<< HEARTFIELD CHRONOLOGY - ALL YEARS1928 1929 1930 1931 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939

 “Dear Heartfield, The largest, leading satirical periodical Krokodil [Crocodile] with a circulation of 300,000 has now been taken over by the Pravda press. As of May 1, I will be its editor. The magazine will be improved and will become a world-famous satirical magazine. I attach great importance to your continued, regular work. The best thing would be for you to move to Moscow – where everything necessary will be arranged for you and your family – so that you can work for Krokodil, AIZ, etc. in peace.

If you are unable to come immediately, then I want to ask you to start work right away from Prague. I would like to feature whole-page montages once or twice a month. Topics: fascism, danger of war, labor, exploitation, proletarian resistance … but no personal depictions, e.g. Göring, Hitler.

I hope to hear from very soon and trust that the first montage will arrive here in the near future. You can see the format from the copy of the new paper that is being sent to you by the same mail. To avoid any misunderstandings, payment will be made in Soviet currency.
I hope you are in good health.
With best regards,”

Mikhail Koltsov
Mikhail Koltsov

Against Third Reich – Art As A Weapon. Anti-Fascist Artist Activist John Heartfield Risks His Life. WW II Prague, 1934

On November 1, 1934, Heartfield’s name (surname Herzfeld) can be found in an “Index of Jews Who Germany Nationality was Annulled by Nazi Regime, 1935-1944.” See below. Fascist propaganda had tried to minimize his art by calling him a Jew, their label for a person who could not contribute anything valuable to society.

John Heartfield German Nationality Annulled By Nazis 1934

His art against fascism and the Third Reich is an obsession. It keeps John Heartfield under a constant threat of death from Adolf Hitler’s agents and supporters. The danger does nothing to deter him. He continues to work day and night producing photomontages (collage) against Third Reich propaganda. It is not an easy task. He is working against one of the most powerful propaganda machines the world has ever known.

His friend, Mikhail Koltsov, attempts to help Heartfield by offering him work in Moscow. Heartfield refuses this offer of sanctuary.

Instead, he takes part in an international caricature exhibition at the Prague art society “Mánes.”

The inclusion of his anti-fascist political art in the Prague exhibition is enough to cause diplomatic friction between Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Heartfield, Herzfelde, Herzfelde's son, George

(L-R) George Herzfelde (Wieland’s son & biographer), John Heartfield, Wieland Herzfelde

Heartfield, Herzfelde, and Kurt Kersten, Prague, 1934

(L-R) Wieland Herzfelde, John Heartfield, and Kurt Kersten, Prague 1934. Kurt Kersten was a writer and publicist. He was a close confident and associate of Willi Münzenberg.

Professor John J Heartfield is John Heartfield’s paternal grandson. He gives live interactive presentations around the world that focus on his grandfather’s life and work and modern political art. Please write to him to request his presence at your event or ask any question. He is always pleased to hear from exhibition visitors.

Dada Political Artist John Heartfield grandson, John Heartfield, Curator Official John Heartfield Exhibition