F.C. Weiscopf Book Cover
Weimar Republic Policies
Berlin, Germany, 1929
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Weimar Republic policies in Germany, 1929, provided a vast amount of material for the John Heartfield gut wrenching political graphic designs for book covers by authors like Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lewis, and F.C. Weiscopf.
At Malik-Verlag publishing in Berlin, Heartfield served as the graphic design while his brother, Wieland Herzfeld, took care of the business end. A great many of the titles published by Malik-Verlag were thinly veiled attacks on Weimar Republic policies aiding the rise of Adolf Hitler and The Nazi Party. There is a an astonishing similarity between conditions in Weimar Republic Germany and those exploited by Donald Trump in his rise to the United States Presidency
Many admirers of Heartfield’s collages have expressed the wish that he was still among us to create the type of political art that so clearly exposed lies now commonly known as “alternate facts.”
There were authors such as Upton Sinclair who initially hesitated to have Heartfield design their covers. Sinclair felt that Heartfield’s politics were too radical. Heartfield’s images were so pointed they would not appeal to the book buyer. In fact, the truth was the opposite. In many cases, people in Berlin bought Malik-Verlag books just to own Heartfield’s graphic art on the book covers. They had little interest in actually reading the books.
Following his success with an initially reluctant Upton Sinclair, Heartfield continued to explore his innovative three-dimensional book covers and groundbreaking typography.
Look closely. There’s much more than initially meets the eye in this seemingly simple montage of a desperate man without choices.