Title:The VolunteersArtist:Käthe Kollwitz Date:1923Creation Place:Europe, GermanyCredit Line:The Print and Drawing Seminar FundImage Copyright:Â©2001 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-KunstAccession Number:P.71.141
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.