Kollwitz, Käthe

BORN 8 Jul 1867, Königsberg (now: Kaliningrad) - DIED 22 Apr 1945, Moritzburg, Sachsen (near Dresden)
BIRTH NAME Schmidt, Käthe
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Städtischer Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde, Gudrunstrasse, Lichtenberg (8-2 (ashes))

Käthe Kollwitz was born in Konigsberg. From 1885 until 1890 she studied in Berlin (under Stauffer-Bern) and in München (under Hertenich). In 1891 she married Dr. Karl Kollwitz, who had a medical pratice in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin (the location is now named Kollwitzplatz). In 1892 their son Hans was Born and in 1896 another son, Peter, followed.

Around 1900 she worked as a tracher at the school for female artists in Berlin. In 1904 she was in Paris, where she studied at the Académie Julian and in 1907 she went to Florence for a year. In 1910 her first sculptures evolved.

In 1914 Peter died during the war in Flanders. For her fiftieth birthday she had an retrospective exhibition in Paul Cassirer's gallery in Berlin. In 1919 she was the first woman to be elected to the Prussian Academy of Art.

In the early twenties ahe produced woodcuts against the war. In 1927 she travelled to Moskou. Although it was a disillusion, she didn't speak out against Stalin and his propaganda. In 1928 she was put in charge of the master class in graphics at the Academy in Berlin. Her war memorial "The Parents" was placed at the military cemetery in Vladsloo in Flanders in 1932.

After the nazis rose to power in 1933, she lost her job and was removed from the academy. In 1936 her works were removed from public collections. She wasn't included in the degenerate artist exhibition and the nazis even used one of her works for their own propaganda.

Her husband died in 1940 and in 1943 her house and many of her works were destroyed during an air raid. she left Berlin and found shelter in Nordhausen and then in Moritzburg near Dresden, the estate of Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony. She died there on 22 Apr 1945.

Related persons
• is uncle/aunt of Hofer, Johanna
• was a friend of Nagel, Otto
• was teacher of Voigt, Elisabeth


The grave of Käthe Kollwitz at the Städtischer Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (14 Nov 2004)


Baedeker Berlin, Baedeker Verlag, Stuttgart, 1994
• Hoffmann, Joachim, Berlin Friedrichsfelde, Ein Deutscher Nationalfriedhof, Das Neue Berlin, Berlin, 2001
De Volkskrant

Kolniak, Angela

Published: 02 Apr 2006
Last update: 03 Jan 2022