Plate 2

The Volunteers, 1921-22 (published 1923)

Not on Viewexpand_more

In this image a group of young boys have volunteered to fight for the cause and are being swept away by the figure of Death beating his ominous drum. Kollwitz's two sons, Hans and Peter, both volunteered for the army in 1914. Hans survived his duty but eighteen-year-old Peter was killed in action shortly after he enlisted. Kollwitz was deeply affected by her son's death and her pain was revisited when her grandson was fatally wounded in World War II. She felt strongly that too many Germans had sacrificed themselves to the death for the Fatherland and was outspoken in her belief that the young should not be killed for the cause.

The Volunteers
Artist Life
Accession Number
(Hauswedell); sold to MIA, 1971.
Catalogue Raisonne
Klipstein 178 Ivb/IVd; W.158
Curator Approved

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Plate 2