Artworks and Artists
John Heartfield
Born in Berlin, Germany, 19 June 1891
Died German Democratic Republic: East Berlin, 26 April 1968
Photo: Aleksandr Rodchenko. Portrait of John Heartfield. Photograph, Moscow 1931. Stiftung Archiv der Akademie der Künste, Berlin, John-Heartfield-Archiv, No. 589

John Heartfield

In 1916 Helmut Herzfeld, who lived in Berlin, anglicized his name to John Heartfield as a protest against the patriotic German greeting "God punish England!" Initially finding inspiration in the revolutionary art of the newly communist Soviet Union, Heartfield gained a reputation as a creator of satirical Photomontages. His images were a potent tool used to undermine the political power of the Nazis. Most were made for mass distribution in AIZ, a magazine published by the German Communist Party. In 1933 Heartfield was forced by the Nazis into exile in Prague, and then to England in 1940. He returned to East Germany in 1950.