If Käthe Kollwitz had tweeted 100 years ago

The artist Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) kept a diary from September 1908 to 1943. What if Twitter had already existed? In this blog post I want to show what her Twitter feed could have looked like in 1917. The suggestions are based on her diary. I must say – I would certainly have followed her tweets!

Käthe Kollwitz, Weberaufstand, 1898

Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 01.01.1917

The bells. (…) We wish for peace. (…) We wish to stay together and keep our strength to work. #1917 #HappyNewYear


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 21.01.1917

Started work very hesitantly. #Memorial


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 01.02.1917

Visited @MillySteger in her studio. She is very pleasant and her work is intense. #FF


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 02.02.1917

Now working on the Father. I am making quite good progress although I am tired and sometimes not at all well. #sculpture #Memorial


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 04.02.1917

War with America! And it’s bitterly cold all over Europe and no coal anywhere. #Winter #GodHelpUs


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 09.02.1917

Interrupted my work on the Father today due to external circumstances and started the plaster cast of the Mother. #Memorial


KKollwitz Retweeted

Luther @Luther 26.02.1917

Life is not health but getting healthy, not being but becoming, not relaxation but exercise. #wisdom


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz February 1917

@Tolstoi Striving for perfection (…) often appears strange to me. And as something that upsets the colourfulness of the individual.


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz February 1917

Strength! That means to take life as it is and to do your work undefeated with all your energy – without complaint and without too much crying. #Nietzsche


KKollwitz Retweeted

Angelus Silesius @Angelus Feb 1917

O Man, become essential! #BeingHuman


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 13.03.1917

Reply @Goethe “… that only by coming together can mankind be truly human, and that the individual can only be joyful and happy when he has the courage to become aware of himself in his entirety.”

A fitting comment for the present time, as if someone were to speak of a beautiful view in the thickest mist or in the darkest night.


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 18.05.197

After Easter intense work for the exhibition. It opened Monday 16th. The exhibition was a great success. @PaulCassirer #BerlinerSezession


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz Juni 1917

The journal @Simplizissimus published a picture: Death sitting down exhausted with his hands before his face: “People stop! I can’t go on.” #StopWar


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz Juni 1917

Again weeks since I last wrote. Not a good time. I am distracted. Can’t work.


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 18.07.1917

Work is going well. (…) Thought of #Parents – and that it could stand at Peter’s grave. (…) It should actually be at the entrance: Here lies German Youth.  #StopWar


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 26.07.1917

Work still going well. I am working without effort and without fatigue. As if the mists have cleared. #Memorial


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 09.07.1917

My 50th birthday. Quite different from what I had imagined. Where are my boys? But I had a good day anyway, life is not so bad at the moment. #50Years


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 15.07.1917

Plaster Work on the #Mother. I am finally getting into this plaster work and I am beginning to understand the material and the tools (…). #Memorial


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz August 1917

I feel I am getting close to something. #Memorial 


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 30.08.1917

Just read Gorki’s Childhood. How bitter and how sad. The grandmother is wonderful though! #Gorki #Literatur


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 09.09.1917

I can see more clearly that I am on the right path. But also that it will still take me years to finish Peter’s work. #Parents #grief


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 10.10.1917

A whole month without writing anything. (…) Then a week in Lubochin. Memories of Peter everywhere. #grief


KKollwitz Retweeted

Stefan George @StGeorge 17.10.1917

Der alte Gott der schlachten ist nicht mehr.

Erkrankte welten fiebern sich zu ende

In dem getob. Heilig sind nur die säfte

Noch makelfrei versprizt – ein ganzer strom. #StopWar


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 06.11.1917

Visited the #Barlach exhibition which is very fine. @PaulCassirer #BerlinerSezession


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 16.11.1917

Is my sculpture also only transposed drawing? Its own feeling for form? #ContemporaryArt


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 17.11.1917

What I now vaguely feel is the symbolism of art. What sort of things used to satisfy me! #ContemporaryArt


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 23.11.1917

Römer: “Your Impressionists are also ex by now.” Cassirer: “Then we call them Expressionists and they are new again.” #Humour #BerlinerSezession


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 24.11.1917

Was @ProfWenck ‘ s studio earlier on. (…) I lost a little bit of courage. I shall never be able to work like that. I shall have to find myself in sculpture first. #ContemporaryArt


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz Nov 1917

(…) Started with the small sculpture #Parents.  Spent today planning what will probably be a new etching.


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 17.12.1917

I am full of hope that something new is coming into my drawing and etching. This can only be more simplicity. #ContemporaryArt


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 17.12.1917

Today I made a drawing of Father and Mother sitting at the Christmas tree. #Christmas

Käthe Kollwitz, Eltern am Weihnachtsbaum (Foto: Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum Köln)

Käthe Kollwitz, Eltern am Weihnachtsbaum

Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 31.12.1917

On my own at New Year’s Eve for the first time in 26 years. Karl in hospital. Hans in Focsani, Peter gone forever. #NewYearsEve


Käthe Kollwitz @KKollwitz 31.12.1917

What has this year brought us? (…) It has not brought peace. It has always taken and taken. Taken people and taken faith, taken hope. #1917

English by Andrea & Graham Buckland


Cover: K. Kollwitz, Trauernde Eltern (Grieving Parents), a memorial for Peter, 1914-1931. Now in Vladslo, Belgium – copyright: public domain

K. Kollwitz: Ein Weberaufstand: Weberzug,
Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) 1897.
Etching, 21,6 x 29,5 cm;
Cologne, Käthe Kollwitz Museum.

Portrait K. Kollwitz (Detail), Photografy Robert Sennecke – copyright: public domain

R. Blix, Der Tod von Flandern, in:  Simplicissimus June 19, 1917

K. Kollwitz, Parents at the Christmas Tree, 1917  K. Kollwitz-Museum Köln


Ich sah die Welt mit liebevollen Blicken. K. Kollwitz: Ein Leben in Selbstzeugnissen, edited by Hans Kollwitz, Wiesbaden 1988

David Teniers el Joven
Auguste Renoir, Pont Neuf (Detail), 1872

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