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Adolf the Superman Swallows Gold and Spouts JunkEnlarge image

Adolf the Superman Swallows Gold and Spouts Junk, before 28 August 1932, printed before 1942

John Heartfield
German, 1891 - 1968
gelatin silver print
Printed by Sid Grossman
35.4 x 24.6 cm; image: 33 x 24.1 cm
Purchased 1979
National Gallery of Canada (no. 22863)
© Estate of John Heartfield / SODRAC (2013)

portrait, single, male;
The photomontage technique allowed Heartfield to create a satirical image by combining different photographs: a portrait of Hitler, an X-ray of a human body, a vertebral column of gold coins, and the insignia of the Nazi party, a swastika, placed over his heart. The X-rayed torso is used as a metaphor to expose Hitler's hidden interest in financial power. This was seen by the communists as being contradictory to his pro-working-class speeches. This image appeared in a 1932 issue of AIZ entitled, "Prince and worker in one party?" It is one of several famous images in which Heartfield targets the alliance of capitalism and fascism as an evil force. From 1914 to 1918, Germany was at war with France, England, and many other European countries. In 1920 Adolf Hitler founded the National Socialist German Workers Party, or Nazi Party. It came into full political power in 1933, and Hitler became Chancellor. The German Communist Party tried to reveal the Nazi Party's true interest in capitalist financial power to the exclusion of the interests of the working class. In 1939 Hitler invaded Poland, an act which started a second war with Europe.

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