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Dictionary of World Biography
My Correct Views on Everything (2005) and Why is
Something Better than Nothing? (2007). He argued
that ‘We learn history not in order to know how to
behave or how to succeed, but to know who we are.’
great offensive that ended with his advance to Berlin
in March 1945. In May he liberated Prague. He was
made a marshal and commanded the Warsaw Pact
armies 1955–60.
Kolchak, Aleksandr Vasilyevich (1874?-1920).
Russian sailor. He reorganised the navy after the
Russo-Japanese War (1904–05), in which he had
taken part. In World War I he commanded the
Black Sea fleet from 1916, and after the Bolsheviks
seized power (1917) headed a counter-revolutionary
government in Siberia. Despite early successes on his
westward march he was checked by the Bolsheviks
and forced to retreat. Eventually, he was captured
and shot.
Königsmark, Philipp Christoph, Count of (1665–
1694). Swedish adventurer. While in the service of
Ernst August of Hanover he became aware of the
unhappy plight of Sophia Dorothea, wife of Elector
Georg Ludwig (later *George I of Great Britain).
Whether he was her lover or whether his motives
were those of pure chivalry, he tried and failed to aid
her to escape. He was arrested, disappeared and was
almost certainly put to death, the unfortunate Sophia
Dorothea being secluded at Ahlden Castle for the rest
of her life.
Kollontay, Aleksandra Mikhailovna (1872–1952).
Russian revolutionary, feminist and politician. The
daughter of a tsarist general, she joined the Bolsheviks
in 1905, and after a Menshevik deviation, devoted
herself to pacifism. She was *Lenin’s Commissar for
Public Welfare 1917–18, advocated free love and
was dismissed for neglect of duties. She became
Ambassador to Norway 1923–25 and 1927–30,
Mexico 1925–27 and Sweden 1930–45.
Porter, C., Alexandra Kollontai. 1981.
Kollwitz, Käthe (1867–1945). German graphic
artist, born in East Prussia. She lived from 1891 in
Berlin where both her life and art were a constant
protest against poverty and oppression. Her artistic
protest was made through representations of historic
scenes, e.g. The Peasants’ Revolt, realistic studies of
working-class life, and illustrations to books, e.g.
*Zola’s Germinal, that expressed compassion for and
indignation at the miseries of the poor. Her versatility
allowed her to be expert at all the graphic arts, and
even as a sculptor she managed by a rough-hewn
technique to convey the same message as in her other
Kollwitz, K. S. (ed. Zigrosser, C.), Prints and
Drawings. 2nd ed. 1969.
Kondratiev, Nikolai Dimitrievich (1892–1938).
Russian economist. After examining statistics of
prices, wages, interest and consumption in Europe
and North America since the 1780s, Kondratiev
identified ‘long waves of cyclical character’ which
Joseph *Schumpeter named for him. If his cycles
are extended to the future (which he did not
attempt) 1970–95 would be an era of downswing.
He was imprisoned under *Stalin, shot and never
Konev, Ivan Stepanovich (1897–1973). Russian
soldier. After serving as a private in World War I he
rose rapidly under the Soviet regime. He distinguished
himself in World War II as an army commander
in the 1941 counter-offensive to the northwest of
Moscow, and later in command of an army group
during the Ukrainian campaigns, and the subsequent
Kooning, Willem de see de Kooning, Willem
Koons, Jeff (1955– ). American artist, born in
Pennsylvania. His sculptures emphasised and
reproduced the banal, and were completely out of
scale, such as the huge Puppy, executed in flowers,
which is now at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
His Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $US58.4 million
in 2013.
Korda, Sir Alexander (Sandor) (1893–1956).
British film producer and director, born in Hungary.
Originally a journalist, he worked with his brothers
Zoltan and Vincent, producing films in Budapest,
Vienna, Berlin, Hollywood and Paris. He founded
London Films in 1932. Many of his films were
international successes, including The Private Life
of Henry VIII (1933), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934),
Rembrandt (1936), Things to Come (1936) and The
Thief of Baghdad (1940). He married the Bombayborn actor Merle Oberon (1911–1979).
Korda, M., Charmed Lives. 1979.
Korngold, Erich Wolfgang (1897–1957). AustrianJewish-American composer, born in Brno. A prodigy,
his opera Die Tote Stadt (The Dead City) (1920), set
in Bruges, was an instant success. In the US from
1934 (naturalised 1943) he wrote scores for 21
films, winning two Oscars and he composed a violin
concerto (1945) for Jascha *Heifetz.
Kornilov, Lavr Georgyevich (1870–1918). Russian
soldier. He served in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–
05), and in World War I as a divisional commander
in Galicia, when, captured by the Austrians, he made
a sensational escape. After the revolution (March
1917) he was appointed Commander in Chief but
*Kerensky’s refusal to satisfy his demands for the
restoration of army discipline provoked him to a vain
attempt to establish a military dictatorship. Kerensky
had him arrested, but when he fell Kornilov escaped
to join *Denikin’s anti-Bolshevik army on the Don,
where he was killed in action.