Poster against Paragraph 218, 1923

Crayon lithograph (transfer of a drawing on transparent paper), Kn 198 II

Käthe Kollwitz, Poster against Paragraph 218, 1923, crayon lithograph (transfer of a drawing on transparent paper), Kn 198 II, Cologne Kollwitz Collection © Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

This poster in a rare edition with text was commissioned by the women’s office of the KPD (German Communist Party) for a campaign against Paragraph 218.

Käthe Kollwitz depicted an overworked working-class woman who is barely able to feed her two children and has become pregnant again. The right to have abortions is linked to the proletariat’s economic hardship.

A diary entry from 1909 already highlighted the problem that the numerous unwanted pregnancies contributed significantly to the plight of working-class families:


At the Becker’s. The husband leaves, the woman laments. It’s always the same story. Illness, unemployment, alcoholism – it is a vicious circle. She had eleven children, five are still alive. ›The big ones die and the small ones keep coming‹.«
Käthe Kollwitz, Diaries, 30 August 1909


Käthe Kollwitz Museum Köln

Neumarkt 18-24 / Neumarkt Passage

50667 Köln

+49 (0)221 227 2899

+49 (0)221 227 2602

Opening hours

Tue - Sun

11 am – 6 pm

Public holidays

11 am – 6 pm

First Thu each month

11 am – 8 pm



Please note

Visiting the museum is possible for everyone without Covid 19-related restrictions.

However, we recommend wearing a medical mask during your stay in the museum or at our events and continuing to observe the general hygiene and distance rules.

read more

zur Karte