Volume 11, 2020
Transnational Biographies: Destinies at the Crossroads Before and After the Cold War
Anti-Fascist Exile, Political Print Media, and the Variable Tactics of the Communists in Mexico (1939–1946)
The Case of Hannes Meyer and Lena Meyer-Bergner
This article deals with the role of the political print media popular with communists in Mexico when anti-fascism became the code for the behaviour of democratic forces in the face of the provocation of Hitler’s fascism. Under the facade of anti-fascist unity, the German-speaking communist exiles established a publishing culture, from which Hannes Meyer and Lena Meyer-Bergner, who had come to Mexico from Soviet exile and who committed themselves to proletarian internationalism, soon separated or were excluded. Independent of the group, they developed strategies in accord ance with their anti-imperialist mission, from propaganda media for the Soviet state to the implementation of a sign language that would enable communication across borders: the International System of Typographic Picture Education (Isotype). The goal of my analysis is to provide a starting point for classifying Meyer and Meyer-Bergner’s work in print media, beyond the extensively researched Taller de Gráfica Popular context, but within the polarization of international opposition to fascism and totalitarian regimes during the Second World War.