Revolutionizing Weimar Germany's Public Sphere: The Invasion of the Worker

Path 1: Have a look! Flip through a few pages of "Germany, Germany above All"

Before you start this Scalar book, flip through a few selected pages from ​Germany, Germany above All (1929).

I selected a few non-consecutive pages from the photobook providing you with an idea of what the photobook looks like and giving you a chance to encounter the book first on your own terms.
(I've included the title page, both content pages, pp. 10-11, 12-1314-15, 16-17, 18-19, 28-29, 38-39, 62-63, 92-93.)

On the photobook's title and composition: 

Kurt Tucholsky's and John Heartfield’s photo book Deutschland, Deutschland über Alles (GG) appeared in 1929, when the media landscape was saturated with illustrated magazines and books that had discovered photography’s presumed authentic qualities. Nonetheless, GG prompted a big echo from both the leftwing and rightwing press.

Already its title and its ironic play on the first verse of the national anthem The Song of the Germanswhich President of the Reich Friedrich Ebert had chosen in 1922, indicates that the condition of the Weimar Republic (WR) is at stake in this photo book. The irony then, with which the right-wing press took issue, lies in the fact that Germany is not “above all” in 1929, but is struggling politically and economically at the end of the Weimar Republic. Yet, Tucholsky and Heartfield neither only offer clamoring ramblings nor solutions to change the course of the WR. Instead, they opt in GG for a showcase and criticism of the media’s portrayal of the Weimar Republic’s current state, aiming to unveil its actual condition by including, educating and addressing the working class and questioning its visibility and representation within the German public sphere.

Many publications at the time, particularly so-called “Deutschland-Bücher” tried reinforcing a “process of searching for a national identity" and coming to terms with the fundamental changes and instability of the WR since WWI (Köhn 173, my translation). Yet, even among these publications GG remains a unique take on the state of Germany, due to its intriguing text-photo combinations, its high volume of photographs (188 photographs and photomontages are combined with 96 texts) and its collaborative nature when it comes to its authors, Tucholsky, Heartfield and an array of anonymous photographers whose photos have been published by various media outlets and are reused in DD - as are many of Tucholsky's texts.

 

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