This Weimar Republic Heartfield collage shows a faceless aristocrat ogling a flapper. The art appeared on page 101 of the Tucholsky – Heartfield collaboration Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles.
Kurt Tucholsky’s picture-survey was a devastating critique of the Weimar Republic. The Heartfield-Herzfelde Berlin publishing house, Neuer Deutscher Verlag released the book in 1929. Adolf Hitler was poised to become the leader of Germany.
Conditions in the Weimar Republic were similar to those in the United States during the 2016 presidential race. People who are angry and hurting financially often look towards a dictator to “drain the swamp” they believe is causing their misery. They are willing to trust the ugly swamp that is authoritarian politics.
Heartfield had always wanted to be an artist. He thought he failed as a painter of landscape paintings. He burned all of them except one. On the other hand, his stunning book covers for the publishing house he owned with his brother, Wieland Herzfelde, made his reputation in Berlin. But he wanted something more than applause from critics or high-paying job offers from ad agencies. His art was “a weapon” to fight ignorance, bigotry, and injustice. Heartfield felt any injustice was a personal attack against him.