Seed Corn Should Not Be Ground
(Saatfrüchte sollen nicht vermahlen werden)
Saatfrüchte sollen nicht vermahlen werden © DEFA-Stiftung
At 47, German sculptor and graphic artist Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) lost her beloved son Peter in WWI. She began to process her grief in drawings and sculptures, including the famous memorial The Grieving Parents, and became increasingly active in protesting social injustice. She often used the Goethe quotation "Seed corn should not be ground!" as an argument against senseless war and the killing of millions of young men. When her memorial was finally installed in a Belgian soldiers' cemetery in 1932, soldiers were once again marching in Germany. This time it was her grandson, also named Peter, who went off to war.
Tetzlaff’s documentary combines historic film footage and photographs with quotes from Kollwitz’s diary and images of her sculptures and graphic works, including The Weavers’ Revolt (1893-97), The Peasant War (1902-08), Woman with the Dead Child (1903) and War (1922-23), her famous series of seven woodcuts.