From 1930-1938, many of John Heartfield’s strongest, most courageous political photomontages appeared on covers of the popular illustrated magazine AIZ (Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung).The AIZ magazine eventually enjoyed either the second or third largest circulation in Germany. Therefore, Heartfield’s montages were widely and publicly displayed on street corner newsstands throughout Berlin.
Powerful AIZ covers became Heartfield posters to combat the Nazi propaganda machine. His 1932 montage “Adolf, the Superman, Swallows Gold and Spouts Junk” was so effective it was reproduced as a political poster and plastered throughout Germany.
As Adolf Hitler consolidated his grip on Germany’s government, Heartfield refused to leave Berlin.
However, in April, 1933, Heartfield was forced to flee Germany. He narrowly escaped assassination by Hitler’s SS by squeezing his short frail body through his bathroom window.
Heartfield defiantly continued to produce anti-fascist anti-Nazi art in Prague until the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938.