“Johnnie talked uninhibitedly about his difficulties; because absolute openness was a duty when it come to anything concerned with the party, he reported to Comrade Joos [of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, which worked with the Ministry for State Security] that he did not know the agent Noel Field; but he did know his brother [Hermann Field], the dentist, who once put two fillings in his teeth. Until the dentist’s complete innocence has been proven, Heartfield was sure that his case was temporarily suspended. Wieland made no comments about his brother’s words, born of hope and confidence […]”
In 1951, John Heartfield is accused of “treason” by the East German Government.
On August 24, 1951, political arms of East Germany, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and its Central Party Control Commission, pass a resolution stating all “Western emigrants,” including John Heartfield and Wieland Herzfelde, are suspects with “treasonable connections” to Western secret service agencies.
Heartfield is helped by direct and indirect contacts with the director of the International Relief Action Committee for Victims of the Nazi Regime and the American, Noel Field. They provide enough pretexts to avoid a serious persecution.
However, Heartfield is not admitted to the Socialist Unity Party of Germany because of his contact with staff members (Bill Carrey, Helen Radö, and Herta Tempi) of the USC (Unitarian Service Committee) set up in London by Noel Field. This means Heartfield is denied proper health benefits.
Heartfield suffers his first heart attack. George Grosz visits him in an East Berlin Hospital.
The Heartfield exhibition that was announced for the 60th birthday of the future Minister of Culture, Johannes R. Becher, is cancelled.
On May 21, 1951, John J Heartfield, son of Tom Heartfield and Lina Heartfield, grandson of John Heartfield, is born.
John J Heartfield is the curator of The Official John Heartfield Exhibition & Archive. Professor Heartfield built and maintains this tribute to his beloved grandfather.