Published February 24, 1915
Paul Cassirer was born in February 1871 in Gorlitz, Germany. He started out as a student of art history, and then became a writer in 1890s Munich, where he worked for the weekly magazine Simplicissimus. Cassirer moved to Berlin and opened an art gallery. In 1901 Cassirer visited Julien Leclercq’s retrospective of Van Gogh’s work, and later that year he organized the inclusion of five Van Gogh canvases in the May show of the Berlin Secession.
In August 1914, Paul Cassirer began publishing KREIGZEIT – War Time – a weekly four-page broadsheet of artistic responses to World War I. Most of the artists were affiliated with the Berlin Secession, the progressive exhibiting society that had frequently clashed with imperial art policies. But KREIGZET greeted the war with enthusiasm and has confidence in the military under Kaiser Wilhelm II in the righteousness of the German cause. Max Liebermann was featured on the cover for the first issue, depicting a mass surging in support of the Emperor’s declaration of war. Käthe Kollwitz’ contributed Das Bangen (Fear) in October 1914, showing an anxious-looking woman. Within a month Kollwitz would lose her own son, Peter killed in combat in November 1914, Contributions include portraits of military leaders, scenes of military victories, sanitized images of daily life as a soldier, and caricatures of the enemy. All proceeds benefited an organization supporting destitute artists.
On February 24, 1915 KREIGZEIT, No. 28, featured artwork on the inside back cover by Ernst Barlach, a German expressionist sculptor, print-maker and writer who captures the suffering of civilians in this drawing.