2.5 Forms of Resistance

Cover of "Braunbuch über Reichstagsbrand und Hitlerterror", artwork by John Heartfield
[“The Brown Book of the Hitler Terror and the Burning of the Reichstag”], Universum Bücherei, Basel, 1933, book cover, designer: John Heartfield.  // Willi Münzenberg used every conceivable means to attract attention to the ["Brown Book"]: The dust jacket (Hermann Göring in a butcher's apron) was designed by John Heartfield. The book was translated into many languages and even smuggled into Germany in the dust jacket of a well-known series of pocket-sized books.

German Exile Archive 1933–1945 of the German National Library, EB 97/287, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

2.5 Forms of Resistance

Exiles participated in many ways in resisting National Socialism. Adherents of various parties exerted political resistance, but so, too, did creative artists. Their aim was to educate people about the Nazi regime – both those living within the Nazi sphere of influence and those in the countries offering refuge.

Over 400 German exile newspapers were published around the world, representing an important instrument of resistance. Some were even smuggled back to Germany in scaled-down or disguised form. 

Exiles first offered military resistance during the Spanish Civil War. During the Second World War, many also joined the Allied forces and participated in the liberation of Europe.