In late summer of 1950, the photomontage artist John Heartfield and his wife moved to the GDR from their exile in England. He worked for publishing houses and theatres, illustrated books, and designed book covers and stage sets, for example for Bertolt Brecht. Brecht advised Heartfield, who was suffering from health issues, to move to the refuge near Buckow. Heartfield rented the plot Schwarzer Weg 12 near Lake Großer Däbersee in Waldsieversdorf in 1957 and built his summer house.
Once the issue of ownership had been settled, the municipality of Waldsieversdorf was able to buy the property in 2008. It was then refurbished and set up as a memorial and community centre. The genuinely furnished room with the fireplace and the exhibitions tell the story of John Heartfield’s life and work. The house is taken care of by the members of the friends’ association John Heartfield - Waldsieversdorf e.V. It is open during the peak season. There are special events and tours can be booked at any time.