her own letter opposing Dehmel's call for volunteers. In 1941, at a time when she knew she did not have long to live, she discussed the line with her older son Hans and, as the diary records in December of that year, claimed it as her testament.
To illustrate this theme, which she had referred to at critical junctures of her life, she now for her last lithograph turned to motifs she had also used so often in the past and drew once again an angry, yet proud, physically powerful mother enclosing and protecting her children in her arms. If a context for the work is needed, she provided it in her journal, where in December 1941 she stressed that the lithograph was meant not only to encourage an end to all war, but to "demand" it.
Seeds for the Sowing in many ways provides a fitting summation for Kollwitz's life and beliefs. In contrast to the artist of the early graphic series, the artist of this final lithograph is the woman who had learned to place a higher value on life than on abstract and "lifeless" ideals; it is the work of a woman who had finally come to recognize that the social changes she longed for and worked for in her art could take place only in a nonviolent world. The "demand" of this work for an end to all war is also directly linked to the artist's long years as a diarist, for it was her writing which afforded her the opportunity to explore her changing beliefs and which then helped her find the courage and self-confidence to accept the consequences of those changes. When future biographies of Kollwitz are written, it is the artist of Seeds for the Sowing who should be remembered, the woman whose private intellectual struggles on the pages of her diary led her to active, even assertive, participation in the cause of a socially just, nonviolent world.
I would like to thank the Kollwitz family and Dr. Walter Huder, Director of the Kollwitz Archive in the Akademie der Künste in West Berlin, for permission to read the artist's largely unpublished, handwritten diary. I would also like to thank the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for funding to carry out the research. The translations from the diary and from other German sources are my own.