The political and social commitment of the artist was largely the result of her socialist parents and her grandfather, Julius Rupp, who founded the first German free-evangelical community in Königsberg.
As the members of this church believed in attaining the kingdom of God here on earth when hardship and misery were overcome, Aid for the poor, nursing services and other social welfare activities played an important role in their community. Käthe Kollwitz’ father, Carl Schmidt, who took over from Rupp as the congregation’s preacher, later joined the SPD together with his son Konrad, Käthe’s elder brother. Her husband, Karl Kollwitz, who was a friend her brother’s, later became town councillor for the SPD in Berlin.
Käthe Kollwitz, who never joined a political party, even though she closely supported the ideals of the SPD all her life, said shortly before her death that she hoped for a kind of socialism which was synonymous with »brotherhood of man«.
Käthe Kollwitz, March Cemetery, second version, 1913, crayon lithograph in two colors (transfer of an unknown drawing on ribbed laid paper, Kn 128
Käthe Kollwitz, In Memoriam Karl Liebknecht, third and final version, 1920, woodcut, Kn 159 VI
Käthe Kollwitz, Solidarity, 1931-1932, lithographic crayon, NT 1229
Käthe Kollwitz, Demonstration, final version, 1931, crayon lithograph (transfer), Kn 252 II c