“Gott Stafe England! (May God Punish England!)”
Helmut Herzfeld became Heartfield, a radical name change to usher in a life of political protest. Helmut Herzfeld, as a protest against the rampant anti-British and nationalistic sentiment in Berlin, decides to let the world know who he is and changes his name to a sort of English translation – John Heartfield. Of course, this English version of his name is the one by which he is remembered.
The change is a symbolic political statement, not a legal action.
It is not until 1964 that Helmut Herzfeld legally becomes John Heartfield.