Claudia Siebrecht
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Sacrifice defeated
The Armistice and depictions of victimhood in German women’s art, 1918–24
in The silent morning
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This chapter explores the context and prevalence of images of civilian material suffering in German women's art in the immediate aftermath of the war. It considers examples from the oeuvre of Martha Schrag, Lotte Prechner, Kate Lassen and the most well-known German female artist of the period, Kathe Kollwitz. The images can be understood as a response to the Dolchstosslegende, the populist accusation that betrayal by various groups on the home front, supposedly including socialists, profiteers and Jews, had caused military defeat. This populist view also explicitly alleged that women's wartime hunger protests and inability to endure material shortages had undermined the morale and fighting spirit of the troops. It portrays starving and homeless women and their children as suffering victims countering these accusations.

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The silent morning

Culture and memory after the Armistice

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