<< HEARTFIELD CHRONOLOGY – ALL YEARS1949 1950 1951 1952 1954 1956

“Dear Brother Erwin! As lovely as “little brother (Brüderlein)” sounds, “brother” is not meant to be less heartfelt. Your congratulations on my 65th Birthday did not come too late. I’m still alive!! Our poor, dear Brecht [Playwright & Composer Bertolt Brecht] unfortunately is no more. It was difficult for me to take and we all were hit hard […]

Yes, I’d like to have a birthday present from you too, and it would be for me to do the decor for a play you would stage here in Berlin with us. And it would have to be a very bold construction, of the kind that can be done only with you, because no other director would so much as consider it.”

East German Artist John Heartfield In A Letter To Erwin Piscator, Sept. 7, 1956
East German Artist John Heartfield In A Letter To Erwin Piscator, Sept. 7, 1956

East German Artist Academy Finally Recognizes John Heartfield, Berlin 1956

In 1956, six years after Heartfield’s return to East Germany, his party membership is finally approved. Bertolt Brecht and Stefan Heym strongly interceded on his behalf. Being a party member provides Heartfield with the essential benefits he needs to live and work. He is now an East German artist, not a suspected traitor to the state.

“The application of Comrade Helmut Herzfeld (John Heartfield) for the restitution of his party membership is approved. Membership in the Party of the Working Class (Communist Party of Germany and Socialist Unity Party) is considered to be uninterrupted as of December 12, 1918.

Grounds: In view of today’s standpoint, the decision of March 13, 1951 is no longer valid. Even as a non-party member, Comrade Heartfield has been active according to the spirit of the party since his return from emigration in 1950.”

From 1950 to 1956, the anti-fascist artist has suffered from the political whims of a communist government – a government that has adopted a fascist philosophy.

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