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John Heartfield

John Heartfield (June 19, 1891 - April 26, 1968) is the anglicised name of the German photomontage artist Helmut Herzfeld, who ruthlessly satirised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

In 1918 Heartfield joined the Berlin Dada Club[?] and the German Communist Party. He was dismissed from the military film service on account of his support for a strike following the assassination of Karl Liebknecht[?] and Rosa Luxembourg[?]. With George Grosz he was then to found Die Pleite[?], a satirical magazine.

He met Bertolt Brecht in 1924. Brecht was to have a profound effect on his artistic and intellectual development. Heartfield became progressively more engaged in photomontage as a form of political and artistic representation in the following years.

In 1933 following the Nazi Party's rise to power, Heartfield fled to Czechoslovakia. In 1938, fearing an invasion of Czechoslovakia, Heartfield fled to England.

His photomontages satirising Adolf Hitler and the Nazis often used Nazi symbols such as the swastika to subtly undermine the Nazis' propaganda messages.

He returned to Berlin in 1954.



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