From our 'War Picture of the Week' Archive
Killed in Action
Drawing by Käthe Kollwitz, 1921
Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) lost her only son in action. Peter, 18 years old, died in October 1914 near Diksmuide in Belgium. The pain never left her. Here is another woodcut from her War Cycle series.
All her life she used her extraordinary ability to express human suffering to champion the rights of underprivileged people. She produced hundreds of dramatic, emotion-filled etchings, woodcuts, and lithographs, generally in black and white.
The Nazis silenced Käthe Kollwitz when they came to power. In 1933 she was forced to resign her place on the faculty of the Prussian Academy of Arts (she was its first female member). Soon thereafter she was forbidden to exhibit her art.
Many of her works were destroyed in a Berlin air raid in 1943. Later that year, Kollwitz was evacuated to Dresden, where she died at 78. Today she is regarded as one of the most influential German expressionists of the twentieth century.
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