This is one of John Heartfield's most famous montages, “5 Finger Hat Die Hand” (The Hand Has Five Fingers).
I was told this story by my father, John Heartfield’s son, Tom. The KPD Party was searching for a symbol to link its five candidates. Suddenly, Jonny jumped up in a meeting and waved his hand, saying, “What is more powerful than the fingers of the human hand working together.” Everyone immediately agreed.
Jonny went to a factory and, as the workers left, he shouted, “Hold Up Your Hand!”
Later, he sorted though hundreds of photographs to choose the exact one he felt was the most powerful image.
The text on the original poster is: “5 fingers has a hand! With these 5 grab the enemy!“ The “enemy” was the Nazi Party. This slogan inspired part of the text contained on the back of the System of a Down album: “The hand has five fingers, capable and powerful, with the ability to destroy as well as create.”
LEARN MORE about one of Heartfield's most famous montages.