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Jason KampskyDecember 5, 2007History 102Essay 3 Question 1When we think about those who have been influential in our lives, who do we think about? Sure, the people we all think of right off the bat are those that are closely related or have touched our lives in a personal way. Family, friends, teachers, colleagues, you name it. These are the individuals that we all feel have been the most influential in our lives. However, what if we were to take that same idea, and apply it to those people that have influenced masses of people as to bring about political, social, or cultural change? I cannot speak for everybody, but I do not think my old, outspoken, and slightly racist grandfather has achieved such acclaim in all his seventy-eight years even though I find him to be influential.Looking at twentieth century Europe, one can easily pick and choose from a number of individuals that deserve such esteem as bringing about change on such a large scale. Europe had the unfortunate pleasure of struggling through two world wars, handling political ideology change, recovering broken states and nations, and dodging nuclear annihilation. All in all, the changes in Europe during the twentieth century resonate due to the enormously influential individuals that brought on this change. The positions of intellectuals like Kathe Kollwitz, Erich Marie Remarque, Petra Kelly, Gert Bastian, and Primo Levi proved extremely relevant in twentieth century Europe because their ideas overwhelmingly influenced political, social, and cultural beliefs.Kathe Kollwitz, with her unique perspective of art and her deep compassion for family makes her a perfect example of one such individual. Through her art, she 1
accurately portrays her position of abhorrence toward World War I and the state of post-war Germany. The scope and reality of her socially and politically intriguing works demonstrated the rising anti-war sentiment when “European intellectuals were demoralized and disillusioned” by WWI (Western Civilization: A Brief History, p. 424).