Truth • Will • Art

On the Crisis Party Congress of the SPD German Social Democratic Party by John Hearfield. Published in the Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ) #24 in Berlin, 1931.


The Grandson of John Heartfield Reflects on the Collagist’s Place in Contemporary Political Art

One of Hitler’s first orders under the Enabling Act was to send the SS to murder John Heartfield. “Heartfield, a Berlin resident, had risked his life for years to use his art ‘as a weapon’ to expose and mock Hitler and his ugly vision for humanity,” writes the artist’s grandson in Kolaj #26. “My grandfather narrowly escaped to Czechoslovakia, where he rose to number five on The Gestapo’s Most Wanted List simply because his satiric art was so effective. From 1930 to 1938, John Heartfield produced an astonishing 240 political art masterpieces. They were a blow-by-blow account of the rise of fascism in the 20th century. It is an artistic accomplishment that has never been duplicated.”

This article appeared in Kolaj #26. To see the entire issue, SUBSCRIBE to Kolaj Magazine or Get a Copy of the Issue.

John J Heartfield is the paternal grandson of John Heartfield (1891-1968). He is the curator of The Official John Heartfield Exhibition. Heartfield will speak at Kolaj Fest New Orleans, July 10-14, 2019 on a panel about the politics of collage. Visit the online exhibition and archive at