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22 APRIL 2005

Heartfield: Political Commentary Through Photomontage

"Exposing Nazism, and its leaders, to ridicule was [John] Heartfield's main aim in the 30s. 'The Meaning of the Hitler Salute' shows Hitler's right hand accepting a wad of bank notes from a gigantic bourgeois standing behind him. ''Little man requests big donation. Motto: Millions are behind me.

Heartfield was an early pioneer of photomontage. He used it as a political weapon to challenge fascism prior to the 2nd World War. For Heartfield ''New political problems demand[ed] new means of propaganda. For this task photography [possessed] the greatest power of persuasion."

(The Leninist, 1992)

Fig.1 John Heartfield (1932). Der Sinn des Hitlergrusses: Kleiner Mann bittet um große Gaben. Motto: Millonen Stehen Hinter Mir! [The Meaning of the Hitler Salute: Little man asks for big gifts. Motto: Millions Stand Behind Me!], 1932 [–of–art/1987.1125.8]



1932 • activismAdolf Hitleranglophobia • character portrait • fotomontageGermanguerrilla tacticsHelmut HerzfeldJohn HeartfieldNaziparodypersuasionphotographyphotomontagepolitical • political poster • propagandaridiculetacticThird Reichundermineupstaging

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