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Lindsay Drummond

  • The artist John Heartfield designed covers for the publishing house Lindsay Drummond, which had an anti-fascist programme and published books by emigrated authors such as Wilhelm Necker and Felix Langer.
  • Lindsay Drummond
  • Publishing House
  • The artist John Heartfield designed covers for the publishing house Lindsay Drummond, which had an anti-fascist programme and published books by emigrated authors such as Wilhelm Necker and Felix Langer.

    Word Count: 30

  • The eponymous publishing house founded in 1937 by Lindsay Drummond (1891–1951), had a declared anti-fascist programme and also published books by politically committed emigrated authors such as Wilhelm Necker, Jacob S. Worm-Müller and Felix Langer. The exiled Norwegian historian Jacob S. Worm-Müller published Norway Revolts Against the Nazis (1941, 2nd ed.) with Lindsay Drummond. The Austrian writer Felix Langer, who had lived in exile in London since 1939, was the author of Stepping Stones to Peace. On the problems of post-war relations with Germany (1943). Langer, like the artist John Heartfield, had come to London via intermediate exile in Prague. It can be assumed that the two knew each other, and it is even probable that Langer came to Lindsay Drummond as an author through Heartfield’s mediation. For between 1941 and 1949, the artist John Heartfield designed numerous covers for Lindsay Drummond, including the cover of Langer’s book Stepping Stones to Peace (1943). Not every book Heartfield designed for Drummond had a political impetus, but numerous publications were directed against the Nazi regime and its expansionist policies, were devoted to England at war and The Future of the Jews (1945). Heartfield designed the layout, selected the typography and sometimes also provided the motifs and photomontages for the cover. Already in Germany, Heartfield designed book covers as for example for the German edition of Michael Gold's autobiography, Juden ohne Geld (Jews without Money), in which he describes his childhood on the Lower East Side in New York City, at the time a poor area populated by emigrated East European Jews. For the photomontage, a photograph by the German émigré Ruth Jacobi was used.

    The cover of Jacob S. Worm-Müller’s Norway Revolts Against the Nazis (1941) shows the Norwegian flag set diagonally on the page. Above it, the book title is printed in large letters, while at the top of the page is the red series title “Europe under the Nazis”, in which Worm-Müller's book appeared. At the bottom is the author'’s name, also in red letters. The composition conveys dynamism and translates Norwegian resistance into the visual. As the blurb emphasises, the author himself had fled his native Norway only a year earlier and was thus an eyewitness to the times.

    Particularly interesting are Heartfield's covers conceived as photomontages, which are a continuation of the artistic technique he used for AIZ in the Weimar Republic and later in exile in Prague. Heartfield either used existing material for his montages or sometimes produced his own photographs. For Wilhelm Necker’s books Hitler’s War Machine and The Invasion of Britain (1941) and The German Army of Today (1943), Heartfield used existing printed material, which he edited, combined, and sometimes treated with gouache paint. For Hitler’s War Machine and The Invasion of Britain, Heartfield places a tank on the title page, which drives into the depth of the picture. On the reverse side are lined-up soldiers, tanks and uniformed men marching past Hitler. The pictorial rhetoric describes Hitler’s army as technically sophisticated and disciplined; man and machine converge in this logic and are both equally directed by Hitler’s apparatus of power. Between 1939 and 1943, Wilhelm Necker published four anti-National Socialist books with the Lindsay Drummond publishing house, which earned him a reputation as an outstanding expert on the German military who had predicted German military strategies for the occupation of Belgium and France, even before the outbreak of war. Necker also published his articles in the German-language émigré press Die Zeitung, and was reviewed by Freie Deutsche Kultur, the news bulletin of the Free German Cultural Association (Schwarz 1943, 10) – the medium in which articles by and about John Heartfield also appeared. This closes the circle between the political artist and the political writer, though the two men were to have decidedly different legacies. While Heartfield’s work is comprehensively accessible and edited, only self-testimonies are available for Wilhelm Necker (1947; 1981).

    A Year and a Day by Paul Duner (1942) decribes the author’s escape from occupied Belgium in October 1940 and his subsequent journey that ended with his arrival in England in October 1941: “His journey, lasting a year and a day, was through Germany to Sweden, where he stayed several months, thence via Finland, Soviet Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran to India, and from there by ship to Great Britain,” reads the book’s blurb. Heartfield, who signed the cover, put together photographs from the countries on the flight route to form a mosaic. A circular map of the world shows Paul Duner’s exile route marked in red. The author’s name and the title of the book are also emblazoned in red letters on the cover. Heartfield also designed the cover for Club 43’s signature publication In Tyrannos. Four Century of Struggle against Tyranny in Germany, which was published by Lindsay Drummond in 1943, the year the association was founded.  The club was established by members of the Free German League of Culture, who wanted to distance themselves politically from the communist orientation of some members. Club 43 in Hampstead had 200 members at its peak and organised a lively cultural programme, such as public readings in German (Brüning 2008).  Heartfield placed the main title in red script, using diagonally-placed ‘burning’ letters against a  dark background, with the subtitle and author's name, Hans J. Rehfisch, placed horizontally.

    Heartfield’s engagement with Lindsay Drummond ensured that his work was noticed in England.  Books, like magazines, are a mobile medium that are bought, read, given away and read again. It is true that Lindsay Drummond’s anti-fascist books mainly reached a politically left-leaning selection of readers, but it was, nevertheless, a busy and apparently successful publishing house that released 157 books during the years of the Second World War alone. Heartfield’s signature appeared clearly on the covers of those books for whose design he was also responsible. On the one hand, this indicates that the artist perceived these publications as multipliers of his art. On the other hand, it could also be an expression of the fact that Heartfield’s name was not unknown in England and the publishing house could use it to promote itself and its political programme.
    Heartfield’s last published works for Lindsay Drummond appeared in 1949; a year later he moved to the GDR. In 1950, Douglas Cooper’s Manet. Paintings, was the last Lindsay Drummond book to be published. The company had already published books on classical modernism, with Edith Hoffmann's Chagall. Watercolours 1942–46 (1947) and Gauguin. Paintings (Introduction by Jean Taralon, 1949). Incidentally, Edith Hoffmann was involved in organising the 20th Century German Art exhibition at New Burlington Galleries in 1938.
    Heartfield’s appreciation of his work for Lindsay Drummond is shown by the fact that, after his remigration, he framed many of the covers and motifs and hung them on the walls of his Berlin flat on Friedrichstraße (Schultz 2020, 202).

    Word Count: 1130

  • 6 Buckingham Street, Covent Garden, London WC2.

  • Paul Duner’s A Year and a Day (Lindsay Drummond, 1942) tells the story of the author's flight from Belgium to England (METROMOD Archive, © The Heartfield Community of Heirs / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021). Cover design by John Heartfield.
  • Jacob S. Worm-Müller’s Norway Revolts Against the Nazis (Lindsay Drummond, 1941) with a cover design by John Heartfield (METROMOD Archive, © The Heartfield Community of Heirs / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021).
    Jacob S. Worm-Müller’s Norway Revolts Against the Nazis (Lindsay Drummond, 1941), title page (METROMOD Archive).
    Hans J. Rehfisch. In Tyrannos. Four Century of Struggle against Tyranny in Germany. Lindsay Drummond, 1943 (METROMOD Archive, © The Heartfield Community of Heirs / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021). First book publication of the émigré Club 43. Cover design by John Heartfield.
    Advertisement for Erika Mann’s School for Babarians. Education under the Nazis in The Manchester Guardian, 28 March 1939, p. 7 (Photo: Private Archive).
    Advertisement for Lindsay Drummond’s book series Europe under the Nazis in Freie Deutsche Kultur, no. 2, 1942, p. 14 (Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Deutsches Exilarchiv 1933–1945, Frankfurt am Main).
    Advertisement for Edith Hoffmann’s Chagall. Watercolours 1942–46, Lindsay Drummond, 1947 in The Manchester Guardian, 13 January 1950, p. 4 (Photo: Private Archive).
  • Bihler, Lori Gemeiner. Cities of refuge: German Jews in London and New York, 1935–1945. SUNY Press, 2018.

    Brüning, Jens. “Karawanserei des alten Europas. Die Geschichte des Club 1943.” “I didn’t want to float; I wanted to belong to something.” Refugee Organizations in Britain 1933–1945 (Yearbook of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, 10), edited by Anthony Grenville and Andrea Reiter, Rodopi, 2008, pp. 67–88.

    Buenger, Barbara Copeland. “John Heartfield in London, 1938–45.” Exil. Flucht und Emigration europäischer Künstler 1933–1945, edited by Stephanie Barron and Sabine Eckmann, exh. cat. Neue Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, 1997, pp. 74–79.

    Schultz, Anna. “John Heartfield. A Political Artist’s Exile in London.” Burning Bright. Essays in the Honour of David Bindman, edited by Diana Dethloff et al., UCL Press, 2015, pp. 253–263.

    Schultz, Anna. “Uncompromising Mimicry. Heartfield’s Exile in London.” John Heartfield. Photography Plus Dynamite, edited by Angela Lammert et al., exh. cat. Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 2020, pp. 195–202.

    Sch., F. [Freimut Schwarz]. “Bücher: The German Army of To-day.” Freie Deutsche Kultur, no. 12, 1943, p. 10.

    Necker, Wilhelm. Es war doch so schön!. Werner-Degener-Verlag, 1947.

    Necker, Wilhelm. “Acht Stufen in die Emigration.” Sie flohen vor dem Hakenkreuz. Selbstzeugnisse der Emigranten. Ein Lesebuch für Deutsche, edited by Walter Zadek, Rowohlt, 1981, pp. 33–35.

    Vinzent, Jutta. Identity and Image. Refugee Artists from Nazi Germany in Britain (1933–1945) (Schriften der Guernica-Gesellschaft, 16). VDG, 2006.

    Word Count: 218

  • Burcu Dogramaci
  • 1937
  • 1950
  • London
  • No
  • Burcu Dogramaci. "Lindsay Drummond." METROMOD Archive, 2021,, last modified: 21-06-2021.
  • John Heartfield
    ArtistGraphic DesignerFotomonteur (mounter of photographs)

    After escaping from his first exile in Prague in December 1938, the political artist John Heartfield lived in London since 1950, working for Picture Post and the publisher Lindsay Drummond.

    Word Count: 28

    Die Zeitung

    From 1941 to 1945, the émigré German-language newspaper Die Zeitung was published in London, reporting on the war on the continent and on the situation in Germany.

    Word Count: 25

    Freie Deutsche Kultur

    The Free German League of Culture was an association of emigrant artists and authors who organised exhibitions, concerts and lectures. The events were announced in the Freie Deutsche Kultur newsletter.

    Word Count: 30

    Ruth Jacobi
    New York

    Ruth Jacobi was a German-speaking, Polish-born photographer who emigrated in 1935 to New York, where she opened a studio together with her sister Lotte Jacobi. She later had her own portrait studio.

    Word Count: 31

    20th Century German Art

    The 20th Century German Art exhibition of 1938 gave visibility to artists who had been defamed at the Munich exhibition Entartete Kunst and were persecuted by the National Socialist regime.

    Word Count: 29