people knew at the time that Hitler wore glasses. This perceived ‘genetic weakness’ was kept secret from the German people and very few photographs exist of him wearing or holding his spectacles.
When selecting his optician, Hitler had to be wary of choosing someone with ample discretion and for this he chose the Ruhnke firm of Berlin. The business was started in 1900 by Carl Ruhnke and, by the mid-thirties, was being run by his son, Fritz.
Here are the ‘Handwerkskarte’ or ‘craft cards’ for Fritz Ruhnke, dated 1936, 1944 and post war. They were kept in the possession of his son, until he died in a plane crash some years ago, and his estate was stored away.
A pair of Hitler’s spectacles came up for auction a while back complete with their velvet lined case, marked Optiker Ruhnke.