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Walter Frentz; photographed Hitler's inner circle; at 96

BERLIN -- Walter Frentz, who followed Adolf Hitler's inner circle as a Luftwaffe cameraman during the final years of World War II and recorded some of the Nazi era's key events on film, died July 6 in the southern town of eberlingen. He was 96.

While Mr. Frentz was a student in Berlin, he met Albert Speer, who would become Hitler's architect.

Mr. Frentz started in film with a 1931 feature about kayaking in Austria and Yugoslavia. Through Speer, Mr. Frentz met Leni Riefenstahl, who made masterful propaganda films for the Nazis, including "Triumph of the Will" in 1934. Mr. Frentz worked with Riefenstahl on that film and on "Victory of the Faith" in 1933, often using a hand-held camera.

In 1936, he worked with her again on "Olympia," Riefenstahl's famed meditation on muscle and movement at the Berlin Olympics.

After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Mr. Frentz recorded the victory parade in Warsaw. He also filmed Hitler entering Paris when France capitulated.

In 1941, he was assigned to Hitler's Wolf's Lair bunker in East Prussia, staying with the Nazi leader's inner circle until shortly before the end of the war.

In March 1945, Mr. Frentz took the last pictures of Hitler before the dictator killed himself in his Berlin bunker on April 30.

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