Otto Schweim (1894-1956)

An undated portrait of Otto Christian Theodor Schweim (1894-1956), probably taken in Kiel in Germany, around 1950. Scan © by Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

This photo from our family archive shows my grandfather, Otto Schweim. I never met him – he died nine years before I was born.

This portrait was taken at a professional photo studio, probably in Kiel, Germany. Sadly, the photographer got the focus wrong, so the suit and the back of his hairs are sharp while the eyes are slightly off-focus and blurred. While I know that this technique has been used for aging actors (and actresses) to soften the skin, it looks more like a mistake here. Yet I love this shot because Otto still looks fresh and determined, and it’s easy to see that the small boy standing in a photo studio in Kiel around 1900 has become a man who has grown with the challenges of life, notably surviving two world wars, founding a family and a successful business.

He was born on this day in 1894.

The high resolution image

Capture Dateunknown
Image Source9 x 14 cm black & white print
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, Adobe RGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions2407 x 3450 Pixels
CopyrightScan © by Mark Zanzig/

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