Photographer Lee Miller in Adolf Hitler's bathtub, Munich, 1945.
Lee Miller in Adolf Hitler's bathtub, Munich, 1945.David E. Scherman—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Photographer Lee Miller in Adolf Hitler's bathtub, Munich, 1945.
Lee Miller in Adolf Hitler's bathtub, Munich, 1945.
David E. Scherman—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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The Woman in Hitler's Bathtub: Lee Miller, Munich, 1945

Nov 06, 2014

In May 1993, former LIFE photographer (and, later in his career, a senior editor at the magazine) David E. Scherman told John Loengard about making this famous portrait of Lee Miller in Adolf Hitler's bathtub. Miller, a fashion model-turned-war correspondent and photographer, was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and died in England as Lady Penrose, having married the British artist and poet, Sir Roland Penrose, a few years after the war.

According to Scherman (as quoted in John Loengard's LIFE Photographers: What They Saw), the bathtub picture came about like this:

During the war, Lee and I were mostly inseparable. We were together at the linkup with the Russians, and we were together at Dachau. We moved into Hitler's headquarters in Munich. Lee and I found an elderly gent who barely spoke English, and we gave him a carton of cigarettes and said, "Show us around Munich." He showed us Hitler's house and I photographed Lee taking a bath in Hitler's bathtub. . . . We found Eva Braun's house, and we moved in there and lived there for four or five days before the Americans discovered it. We got quite a few amusing souvenirs of Eva's and Adolf's. . . . [At Hitler's mountain retreat in Berchtesdgaden] I looted everything I could get my hands on, including a complete set of Shakespeare with Hitler's initials, in gold, on the binding, which I sold a few months ago for 10,000 bucks.

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