The images that fought the Nazis

In a striking photomontage from 1929, the artist John Heartfield stares forcefully at his viewers while cutting off the head of Berlin’s police chief, Karl Zörgiebel, with a large pair of scissors. “Use photo as a weapon!”, the title of the image implores. In this case it was wishful thinking about a man who had ordered the brutal beating of protesting workers. But Heartfield would indeed turn his photomontages into powerful weapons, and against a far more formidable foe: Adolf Hitler. In the years leading up to World War Two, and as the National Socialists attempted to manipulate public opinion with their powerful propaganda machine, Heartfield exposed the truth behind their lies with his ingeniously crafted images and became one of the most important and innovative artists in the fight against Fascism.

By Cath Pound, BBC

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