On Canada’s Remembrance Day today, as I struggle to express my conflicting feelings about it, I read this wonderful essay: A Rare Tribute to the Dead: Käthe Kollwitz’s Memorial to her Son

Artist Käthe Kollwitz grieved the loss of her son Peter in the First World War. A pacifist at heart, Kollwitz agonized over whether her position dishonored the sacrifice her child had made. A restless self-critic, she had the gnawing feeling that she was guilty of an earlier, far more serious betrayal: allowing him to join up. Finally, in 1931, she completed what she felt was a fitting tribute: a double sculpture of herself and her husband mourning on their knees. The figures, she said, represented her entire generation, asking the young’s forgiveness for having led them into war.

Read on about her tribulations during the WW II, and this – one of Käthe Kollwitz’ last entries in her diary before her death in 1945:

One day, a new ideal will arise, and there will be an end to all wars. I die convinced of this. It will need much hard work, but it will be achieved… The important thing, until that happens, is to hold one’s banner high and to struggle… Without struggle there is no life.

I’ve mentioned my great admiration for Kollwitz before a few times on my blog, including a photo of another memorial that she did.

Finding this article today is most fitting in so many ways! Thanks to wood s lot.
More on Remembrance Day:
CBC on how Canadians honour and remember this year
CBC’s archives on Remembrance Day
my short post about it last year
And last but not least, read Why I don’t wear a poppy.

November 11, 2005 in Culture, Other artists by Marja-Leena