HASS, Hans, D.Sc.
Last updated: March 23, 2020 at 19:12 pm
Scientist; diving and underwater photography pioneer; explorer; author first published in 1939 with Jagd unter Wasser mit Harpune und Kamera (Underwater Hunt with Harpoon and Camera); made his first dive in the Mediterranean Sea in July 1937 where he met American Guy Gilpatric; led multiple expeditions around the world aboard his vessel the Xarifa; produced the first underwater movie filmed on scuba in the Netherlands Antilles in 1940; founded the tax-exempt society Expedition für biologische Meereskunde (Expedition for Biological Oceanography) in Berlin, in 1941; developed the Rolleimarin underwater housing with German company Franke & Heidecke in 1949; won the Oscar for underwater photography for the film Unternehmen Xarifa in 1959; Historical Diving Society’s Hans Hass Diving to Adventure Award named in his honour; husband of Lotte Hass.
“The first time anyone looks under water through watertight goggles he is amazed.”
“Hunting with the camera is no less exciting than with the spear.”
“How much many a scholar must envy me this opportunity to observe the creatures in their natural surroundings.”
“On the bottom of the sea there are creatures that no man has ever seen. Only the drowned people down there know these creatures—but none of them has ever told the tale.”
“I don’t know what got into me. From everything I knew about sharks I should really have been afraid. But this creature was so handsome, so graceful, it looked so unlike a bloodthirsty man-killer, that for the moment I could think only how fine a photograph of it would be. I forgot I had not even a knife on me, and I swam towards the shark, armed only with the camera. I had not the slightest misgivings; the voice of reason was completely silenced.”
— Hans Hass (1952). Diving to Adventure. Harpoon and Camera under the Sea. Arrow Books, Tiptree, Essex.