The Grieving Parents

Käthe Kollwitz And The Grieving Parents – Part 2

As I have written in Part I, Peter, the youngest son of Käthe Kollwitz, lost his life in 1914, during World War I. He actually died not far from Diksmuide: he was only 18 and hadn’t even started fighting on the battlefield yet. Peter was originally buried in Roggevelde but later his grave was moved to the German war cemetery in nearby Vladslo.

Käthe Kollwitz’ original idea for a memorial centred around the sacrifice brought by her son and his comrades, but later she changed her mind. She even destroyed the original monument but started working on a new idea in 1925, this time focusing on the grief of the parents. Kollwitz finished the two statues – one representing the father and the other one the mother – in 1932. They followed the grave of Peter from Roggevelde to Vladslo.

To be able to see the grave of Peter Kollwitz and to touch the two statues was an emotional and humbling experience. This had been on my bucket list for a long time.

More than 25.000 soldiers are buried here. By the way, in the whole of Flanders, there are 4 German war cemeteries. In the autumn of 2012, Lars and I visited the one in Langemark. You can read about it here and here.

If you wonder what Käthe Kollwitz and her son looked like, pay attention to what is posted at the entrance.

Vladslo is a relatively small place and there are more than enough road signs towards the cemetery. There is ample parking space right next to it. And as you might have guessed: there is no entrance fee.

1 Comment

  • corneliaweberphotography September 29, 2017 at 3:49 am

    Thank you again for Kaethe Kollwitz posts. In her photography she looks a lot like her women sculptures.

    Reply

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