John Heartfield London England years began when he arrived exhausted from his narrow escape from the Gestapo. English admirers welcomed the famous anti-Nazi artist into the home of his admirers. From his appearance they assumed he was starving. However, the artist only wanted sleep. He took to bed and remained there for three days.
The English government was not so welcoming. Heartfield suffered periods in English internment camps for “enemy aliens.” The conditions in the camps, though not cruel, had a severe affect upon his health.
Eventually, he settled in London. He met another German refugee, Gertrud Fietz. The artist activist and Gertrud would be inseparable for the rest of his life. They married in East Germany just before his death in 1968.
Heartfield years in England have a serious effect on his health, his work, and his legacy. In 1949, he wrote to the Czech Refugee Fund, begging for permission to remain in England for his health and work. He stated he wanted to remain close to the British museum. They denied his request.
The artist continued his campaign against the Third Reich in England. John Heartfield created advertisements for the radio program Freedom Calling, the radio production Adolf Hitler hated most. Read “Freedom Calling” by Andrea Hofmann.
Find out more by visiting the John Heartfield Chronology individual year pages.