“Johnnie talked uninhibitedly about his difficulties; because absolute openness was a duty when it come to anything concerned with the party, he reported to Comrade Joos [of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, which worked with the Ministry for State Security] that he did not know the agent Noel Field; but he did know his brother [Hermann Field], the dentist, who once put two fillings in his teeth. Until the dentist’s complete innocence has been proven, Heartfield was sure that his case was temporarily suspended. Wieland made no comments about his brother’s words, born of hope and confidence […]”
The East German Goverment (GDR) accuses the recently returned John Heartfield of “treason to the state,” 1951
On August 24, 1951, political arms of East Germany, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and its Central Party Control Commission, pass a resolution stating all “Western emigrants,” including John Heartfield and Wieland Herzfelde, are suspects with “treasonable connections” to Western secret service agencies.
Heartfield is helped by direct and indirect contacts with the director of the International Relief Action Committee for Victims of the Nazi Regime and the American, Noel Field. They provide enough pretexts to avoid a treason trial, but not serious persecution.
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany does not admit Heartfield because of his contact with staff members (Bill Carrey, Helen Radö, and Herta Tempi) of the USC (Unitarian Service Committee) set up in London by Noel Field. This means John Heartfield is denied proper health benefits. This is especially serious because conditions during the war continue to take a serious toll on his health.
Heartfield suffers his first heart attack. George Grosz visits him in an East Berlin Hospital.
The Heartfield exhibition that was announced for the 60th birthday of the future Minister of Culture, Johannes R. Becher, is cancelled.
On May 21, 1951, John J Heartfield, son of Tom Heartfield and Lina Heartfield, grandson of John Heartfield, is born.
John J Heartfield is the curator of The Official John Heartfield Exhibition. Professor Heartfield built and maintains this website named for his beloved grandfather. He has expanded the exhibition to be an online museum to display and promote art and artists with integrity and courage.