[1889 – 1940] leading German Communist Party (KPD) propagandist

Photography has become an outstanding and indispensable means of propaganda in the revolutionary stuggle. - Willi Münzenberg
in Arbeiter-Fotograf, 1931
Photography works upon the human eye: what is seen is reflected in the brain without the need for complicated thought. In this way the bourgeoisie takes advantage of the mental indolence of the masses and does good business as well. - Willi Münzenberg
Photography has become and indispensable and outstanding means of propaganda in the revolutionary class struggle. Thirty or forty years ago, the bourgeoisie already understood that a photograph has a very special effect on the viewer. For an illustrated book is easier to read and more likely to be bought, and an illustrated paper is a more entertaining read than the lead article of a political daily. Photography works on the human eye; what is seen is reflected in the brain without forcing the viewer into complicated thought. In this way the bourgeoisie caters for the mental laziness of the masses and also makes a lot of money, for the illustrated magazines often achieve a circulation of millions. That’s not all, however. Much more important, in the end, is the political effect which has achieved by the juxtaposition of several pictures by captions and accompanying texts. That is the decisive point. In this way a skilful editor can falsify every photograph into its opposite, and can influence the politically naïve reader in any way he chooses.

The revolutionary workers of all countries have to realize these facts very clearly. They have to fight the class enemy with all means, have to beat him on all fronts. Just as the workers of the Soviet Union have learnt to make their own machine-tools, to invent things themselves to be put into the service of peaceful socialist construction and just as workers in capitalist countries have learnt to write. - Willi Münzenberg

Der Arbeiter-Fotograf, 1931 [cited in: "Photography/Politics: One", Photography Workshop, London 1979, p. 72]