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Germans had never experienced a book like Deutschland, Deutschland,über alles (Germany, Germany, above all. The Kurt Tucholsky – John Heartfield collaboration was a masterpiece that perfectly combined words and graphic design. It was an immediate critical and commercial success. Heartfield’s playful graphics were the perfect match for Tucholsky’s brilliant satire.
Heartfield cut apart Weimar Republic photos to create the simple, yet, stunning images that can be found in the exhibition Book Interiors section. Images such as “I Only Know Legal Paragraphs” use as a base actual legal symbols.
A slogan such as Trump’s “America First” echoes sentiments always found in Adolf Hitler’s speeches as he rose to power. The words are a historic warning when any nation considers its interest to be more important than any other consideration.
The following is an excerpt from Nancy’s Roth’s essay Heartfield and Modern Art.
“In 1929, the Neuer Deutscher Verlag published Heartfield’s hugely successful satirical collaboration with Kurt Tucholsky, Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles, an irreverent picture-survey of the Weimar Republic. In this book, the photographs – selected from images taken by anonymous worker-photographers – function as snippets of the Republic itself, which Tucholsky’s text variously questions, mocks, compares, and contrasts, with devastating effect.”