Themes Media

Regional Thematic Articles

Encyclopedic Entries

Survey Articles (Thematic)

  • The nature of the First World War put an end to traditions for battle painting. Instead, war art by younger more progressive artists was the best received because it was judged the most authentic. Such work put a new emphasis on the pity of war and human … READ MORE

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  • This article presents cartoonists as patriotic propagandists mobilizing their pens and brushes for the national cause during the war. It analyses their techniques for arousing emotions such as ridicule or hate. Their particular functions, to attack the … READ MORE

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  • Censorship was an indispensable war weapon: its task was to keep the people in an atmosphere of utter ignorance and unshaken confidence in the authorities, and to allow their boundless indoctrination so that they would, despite terrible losses and … READ MORE

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  • The article discusses the role of the media in the complex international process leading to the First World War with a focus on the press of the great powers. Recent research has shown that the decision of going to war cannot be explained by short-term … READ MORE

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  • The First World War played a significant role in the evolution of film both as a medium for reporting war and as a tool for the propagandist manipulation of public opinion to support the war effort. It affected the perception of cinema as a socially … READ MORE

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  • This article discusses the close relationships between national governments, advertising trades and print media industries and assesses their significance for liberal democracy and national identity in the context of the First World War. It examines the … READ MORE

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  • This article seeks to present an overview of First World War literature across many of the combatant nations from the outbreak of the conflict up to the beginning of the Second World War. Taking a comparative approach, it examines factors that prompted … READ MORE

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  • Claims to “just war” formed the basis for the propaganda campaigns of the First World War. Propaganda on all sides focused on three interrelated issues to endorse the decision to enter the conflict: international and natural law, concepts of … READ MORE

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  • What role do representations of the First World War play in media that reach a wide audience beyond the circle of experts? The following contribution focuses on this important question. Given the wealth of popular media throughout the world from 1914-1918 … READ MORE

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  • In August 1914, a targeted and systematic manipulation of opinion by the media, intellectuals and authorities started. Atrocities were attributed to the enemies that arose from preformed images or were based merely on rumors and unexamined reports. All … READ MORE

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  • The First World War represents a watershed in the history of war photography. It was the first conflict to be photographed in detail by all the participants and the first in which photography was actively exploited and controlled in support of the war … READ MORE

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  • Word War I had a significant impact on the evolution of the European media scene. Before the start of the war, newspapers in Europe were increasingly popular, free and independent, and transnational. With the outbreak of the war in 1914 this came to an … READ MORE

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  • This article summarizes and compares the principal arguments and strategies of propaganda at the home front, the military front, as well as in neutral and enemy countries. These included the Manichean approach, the ridiculing of the enemy, the use of … READ MORE

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  • Propaganda played an important part in the politics of the war, but was only successful as part of wider political and military strategies. For each belligerent, the most effective and important forms of propaganda were aimed at its own domestic … READ MORE

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  • Soldier newspapers are a massive, yet little used primary source of the First World War. They were read and written by the almost universally literate men at or near the front in the French, British, and German armies. Although they were shaped by both … READ MORE

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  • From 1914 to 1918, theatres in all major European cities staged plays – comedies, operettas, revues, classical and modern dramas, music hall shows or sensational plays – day after day. The lively theatrical culture of the metropolis remained largely … READ MORE

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  • This piece explores the visualisation of violence for home front audiences and shows that violence was often hinted at very strongly, but the actual act was avoided. All home front audiences were aware of the effects of violence through visual media, but … READ MORE

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  • At its outbreak, newspapers in the Allied and neutral democracies hoped to present vivid descriptions of the First World War. They were soon frustrated. Censorship obstructed the adventurous style of war reporting to which readers had grown accustomed. … READ MORE

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Regional Thematic Articles

  • Artistic responses to Australia’s war effort were diverse and engaging. Soldiers sketching what they experienced of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign produced some of the earliest images of the conflict. During the war, the first official art scheme was … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The article demonstrates the significance of the Great War for Italian Futurism: an aesthetic war, technological but above all revolutionary, from which, for the Italian avant-garde, a new society would have emerged. At this stage the machine - the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Australian cinema experienced a war of two halves during 1914-1918. The start was dominated by war dramas funded through private enterprise, telling sensational stories largely derived from British military traditions, and creating valuable free … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines cinema in relation to the First World War in Belgium from two focal points. First, it describes how film production as well as film exhibition and cinema-going became cultural and economic battlefields in the war years, with the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article offers a survey of how French filmmakers covered the Great War. Beginning with newsreel and actuality film shot during the war years, it then goes on to consider how the war was dealt with in narrative and documentary films in the post war … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Films about the First World War began to attract academic attention towards the end of the 1980s, starting with the exploration of films from early in the war years. There are only anecdotal accounts and explorations of the movies from this period up … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article explores how British cinematographers filmed the war and how the film industry, and later television, subsequently reflected and reinforced dominant public perceptions of the Great War. It is also suggested here that with the rising cost of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Italian cinema has tried with difficulty to exploit the narrative idealization of victory in the Great War. The film productions of the years of conflict (fictional and non-fictional) predictably served the needs of national propaganda, not unlike the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article discusses the production and reception of Portuguese and foreign “war movies” in Portugal during 1914-1918. It focuses on non-fiction cinema but includes a brief description of the only Portuguese fiction film about the war, ''João … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • An early actor in the cinema industry, Russia held a special position due to the strong foreign, notably French and German, influences. The First World War saw an unprecedented boom in national productions and distribution networks: cinema became … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article offers a synthetic picture of the presence of World War I motifs in South-Eastern European cinema. It also offers an overview of the filmography of World War I and some conclusions about the use of the Great War theme in the construction of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1917, with tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers killed and wounded, the end of the war was nowhere in sight. As the supply of volunteers dried up, conscription became the dominant issue in Canada. French Canadians were singled out and accused of not … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article considers the links between Austrian literature and the First World War, particularly reactions to the war within the genres of poetry, narrative prose, drama and journalism. It will examine the militaristic and ideological involvement of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Belgium’s war literature, in both Dutch (Flemish) and in French, covers different war experiences: not just that of the front but also that of military occupation. Although none of it became canonical, it was a concerted effort to make sense of the war … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Behind the lines, writers largely supported the war effort in their countries. A few exceptions nonetheless voiced their disapproval of the war, although this came mostly from authors in exile. The conflict gave rise to a new literary trend in several of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • World War I literature is a reflection of a collective crisis of confidence and trust in modern civilization, issues that are inextricably linked to the question of meaning. Depending on philosophical and political positions, the attempts to answer this … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The literature produced in Great Britain and Ireland during and after the First World War spanned a wide range of genres and styles. Popular fiction and poetry were written and avidly read by combatants and non-combatants alike. The Modernists and the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Literary activity in Italy during the Great War was based on a very wide range of genres and individual works the aesthetic value of which was highly varied. Nonetheless, in order fully to understand the phenomenon, and given the importance of the memory … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War, many authors from neighbouring countries who spoke out against the war and its enormous costs found exile in Switzerland. Given that Switzerland was torn between its German and French linguistic and cultural regions, these … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article surveys the major fiction, drama, and poetry connected with World War I produced by American writers. It outlines the anti-war writing of prominent authors including Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, e.e. cummings, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Belgium’s war experience was ''sui generis''. The vast majority of Belgians experienced the war neither at the front nor on the home front, but under German occupation. The article analyzes the range of ways in which the occupied population made sense … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Historically, scholars largely disregarded China’s First World War involvement, since the country did not formally declare war until August 1917. I argue that we must re-examine the issue to understand both Chinese and world history. First, the Chinese … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • To support the war, people needed to be able to make sense of it, and the French successfully achieved this. To do so, the elite and actors “from below” worked together to concoct a complex rhetoric against the Germans and to confound ''Kultur'' with … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article deals with the reactions of German scholars and artists to the First World War. It examines first the efforts to justify the war to the public in the neutral countries, and subsequently, to the German public as well. For this purpose the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • At the outbreak of war, the populations of Britain and Ireland understood that values such as national honour, liberty, and the rights of small nations were at stake. It was therefore necessary to mobilize in order to counter Germany’s aggression. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Although India was not a theatre of war, World War I produced a major inflexion in a historical trajectory that had been marked since 1815 by a certain degree of insulation from the ebb and flow of the rivalries of the great powers. As India’s … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article investigates the dimensions of meaning that Italian intellectuals either attributed to the “War of Redemption” of 1915-1918 or accordingly dismissed. The focal point is the dialectic of criticism of the present and war apologetics, which … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War significantly impacted Latin American intellectuals’ view on the subcontinent’s role in the world. The Great War and its repercussions divided society, reinforcing and shaping a renewed nationalism and a growing anti-imperialism in … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The World War One years are often treated as a blank spot in the musical history of the Ottoman Empire, Middle East and North Africa – a temporary obstacle in the path of the phonographic revolution introduced at the turn of the century and that would … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article traces some of the uses of photography on the Ottoman fronts during the Great War. It explores images by native photographers from the empire’s various national communities and by European photographers at the front. It highlights three … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War, Józef Piłsudski and his followers invented the legend of the Riflemen Association and the First Brigade of the legions. Piłsudski, as the leader of the First Cadre Company of Riflemen, marched into the Polish Kingdom to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines the Australian press in the First World War. It concentrates on several key areas, in particular censorship, economic problems, war reporting and the media’s relationship with the government. The article presents the argument that … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The undisputed superiority of the Western Powers, above all Great Britain in the domain of propaganda together with the collapse of Austria-Hungary suggest that the Hapsburg monarchy was militarily in no position to wage a world war; nor was it able to do … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Belgian press world was turned upside down by the German occupation. Most of the editorial offices of the news dailies ceased all activity or went abroad. Yet a press under censorship did continue to appear when the Germans set up a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The situation of the press in East Central Europe worsened after the outbreak of the First World War. There was a temporary growth in readership as a result of a desire for information. This did not, however, improve the financial situation for the press. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article addresses the notions of propaganda and censorship between 1914 and 1918 by examining the flow of information, laterally between the front and back, and vertically between editorial offices and the public. More than a well-structured … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Germany entered the First World War without a sophisticated censorship or propaganda apparatus. At first, censorship focused on the elimination of all information that might be useful to the enemy. Policies and decisions of censorship authorities varied … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Discussions of press and propaganda in the British Isles sometimes focus excessively on a few metropolitan newspapers, posters or atrocity stories, and examples of repressive censorship. However, the conduct of the press and propaganda was much more … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Propaganda, combined with censorship, was indubitably one of the genuinely novel features of the First World War. The control over information assumed unprecedented dimensions and was put into effect by governments having recourse also to techniques … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article discusses how British propaganda influenced American journalism during the First World War. The British government, intent on drawing the United States into the European war, used media coverage of key events to portray the Central Powers as … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Latin America experienced the Great War, which consumed Europe between 1914 and 1918, through the press. From the beginning, leading newspapers waged intense, constant, and diverse propaganda campaigns on behalf of both of the quarrelling sides in an … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article discusses the content and impact of various propaganda strategies which were used in East Central Europe by warring powers, local political parties and national organizations during the Great War. For Russia and Germany, the most important … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Australian government propaganda was subordinate to state and federal recruiting bodies and thus was mainly tasked with maintaining enthusiasm for recruiting in one of the few countries that sustained voluntary enlistment throughout the war. Wielding … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • A conflict that was industrial and technological, the Great War was also a war of words and slogans. To rally neutral countries, to weld together its own camp and to demoralise the enemy, France undertook an intense effort to censor information and to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article introduces the changing sources, intentions and themes of war propaganda at the German home front before, during and (very briefly) after the First World War. By exploring its origins in the pre-war period and focusing on the paradigm shift … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • British and Irish domestic propaganda evolved patchily throughout the war. It underwent several stages of development, was delivered by many official and unofficial bodies, including critics, and featured multiple methods and topics. It did not depend … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Italian government, in line with its liberal political views, left the material and spiritual mobilization, as well as domestic propaganda, under the control of bourgeois associations in the early stages of the conflict. Only in the second half of the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article studies the main institutions, forms, content, means, and degree of effectiveness of Russian propaganda during the years of the First World War. The features of state and unofficial propaganda, the images of Russians and Russia, the images of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines the role and activities of the Committee on Public Information (CPI) in mobilizing American public support for the war. As America’s first wartime propaganda agency, the CPI utilized all major media outlets of the day coupled with … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • After China had declared its neutrality in the European conflict, the foreign powers quickly employed an increasing variety of propaganda forms to influence public opinion in China. Until 1917, and due to the imperialist power relations in China, messages … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Unlike the metropole, none of the colonial powers in Africa operated a centrally organized propaganda machine during the war. Inside the various colonies, local efforts thus consisted of a mixture of private and official ventures that initially relied … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Latin America was a major battlefield for worldwide propaganda because the continent boasted a major number of neutral countries. While the Allies tried to lure them into the war on their side, the Germans attempted to keep them neutral. Both parties used … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The experiences of American soldiers, uniformed noncombatants, and civilians on the Western Front in the First World War never fully entered the popular American consciousness. The reasons for this are more complex than simply the relatively short … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic

Encyclopedic Entries

  • Reported missing in action in September 1914, Alain-Fournier is not officially considered a war writer because of his early death. The author of ''Le Grand Meaulnes ''has become a symbol for the collapse of the prewar world and the premature death of … READ MORE

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  • In 1914 Muhammad Kurd ‘Ali was Damascus’ most prominent journalist, owner and editor of the ''al-Muqtabas ''publications, leading Francophone intellectual and prolific author. Adhering to the teachings of the city’s two foremost reformist ‘ulama … READ MORE

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  • The anti-war novel ''Im Westen nichts Neues'' (''All Quiet on the Western Front'') by Erich Maria Remarque (first published in 1928) and the movie directed by Lewis Milestone (USA 1930) are internationally acclaimed representations of World War I’s … READ MORE

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  • Norman Angell (birth name Ralph Norman Lane), built a long career as an internationalist pundit on his best-selling book of 1910, ''The Great Illusion'', which argued that financial interdependence stopped major states benefiting economically from … READ MORE

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  • Although he actually died of Spanish influenza, the trepanned avant-garde poet was the embodiment of France’s “head wound”. Apollinaire’s letters to the woman he loved during the war, Lou, have become a prime example of war … READ MORE

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  • Fulfilling the archetype of the war writer, Henri Barbusse is the embodiment of pacifist activism. His book ''Le Feu ''(1916) paved the way for a new genre, that of literary testimony. Acclaimed as soon as it was published, it has been considered as a … READ MORE

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  • A barrelmaker in a French village and corporal at war in an infantry regiment, Louis Barthas was considered the spokesman of his squad. He wrote a reliable testimony about his experience fighting in the trenches. His book was the first of many published … READ MORE

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  • Initially fascinated by the front, the painter quickly understood that the war was an absolute catastrophe. His despairing paintings of hospitals led to his labelling by the Nazis as a degenerate … READ MORE

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  • Widely known as a philosopher in France from the publication of his first book in 1889, Bergson became an international celebrity with the publication of ''Creative Evolution'' in 1907. With the outbreak of the Great War, Bergson turned his attention and … READ MORE

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  • Sarah Bernhardt was a French actress. During the war, she showed great commitment to the patriotic cause through her participation in performances at the front, appearance in propaganda productions and the campaign urging the United States to enter the … READ MORE

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  • The German Supreme Army Command created Bild- und Filmamt (BUFA) in January 1917 to coordinate and produce visual propaganda. Though it did not really succeed in its aims to boost morale, BUFA helped to lay the foundation for the thriving interwar German … READ MORE

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  • Brazil was the only South American country that participated actively in the First World War. Before the war, the country was economically dependent on European and North American markets and modelled itself on Western culture and science. After the war, … READ MORE

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  • Vera Brittain’s memoir ''Testament of Youth'', and her wartime diary published in 1981 helped to validate women’s experiences of the First World War, and especially the legacy of sorrow that they carried in the aftermath of the … READ MORE

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  • Since ancient times, carrier pigeons have been used successfully in various armed conflicts. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, several European armies created a pigeon service. During World War I the losses of killed, wounded or missing carrier … READ MORE

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  • The life and works of the poet Blaise Cendrars testify to a disturbing paradox: while encapsulating the trauma that was the result from his war experience, they also illustrate the creative virtues of disability due to the … READ MORE

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  • Charles Bean was Australia’s official war correspondent who later wrote and edited the twelve-volume ''Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918'' and founded the Australian War Memorial. No other Australian has been more influential than … READ MORE

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  • Extracurricular mobilization of children through literature took place between 1914 and 1918 on the home front of most belligerent countries. Propaganda for children depended on the war’s effects on the book market and featured violent glorification, … READ MORE

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  • George Creel is most famous as Chairman of the Committee on Public Information (CPI) in the United States during the First World War. Under his leadership, the CPI pioneered public relations and propaganda techniques that were later used both by … READ MORE

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  • Jean Norton Cru did not consider himself a historian. Yet his life’s work, ''Témoins ''(Witnesses), written for historians, is an exceptional book of historiography of 1914 to 1918 and a pioneering reflection on the testimony of social actors at that … READ MORE

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  • Dada, a transnational movement of artists, was founded in Zurich in 1916. It disappeared in 1924, after a sham trial against Maurice Barrès in 1921. Far from pacifism, Dada declared war against war. Today, its innovations remain as examples of a … READ MORE

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  • In his oeuvre, the German painter Otto Dix dealt more intensively with wartime experiences than any other artist. Hundreds of drawings and gouaches capture industrialised combat. After the Great War, he created works that are among the most important … READ MORE

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  • Roland Dorgelès is the author of the pacifist novel ''Wooden Crosses'' (1919), a great classic of French war literature. Although based on his personal experience, he was convinced that fiction could be an outlet to express the … READ MORE

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  • Expressionism is a movement that originated in Germany before World War I and extended to the period between the two major European wars. It promoted subjective representation and “expressive” distortions in … READ MORE

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  • Louis Feuillade was a popular filmmaker in France in the years leading up to and during the First World War. He is known for his serial productions, which, with their cliffhangers, were effective at pulling in large crowds, week-after-week, especially … READ MORE

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  • Walter Flex was a nationalist war poet and author of ''The'' ''Wanderer Between Two Worlds ''(1916), one of the most successful novels of the post-war … READ MORE

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  • A division within the Committee on Public Information (CPI), the Ford Division, created in the spring of 1917, was responsible for creating and distributing “scholarly” propaganda to schools and colleges throughout the … READ MORE

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  • Sigmund Freud, the founding father of psychoanalysis, expressed a war-weariness and disappointment with the barbarity of the war that, after the final dissolution of the Habsburg Empire, gave way to nostalgia and resignation. In the aftermath of the … READ MORE

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  • Roland Garros was a well-known French aviation pioneer before the war and successfully fought in a squadron as a fighter pilot during World War 1. His invention, firing through axis propeller, allowed him to win some aerial victories. After being taken … READ MORE

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  • The war turned Maurice Genevoix into a writer. He embodied soldier loyalty and was the author of ''Ceux de 14'', a prime example of French literary narrative and a monument compelling us not to … READ MORE

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  • Philip Gibbs was the most celebrated, and arguably the most important, of the British official war reporters attached by their newspapers to British General Headquarters on the Western Front from 1915 to … READ MORE

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  • Robert Graves was a British writer who enlisted in August 1914. He fought at the Battle of Loos in 1915, and was wounded at the Somme in 1916. He published his first volumes of poems during the war, and his bestselling war memoir, ''Goodbye to All That'', … READ MORE

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  • The artist George Grosz was a keen observer of post-war Germany and highly critical of the bourgeois philistinism of his time. Deeply affected by his wartime experience, he was accusatory and romantic, visionary and traumatised in equal … READ MORE

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  • Declared unfit for military service, sociologist Maurice Halbwachs worked under Albert Thomas at the Ministry of Munitions. His work on memory (unwittingly) enabled reflection on the influence of the … READ MORE

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  • Maximilian Harden was one of the leading publicists and intellectuals both of the German Empire and of the early Weimar Republic. He achieved international fame as the originator of the Eulenburg Scandal. In the First World War, Harden was one of the most … READ MORE

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  • Lord Northcliffe was the owner of the influential London newspapers the Daily Mail and The Times, and a powerful critic of the Asquith administration’s prosecution of the war. In the final years of the war he took up official positions as head of the … READ MORE

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  • Lord Rothermere owned the London newspapers the ''Daily Mirror'' and the ''Sunday Pictorial'', and was the brother and political ally of Lord Northcliffe, the owner of the ''Daily Mail''. He was the Secretary of State for Air in 1917-18, and was … READ MORE

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  • Ernest Hemingway was an American who served as a Red Cross ambulance lieutenant in Italy in 1918. He was severely wounded after spending only a few weeks at the front. He later became one of the most renowned American writers, winning the Nobel Prize for … READ MORE

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  • ''Hindostan'' was a propaganda periodical for South Asian prisoners of war in the so-called ''Inderlager'' (Camp of Indians), a segregated area within the ''Halbmondlager'' (Half Moon Camp) in Wünsdorf, near Berlin. ''Hindostan'' was produced within the … READ MORE

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  • Evelyn Berkeley Howell was appointed Chief Censor of Indian military correspondence in France in the winter of 1914. The thousands of letters that he and his staff translated and transcribed constitute the largest single compilation of colonial Indian … READ MORE

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  • Ernst Jünger was a German writer. His book ''Storm of Steel'' (''In Stahlgewittern'') is considered one of the best-known literary accounts of the experience of the First World … READ MORE

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  • The Khilafat movement was an agitation by Indian Muslims, allied with Indian nationalists, to pressure the British government to preserve the authority of the Ottoman Sultan as Caliph of Islam after World War I. While seemingly pan-Islamic, the movement … READ MORE

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  • Karl Kraus was one of the 20th century’s most significant satirists. While his primary target was the Austrian press, his satire took aim at nationalism, parochialism, unrestrained technology, bureaucratic hypocrisy, and militarization, all … READ MORE

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  • The music hall song “La Madelon” was first performed in Paris café concerts before the outbreak of war, but it did not initially catch on. Not until 1917 did it become a favorite – first among propaganda-scorning soldiers and then war-weary … READ MORE

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  • Henri Barbusse published the emblematic French war novel ''Le Feu'' in 1916. Given the context of its first publication, ''Le Feu'' was not critical of French propaganda; rather, it was part of a change in propaganda after the battles of Verdun and the … READ MORE

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  • Léger was fascinated by the front, but barely ever depicted what he saw in his work. His correspondence, however, offers a remarkable descent into the abyss of the … READ MORE

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  • As an early critic of the social and political conditions of the Wilheminian society, Heinrich Mann was one of the few German authors who opposed the First World War from the beginning. The first part of his topical novel ''Der Untertan'' reveal the … READ MORE

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  • In contrast to his brother Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann shared the widespread support of the war by the literary and academic elites. He even defended its atrocities as part of a defense of German culture, and demonstrated in ''Betrachtungen eines … READ MORE

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  • Mata Hari was a famous Dutch female dancer, who spied in France for the German intelligence during the war. Arrested by the French, she was condemned to death and executed in October … READ MORE

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  • E. D. Morel was one of the earliest critics of the secret diplomacy and alliance system that led to the start of the Great War. Imprisoned during the war by the British government for his writings, he later became a foreign policy leader in the Labour … READ MORE

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  • Keith Murdoch was an Australian journalist and newspaper proprietor. His Gallipoli Letter was highly critical of the Allied conduct of the Dardanelles Campaign. Later in World War I he worked as a propagandist for conscription and attempted to influence … READ MORE

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  • The First World War fundamentally changed the course of 20th century music. The era of late Romanticism, Symbolism and Expressionism had ended, the music culture of the European high bourgeoisie had begun to decline, and after the war American … READ MORE

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  • The Austrian writer Robert Musil served as a soldier throughout the entire period of the war, first for border security in South Tyrol/Trentino, later on the Italian Front (“Mountain war”), and finally as a propaganda editor. His literary work after … READ MORE

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  • Nicaragua’s experience during the First World War was influenced by the geopolitics of the Central American isthmus. The American occupation of Nicaragua between 1912 and 1925 impacted both Nicaraguan neutrality, which ended once the United States … READ MORE

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  • Ugo Ojetti was a journalist who, during the war, was tasked with the protection of monuments and artworks in the Italian-occupied territories. He was also instrumental in establishing and managing Italy’s wartime propaganda … READ MORE

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  • Wilfred Owen was a poet and soldier who wrote some of the most memorable poems of the First World War. His theme of "the pity of war" continues to influence the cultural memory of 1914-18 and to shape ideas of war … READ MORE

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  • Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a virtuoso pianist. He made use of his popularity in the United States and western Europe to propagate the idea of Polish independence and state sovereignty. In 20th century Poland, he became a symbol of patriotism and … READ MORE

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  • Konstantin Päts, a leading Estonian politician, was a key figure in the establishment of Estonian independence during and after World War I. In 1934, he and Johan Laidoner organized a putsch and Päts became an authoritarian … READ MORE

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  • A citizen of neutral Spain, Pablo Picasso did not fight in the war, but his avant-garde artwork accompanied war culture right up to its use in … READ MORE

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  • Accused of refusing to collaborate with the German authorities, the Belgian historian Henri Pirenne was deported to Germany in 1916. His captivity led him to reconsider his view on German historical scholarship and to propose a new methodology to fight … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War, Dutch editorial cartoonist Louis Raemaekers was a fierce critic of the German invasion of Belgium and France. He played a key role in Allied propaganda with his internationally acclaimed war cartoons. In 1917, Raemaekers … READ MORE

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  • Erich Maria Remarque was a German writer and pacifist who became world-famous for his anti-war novel ''Im Westen nichts Neues'' (''All Quiet on the Western Front'') … READ MORE

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  • José Enrique Rodó was a Uruguayan writer. His main work ''Ariel'' was published in 1900. As a journalist, Rodó reflected his personal interpretation of the First World … READ MORE

    Entry
  • A pacifist writer, Romain Rolland was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1915. During the Great War, he refused to choose one camp over the other and suffered nationalist attacks. In the post war years, he developed closer ties to the ''Parti … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Joseph Roth was a Jewish writer and journalist. His experiences at the Eastern Front in Galicia in 1916–1917 and the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy after the war had a lasting impact on his fiction and intellectual … READ MORE

    Entry
  • This article examines how the outbreak of war in 1914 established Bertrand Russell’s reputation as social critic with an international audience. It considers his major writings on a range of topics, from foreign policy to the psychological impulses that … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The renowned archaeologist Friedrich Sarre used his local knowledge to support the German-Ottoman war effort in western Persia in various leading functions. After the war, he sheltered the fugitive war criminal Enver Pasha in his … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Siegfried Lorraine Sassoon was a British soldier, poet and novelist. His work bitterly exposes the horrors of the First World War and offers a soldier’s account of the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • This article deals with the activities of journalist and photographer Alice Schalek as war correspondent during the Great War. Between 1915 and 1917 Schalek reported from the South Tyrolean, Isonzo and Eastern fronts. She published her reports in … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Soldier’s humour, as expressed in jokes, songs and slang, reflected a dark, ironic and sardonic mind-set common among combatants. It usually contributed to individual psychological resilience, group bonding and unit cohesion. However, it could also act … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Based in Paris, the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) newspaper, ''Stars and Stripes,'' debuted on 8 February 1918 and ran for seventy-one weeks. The AEF commander, General John J. Pershing, requested the newspaper be established to improve morale in … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Having gained success throughout Europe with his compositions for the ''Ballets Russes'' (centered in Paris), Russian-born Igor Stravinsky took refuge from World War I in Switzerland from 1914 to 1920. Here, adjusting to the constrained circumstances, he … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905. She wrote an internationally acclaimed antiwar novel ''Die Waffen nieder!'' (''Lay Down Your Arms!'') and co-founded the Austrian Peace Society (1891) and the journal, ''Die Waffen … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Whether on the Western or Eastern Front, by German, French, British, Canadian, American and other armies, shows were regularly organized on the front lines and at base camps during the Great War. They fulfilled an essential mission of recreation which … READ MORE

    Entry
  • ''Battle of the Somme'' was a feature-length British documentary film, released in August 1916 while the fighting on the Somme was still in progress. Filmed by commercial cameramen under military supervision, it was a remarkably accurate portrayal of the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Franz Werfel’s world-famous novel made the Armenian genocide internationally known. His novel is based on a historical event in summer 1915, when several thousand Armenian peasants escaped their imminent deportation and hid on a mountain. After a … READ MORE

    Entry
  • ''Osudy dobrého vojaka Švejka za světové války'' (''The Good Soldier Švejk'') by Jaroslav Hašek belongs to the most valuable and informative artistic accounts of the Great War. Despite an initially cold reception, the novel won international fame … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The Last Days of Mankind (''Die letzten Tage der Menschheit'') is the major work by Vienna’s most prolific satirist, Karl Kraus. Published in full in 1922, the drama ridicules the interconnected ills of modernity Kraus saw as fueling the war machine: … READ MORE

    Entry
  • ''Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften'' (''The Man without Qualities'') is a novel by Robert Musil, begun in 1918. The first book was published in 1931, and the first part of the second book was published in 1932. The incomplete novel offers a panorama of social, … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The song now known as the "Chanson de Craonne" ("Song of Craonne") remains one of the most well-known First World War songs in France. Several months before the mutinies in spring 1917, its text expressed weariness due to the seemingly endless war and … READ MORE

    Entry
  • In 1918, producer Robert Goldstein was convicted and imprisoned under the Espionage Act of 1917 for screening ''The Spirit of ’76'', a movie about the American Revolution that authorities deemed subversively anti-British. Goldstein’s treatment … READ MORE

    Entry
  • "Trench Art" is a genre of folk art comprised of items created in wartime, or from war materiel. It may be made by servicemen and women or by civilians, and is particularly associated with the First World War, which witnessed its greatest … READ MORE

    Entry
  • “''Stimmen im Sturm''” was a Swiss cooperative which published nine issues with decidedly Germanophile content. They not only defended the German war effort, but also argued against the French and the Swiss French side. The journal came up against … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Comics played a very important role in the total mobilization in Italy. Firstly in the cities and then in the trenches, they were a new propaganda tool and explanation of the war for children and soldiers with low literacy. At the same time, the war … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The War Archives (''Kriegsarchiv''), centre of the official historiography of the Imperial and Royal Army in the pre-war period, changed, during the First World War, into a repository for recent war records and a propaganda institution for the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The War Press Office, or ''Kriegspressequartier'' (KPQ) was the central propaganda institution of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces during World War I. Initially, the KPQ co-ordinated only print media, engaging numerous journalists and notable writers. … READ MORE

    Entry
  • In the First World War, war toys were regarded as a means to strengthen children’s identification with the war effort. Production and consumption of war toys in 1914 to 1915 reached heights never seen before, but then lost pace because of a shortage of … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The Vienna Philharmonic, a music institution typical of the high bourgeoisie before the First World War, played patriotic music in many charity concerts during the conflict and was sent to neutral countries, such as Switzerland, on cultural missions. The … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Wireless telegraphy became an integral part of warfare on the ground, in the air, and at sea by 1918. Wireless helped to make the war global, though historians still debate its impact on the course of the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • ''Wolffs Telegraphisches Bureau'' was a news agency that was the central source for news in Germany during the war. Because of censorship mechanisms, newspapers tended to reprint Wolff’s news verbatim. The quality of Wolff’s news inspired many … READ MORE

    Entry

See also

  • With its economy highly reliant on Great Britain, Germany and other European nations, Denmark had to navigate between the two belligerent blocks during the war. This combined with shortages and inflationary pressures lead to a massive growth in state … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Great Britain was with its Empire the most powerful of the major belligerents, the most politically and socially stable, and the best able to endure the strains of the war. Its great naval, financial and diplomatic strengths were critical to the Allied … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Greece officially entered the Great War rather belatedly in June 1917, despite informal involvement since 1914. The war divided Greek political elites, leading the whole country into a civil strife that lasted for decades. This text aims to present the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • When the First World War broke out in Europe, Latin Americans of all social strata soon felt that the conflict would plunge the world into a crisis of hitherto unknown dimensions. Due to its globally entangled structures, the continent experienced the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Norway managed to stay neutral during the First World War, but the war still crept into Norwegian life and impacted it in numerous ways. With a large merchant fleet – the fourth largest in the world – and heavily dependent upon imports, Norway’s … READ MORE

    Regional
  • This article examines Spain’s neutrality during the Great War, highlighting factors such as the lack of military resources; the division of public opinion and internal conflicts; and actors such as King Alfonso XIII (whose mediating role helped to … READ MORE

    Regional
  • For Sweden, the impact of the war was twofold. On the one hand, it was a test to the neutrality policy. Concessions and violations of neutrality got consequences for both foreign affairs and the economy. On a domestic level, it meant shortages and … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The Netherlands remained neutral during the First World War, but was nevertheless significantly affected by it. Its army remained fully mobilized to counter any possible threat, and its economy felt the strain of both belligerents’ attempts to control … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The American debate over neutrality ended when Woodrow Wilson decided in April 1917 that German aggression on the high seas threatened US national security. From 1917-18 the Wilson administration vastly expanded the power of the federal government by … READ MORE

    Regional

Survey Articles (Thematic)

  • The nature of the First World War put an end to traditions for battle painting. Instead, war art by younger more progressive artists was the best received because it was judged the most authentic. Such work put a new emphasis on the pity of war and human … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article presents cartoonists as patriotic propagandists mobilizing their pens and brushes for the national cause during the war. It analyses their techniques for arousing emotions such as ridicule or hate. Their particular functions, to attack the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Censorship was an indispensable war weapon: its task was to keep the people in an atmosphere of utter ignorance and unshaken confidence in the authorities, and to allow their boundless indoctrination so that they would, despite terrible losses and … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The article discusses the role of the media in the complex international process leading to the First World War with a focus on the press of the great powers. Recent research has shown that the decision of going to war cannot be explained by short-term … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The First World War played a significant role in the evolution of film both as a medium for reporting war and as a tool for the propagandist manipulation of public opinion to support the war effort. It affected the perception of cinema as a socially … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article discusses the close relationships between national governments, advertising trades and print media industries and assesses their significance for liberal democracy and national identity in the context of the First World War. It examines the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article seeks to present an overview of First World War literature across many of the combatant nations from the outbreak of the conflict up to the beginning of the Second World War. Taking a comparative approach, it examines factors that prompted … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Claims to “just war” formed the basis for the propaganda campaigns of the First World War. Propaganda on all sides focused on three interrelated issues to endorse the decision to enter the conflict: international and natural law, concepts of … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • What role do representations of the First World War play in media that reach a wide audience beyond the circle of experts? The following contribution focuses on this important question. Given the wealth of popular media throughout the world from 1914-1918 … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • In August 1914, a targeted and systematic manipulation of opinion by the media, intellectuals and authorities started. Atrocities were attributed to the enemies that arose from preformed images or were based merely on rumors and unexamined reports. All … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The First World War represents a watershed in the history of war photography. It was the first conflict to be photographed in detail by all the participants and the first in which photography was actively exploited and controlled in support of the war … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Word War I had a significant impact on the evolution of the European media scene. Before the start of the war, newspapers in Europe were increasingly popular, free and independent, and transnational. With the outbreak of the war in 1914 this came to an … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article summarizes and compares the principal arguments and strategies of propaganda at the home front, the military front, as well as in neutral and enemy countries. These included the Manichean approach, the ridiculing of the enemy, the use of … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Propaganda played an important part in the politics of the war, but was only successful as part of wider political and military strategies. For each belligerent, the most effective and important forms of propaganda were aimed at its own domestic … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Soldier newspapers are a massive, yet little used primary source of the First World War. They were read and written by the almost universally literate men at or near the front in the French, British, and German armies. Although they were shaped by both … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • From 1914 to 1918, theatres in all major European cities staged plays – comedies, operettas, revues, classical and modern dramas, music hall shows or sensational plays – day after day. The lively theatrical culture of the metropolis remained largely … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This piece explores the visualisation of violence for home front audiences and shows that violence was often hinted at very strongly, but the actual act was avoided. All home front audiences were aware of the effects of violence through visual media, but … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • At its outbreak, newspapers in the Allied and neutral democracies hoped to present vivid descriptions of the First World War. They were soon frustrated. Censorship obstructed the adventurous style of war reporting to which readers had grown accustomed. … READ MORE

    Thematic

Regional Thematic Articles

  • Artistic responses to Australia’s war effort were diverse and engaging. Soldiers sketching what they experienced of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign produced some of the earliest images of the conflict. During the war, the first official art scheme was … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The article demonstrates the significance of the Great War for Italian Futurism: an aesthetic war, technological but above all revolutionary, from which, for the Italian avant-garde, a new society would have emerged. At this stage the machine - the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Australian cinema experienced a war of two halves during 1914-1918. The start was dominated by war dramas funded through private enterprise, telling sensational stories largely derived from British military traditions, and creating valuable free … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines cinema in relation to the First World War in Belgium from two focal points. First, it describes how film production as well as film exhibition and cinema-going became cultural and economic battlefields in the war years, with the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article offers a survey of how French filmmakers covered the Great War. Beginning with newsreel and actuality film shot during the war years, it then goes on to consider how the war was dealt with in narrative and documentary films in the post war … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Films about the First World War began to attract academic attention towards the end of the 1980s, starting with the exploration of films from early in the war years. There are only anecdotal accounts and explorations of the movies from this period up … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article explores how British cinematographers filmed the war and how the film industry, and later television, subsequently reflected and reinforced dominant public perceptions of the Great War. It is also suggested here that with the rising cost of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Italian cinema has tried with difficulty to exploit the narrative idealization of victory in the Great War. The film productions of the years of conflict (fictional and non-fictional) predictably served the needs of national propaganda, not unlike the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article discusses the production and reception of Portuguese and foreign “war movies” in Portugal during 1914-1918. It focuses on non-fiction cinema but includes a brief description of the only Portuguese fiction film about the war, ''João … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • An early actor in the cinema industry, Russia held a special position due to the strong foreign, notably French and German, influences. The First World War saw an unprecedented boom in national productions and distribution networks: cinema became … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article offers a synthetic picture of the presence of World War I motifs in South-Eastern European cinema. It also offers an overview of the filmography of World War I and some conclusions about the use of the Great War theme in the construction of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1917, with tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers killed and wounded, the end of the war was nowhere in sight. As the supply of volunteers dried up, conscription became the dominant issue in Canada. French Canadians were singled out and accused of not … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article considers the links between Austrian literature and the First World War, particularly reactions to the war within the genres of poetry, narrative prose, drama and journalism. It will examine the militaristic and ideological involvement of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Belgium’s war literature, in both Dutch (Flemish) and in French, covers different war experiences: not just that of the front but also that of military occupation. Although none of it became canonical, it was a concerted effort to make sense of the war … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Behind the lines, writers largely supported the war effort in their countries. A few exceptions nonetheless voiced their disapproval of the war, although this came mostly from authors in exile. The conflict gave rise to a new literary trend in several of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • World War I literature is a reflection of a collective crisis of confidence and trust in modern civilization, issues that are inextricably linked to the question of meaning. Depending on philosophical and political positions, the attempts to answer this … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The literature produced in Great Britain and Ireland during and after the First World War spanned a wide range of genres and styles. Popular fiction and poetry were written and avidly read by combatants and non-combatants alike. The Modernists and the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Literary activity in Italy during the Great War was based on a very wide range of genres and individual works the aesthetic value of which was highly varied. Nonetheless, in order fully to understand the phenomenon, and given the importance of the memory … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War, many authors from neighbouring countries who spoke out against the war and its enormous costs found exile in Switzerland. Given that Switzerland was torn between its German and French linguistic and cultural regions, these … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article surveys the major fiction, drama, and poetry connected with World War I produced by American writers. It outlines the anti-war writing of prominent authors including Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, e.e. cummings, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Belgium’s war experience was ''sui generis''. The vast majority of Belgians experienced the war neither at the front nor on the home front, but under German occupation. The article analyzes the range of ways in which the occupied population made sense … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Historically, scholars largely disregarded China’s First World War involvement, since the country did not formally declare war until August 1917. I argue that we must re-examine the issue to understand both Chinese and world history. First, the Chinese … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • To support the war, people needed to be able to make sense of it, and the French successfully achieved this. To do so, the elite and actors “from below” worked together to concoct a complex rhetoric against the Germans and to confound ''Kultur'' with … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article deals with the reactions of German scholars and artists to the First World War. It examines first the efforts to justify the war to the public in the neutral countries, and subsequently, to the German public as well. For this purpose the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • At the outbreak of war, the populations of Britain and Ireland understood that values such as national honour, liberty, and the rights of small nations were at stake. It was therefore necessary to mobilize in order to counter Germany’s aggression. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Although India was not a theatre of war, World War I produced a major inflexion in a historical trajectory that had been marked since 1815 by a certain degree of insulation from the ebb and flow of the rivalries of the great powers. As India’s … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article investigates the dimensions of meaning that Italian intellectuals either attributed to the “War of Redemption” of 1915-1918 or accordingly dismissed. The focal point is the dialectic of criticism of the present and war apologetics, which … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War significantly impacted Latin American intellectuals’ view on the subcontinent’s role in the world. The Great War and its repercussions divided society, reinforcing and shaping a renewed nationalism and a growing anti-imperialism in … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The World War One years are often treated as a blank spot in the musical history of the Ottoman Empire, Middle East and North Africa – a temporary obstacle in the path of the phonographic revolution introduced at the turn of the century and that would … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article traces some of the uses of photography on the Ottoman fronts during the Great War. It explores images by native photographers from the empire’s various national communities and by European photographers at the front. It highlights three … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • During the First World War, Józef Piłsudski and his followers invented the legend of the Riflemen Association and the First Brigade of the legions. Piłsudski, as the leader of the First Cadre Company of Riflemen, marched into the Polish Kingdom to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines the Australian press in the First World War. It concentrates on several key areas, in particular censorship, economic problems, war reporting and the media’s relationship with the government. The article presents the argument that … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The undisputed superiority of the Western Powers, above all Great Britain in the domain of propaganda together with the collapse of Austria-Hungary suggest that the Hapsburg monarchy was militarily in no position to wage a world war; nor was it able to do … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Belgian press world was turned upside down by the German occupation. Most of the editorial offices of the news dailies ceased all activity or went abroad. Yet a press under censorship did continue to appear when the Germans set up a … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The situation of the press in East Central Europe worsened after the outbreak of the First World War. There was a temporary growth in readership as a result of a desire for information. This did not, however, improve the financial situation for the press. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article addresses the notions of propaganda and censorship between 1914 and 1918 by examining the flow of information, laterally between the front and back, and vertically between editorial offices and the public. More than a well-structured … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Germany entered the First World War without a sophisticated censorship or propaganda apparatus. At first, censorship focused on the elimination of all information that might be useful to the enemy. Policies and decisions of censorship authorities varied … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Discussions of press and propaganda in the British Isles sometimes focus excessively on a few metropolitan newspapers, posters or atrocity stories, and examples of repressive censorship. However, the conduct of the press and propaganda was much more … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Propaganda, combined with censorship, was indubitably one of the genuinely novel features of the First World War. The control over information assumed unprecedented dimensions and was put into effect by governments having recourse also to techniques … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article discusses how British propaganda influenced American journalism during the First World War. The British government, intent on drawing the United States into the European war, used media coverage of key events to portray the Central Powers as … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Latin America experienced the Great War, which consumed Europe between 1914 and 1918, through the press. From the beginning, leading newspapers waged intense, constant, and diverse propaganda campaigns on behalf of both of the quarrelling sides in an … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article discusses the content and impact of various propaganda strategies which were used in East Central Europe by warring powers, local political parties and national organizations during the Great War. For Russia and Germany, the most important … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Australian government propaganda was subordinate to state and federal recruiting bodies and thus was mainly tasked with maintaining enthusiasm for recruiting in one of the few countries that sustained voluntary enlistment throughout the war. Wielding … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • A conflict that was industrial and technological, the Great War was also a war of words and slogans. To rally neutral countries, to weld together its own camp and to demoralise the enemy, France undertook an intense effort to censor information and to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article introduces the changing sources, intentions and themes of war propaganda at the German home front before, during and (very briefly) after the First World War. By exploring its origins in the pre-war period and focusing on the paradigm shift … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • British and Irish domestic propaganda evolved patchily throughout the war. It underwent several stages of development, was delivered by many official and unofficial bodies, including critics, and featured multiple methods and topics. It did not depend … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Italian government, in line with its liberal political views, left the material and spiritual mobilization, as well as domestic propaganda, under the control of bourgeois associations in the early stages of the conflict. Only in the second half of the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article studies the main institutions, forms, content, means, and degree of effectiveness of Russian propaganda during the years of the First World War. The features of state and unofficial propaganda, the images of Russians and Russia, the images of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines the role and activities of the Committee on Public Information (CPI) in mobilizing American public support for the war. As America’s first wartime propaganda agency, the CPI utilized all major media outlets of the day coupled with … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • After China had declared its neutrality in the European conflict, the foreign powers quickly employed an increasing variety of propaganda forms to influence public opinion in China. Until 1917, and due to the imperialist power relations in China, messages … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Unlike the metropole, none of the colonial powers in Africa operated a centrally organized propaganda machine during the war. Inside the various colonies, local efforts thus consisted of a mixture of private and official ventures that initially relied … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Latin America was a major battlefield for worldwide propaganda because the continent boasted a major number of neutral countries. While the Allies tried to lure them into the war on their side, the Germans attempted to keep them neutral. Both parties used … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The experiences of American soldiers, uniformed noncombatants, and civilians on the Western Front in the First World War never fully entered the popular American consciousness. The reasons for this are more complex than simply the relatively short … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic

Encyclopedic Entries

  • Reported missing in action in September 1914, Alain-Fournier is not officially considered a war writer because of his early death. The author of ''Le Grand Meaulnes ''has become a symbol for the collapse of the prewar world and the premature death of … READ MORE

    Entry
  • In 1914 Muhammad Kurd ‘Ali was Damascus’ most prominent journalist, owner and editor of the ''al-Muqtabas ''publications, leading Francophone intellectual and prolific author. Adhering to the teachings of the city’s two foremost reformist ‘ulama … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The anti-war novel ''Im Westen nichts Neues'' (''All Quiet on the Western Front'') by Erich Maria Remarque (first published in 1928) and the movie directed by Lewis Milestone (USA 1930) are internationally acclaimed representations of World War I’s … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Norman Angell (birth name Ralph Norman Lane), built a long career as an internationalist pundit on his best-selling book of 1910, ''The Great Illusion'', which argued that financial interdependence stopped major states benefiting economically from … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Although he actually died of Spanish influenza, the trepanned avant-garde poet was the embodiment of France’s “head wound”. Apollinaire’s letters to the woman he loved during the war, Lou, have become a prime example of war … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Fulfilling the archetype of the war writer, Henri Barbusse is the embodiment of pacifist activism. His book ''Le Feu ''(1916) paved the way for a new genre, that of literary testimony. Acclaimed as soon as it was published, it has been considered as a … READ MORE

    Entry
  • A barrelmaker in a French village and corporal at war in an infantry regiment, Louis Barthas was considered the spokesman of his squad. He wrote a reliable testimony about his experience fighting in the trenches. His book was the first of many published … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Initially fascinated by the front, the painter quickly understood that the war was an absolute catastrophe. His despairing paintings of hospitals led to his labelling by the Nazis as a degenerate … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Widely known as a philosopher in France from the publication of his first book in 1889, Bergson became an international celebrity with the publication of ''Creative Evolution'' in 1907. With the outbreak of the Great War, Bergson turned his attention and … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Sarah Bernhardt was a French actress. During the war, she showed great commitment to the patriotic cause through her participation in performances at the front, appearance in propaganda productions and the campaign urging the United States to enter the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The German Supreme Army Command created Bild- und Filmamt (BUFA) in January 1917 to coordinate and produce visual propaganda. Though it did not really succeed in its aims to boost morale, BUFA helped to lay the foundation for the thriving interwar German … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Brazil was the only South American country that participated actively in the First World War. Before the war, the country was economically dependent on European and North American markets and modelled itself on Western culture and science. After the war, … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Vera Brittain’s memoir ''Testament of Youth'', and her wartime diary published in 1981 helped to validate women’s experiences of the First World War, and especially the legacy of sorrow that they carried in the aftermath of the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Since ancient times, carrier pigeons have been used successfully in various armed conflicts. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, several European armies created a pigeon service. During World War I the losses of killed, wounded or missing carrier … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The life and works of the poet Blaise Cendrars testify to a disturbing paradox: while encapsulating the trauma that was the result from his war experience, they also illustrate the creative virtues of disability due to the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Charles Bean was Australia’s official war correspondent who later wrote and edited the twelve-volume ''Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918'' and founded the Australian War Memorial. No other Australian has been more influential than … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Extracurricular mobilization of children through literature took place between 1914 and 1918 on the home front of most belligerent countries. Propaganda for children depended on the war’s effects on the book market and featured violent glorification, … READ MORE

    Entry
  • George Creel is most famous as Chairman of the Committee on Public Information (CPI) in the United States during the First World War. Under his leadership, the CPI pioneered public relations and propaganda techniques that were later used both by … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Jean Norton Cru did not consider himself a historian. Yet his life’s work, ''Témoins ''(Witnesses), written for historians, is an exceptional book of historiography of 1914 to 1918 and a pioneering reflection on the testimony of social actors at that … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Dada, a transnational movement of artists, was founded in Zurich in 1916. It disappeared in 1924, after a sham trial against Maurice Barrès in 1921. Far from pacifism, Dada declared war against war. Today, its innovations remain as examples of a … READ MORE

    Entry
  • In his oeuvre, the German painter Otto Dix dealt more intensively with wartime experiences than any other artist. Hundreds of drawings and gouaches capture industrialised combat. After the Great War, he created works that are among the most important … READ MORE

    Entry
  • Roland Dorgelès is the author of the pacifist novel ''Wooden Crosses'' (1919), a great classic of French war literature. Although based on his personal experience, he was convinced that fiction could be an outlet to express the … READ MORE

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  • Expressionism is a movement that originated in Germany before World War I and extended to the period between the two major European wars. It promoted subjective representation and “expressive” distortions in … READ MORE

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  • Louis Feuillade was a popular filmmaker in France in the years leading up to and during the First World War. He is known for his serial productions, which, with their cliffhangers, were effective at pulling in large crowds, week-after-week, especially … READ MORE

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  • Walter Flex was a nationalist war poet and author of ''The'' ''Wanderer Between Two Worlds ''(1916), one of the most successful novels of the post-war … READ MORE

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  • A division within the Committee on Public Information (CPI), the Ford Division, created in the spring of 1917, was responsible for creating and distributing “scholarly” propaganda to schools and colleges throughout the … READ MORE

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  • Sigmund Freud, the founding father of psychoanalysis, expressed a war-weariness and disappointment with the barbarity of the war that, after the final dissolution of the Habsburg Empire, gave way to nostalgia and resignation. In the aftermath of the … READ MORE

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  • Roland Garros was a well-known French aviation pioneer before the war and successfully fought in a squadron as a fighter pilot during World War 1. His invention, firing through axis propeller, allowed him to win some aerial victories. After being taken … READ MORE

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  • The war turned Maurice Genevoix into a writer. He embodied soldier loyalty and was the author of ''Ceux de 14'', a prime example of French literary narrative and a monument compelling us not to … READ MORE

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  • Philip Gibbs was the most celebrated, and arguably the most important, of the British official war reporters attached by their newspapers to British General Headquarters on the Western Front from 1915 to … READ MORE

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  • Robert Graves was a British writer who enlisted in August 1914. He fought at the Battle of Loos in 1915, and was wounded at the Somme in 1916. He published his first volumes of poems during the war, and his bestselling war memoir, ''Goodbye to All That'', … READ MORE

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  • The artist George Grosz was a keen observer of post-war Germany and highly critical of the bourgeois philistinism of his time. Deeply affected by his wartime experience, he was accusatory and romantic, visionary and traumatised in equal … READ MORE

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  • Declared unfit for military service, sociologist Maurice Halbwachs worked under Albert Thomas at the Ministry of Munitions. His work on memory (unwittingly) enabled reflection on the influence of the … READ MORE

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  • Maximilian Harden was one of the leading publicists and intellectuals both of the German Empire and of the early Weimar Republic. He achieved international fame as the originator of the Eulenburg Scandal. In the First World War, Harden was one of the most … READ MORE

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  • Lord Northcliffe was the owner of the influential London newspapers the Daily Mail and The Times, and a powerful critic of the Asquith administration’s prosecution of the war. In the final years of the war he took up official positions as head of the … READ MORE

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  • Lord Rothermere owned the London newspapers the ''Daily Mirror'' and the ''Sunday Pictorial'', and was the brother and political ally of Lord Northcliffe, the owner of the ''Daily Mail''. He was the Secretary of State for Air in 1917-18, and was … READ MORE

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  • Ernest Hemingway was an American who served as a Red Cross ambulance lieutenant in Italy in 1918. He was severely wounded after spending only a few weeks at the front. He later became one of the most renowned American writers, winning the Nobel Prize for … READ MORE

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  • ''Hindostan'' was a propaganda periodical for South Asian prisoners of war in the so-called ''Inderlager'' (Camp of Indians), a segregated area within the ''Halbmondlager'' (Half Moon Camp) in Wünsdorf, near Berlin. ''Hindostan'' was produced within the … READ MORE

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  • Evelyn Berkeley Howell was appointed Chief Censor of Indian military correspondence in France in the winter of 1914. The thousands of letters that he and his staff translated and transcribed constitute the largest single compilation of colonial Indian … READ MORE

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  • Ernst Jünger was a German writer. His book ''Storm of Steel'' (''In Stahlgewittern'') is considered one of the best-known literary accounts of the experience of the First World … READ MORE

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  • The Khilafat movement was an agitation by Indian Muslims, allied with Indian nationalists, to pressure the British government to preserve the authority of the Ottoman Sultan as Caliph of Islam after World War I. While seemingly pan-Islamic, the movement … READ MORE

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  • Karl Kraus was one of the 20th century’s most significant satirists. While his primary target was the Austrian press, his satire took aim at nationalism, parochialism, unrestrained technology, bureaucratic hypocrisy, and militarization, all … READ MORE

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  • The music hall song “La Madelon” was first performed in Paris café concerts before the outbreak of war, but it did not initially catch on. Not until 1917 did it become a favorite – first among propaganda-scorning soldiers and then war-weary … READ MORE

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  • Henri Barbusse published the emblematic French war novel ''Le Feu'' in 1916. Given the context of its first publication, ''Le Feu'' was not critical of French propaganda; rather, it was part of a change in propaganda after the battles of Verdun and the … READ MORE

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  • Léger was fascinated by the front, but barely ever depicted what he saw in his work. His correspondence, however, offers a remarkable descent into the abyss of the … READ MORE

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  • As an early critic of the social and political conditions of the Wilheminian society, Heinrich Mann was one of the few German authors who opposed the First World War from the beginning. The first part of his topical novel ''Der Untertan'' reveal the … READ MORE

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  • In contrast to his brother Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann shared the widespread support of the war by the literary and academic elites. He even defended its atrocities as part of a defense of German culture, and demonstrated in ''Betrachtungen eines … READ MORE

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  • Mata Hari was a famous Dutch female dancer, who spied in France for the German intelligence during the war. Arrested by the French, she was condemned to death and executed in October … READ MORE

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  • E. D. Morel was one of the earliest critics of the secret diplomacy and alliance system that led to the start of the Great War. Imprisoned during the war by the British government for his writings, he later became a foreign policy leader in the Labour … READ MORE

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  • Keith Murdoch was an Australian journalist and newspaper proprietor. His Gallipoli Letter was highly critical of the Allied conduct of the Dardanelles Campaign. Later in World War I he worked as a propagandist for conscription and attempted to influence … READ MORE

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  • The First World War fundamentally changed the course of 20th century music. The era of late Romanticism, Symbolism and Expressionism had ended, the music culture of the European high bourgeoisie had begun to decline, and after the war American … READ MORE

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  • The Austrian writer Robert Musil served as a soldier throughout the entire period of the war, first for border security in South Tyrol/Trentino, later on the Italian Front (“Mountain war”), and finally as a propaganda editor. His literary work after … READ MORE

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  • Nicaragua’s experience during the First World War was influenced by the geopolitics of the Central American isthmus. The American occupation of Nicaragua between 1912 and 1925 impacted both Nicaraguan neutrality, which ended once the United States … READ MORE

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  • Ugo Ojetti was a journalist who, during the war, was tasked with the protection of monuments and artworks in the Italian-occupied territories. He was also instrumental in establishing and managing Italy’s wartime propaganda … READ MORE

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  • Wilfred Owen was a poet and soldier who wrote some of the most memorable poems of the First World War. His theme of "the pity of war" continues to influence the cultural memory of 1914-18 and to shape ideas of war … READ MORE

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  • Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a virtuoso pianist. He made use of his popularity in the United States and western Europe to propagate the idea of Polish independence and state sovereignty. In 20th century Poland, he became a symbol of patriotism and … READ MORE

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  • Konstantin Päts, a leading Estonian politician, was a key figure in the establishment of Estonian independence during and after World War I. In 1934, he and Johan Laidoner organized a putsch and Päts became an authoritarian … READ MORE

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  • A citizen of neutral Spain, Pablo Picasso did not fight in the war, but his avant-garde artwork accompanied war culture right up to its use in … READ MORE

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  • Accused of refusing to collaborate with the German authorities, the Belgian historian Henri Pirenne was deported to Germany in 1916. His captivity led him to reconsider his view on German historical scholarship and to propose a new methodology to fight … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War, Dutch editorial cartoonist Louis Raemaekers was a fierce critic of the German invasion of Belgium and France. He played a key role in Allied propaganda with his internationally acclaimed war cartoons. In 1917, Raemaekers … READ MORE

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  • Erich Maria Remarque was a German writer and pacifist who became world-famous for his anti-war novel ''Im Westen nichts Neues'' (''All Quiet on the Western Front'') … READ MORE

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  • José Enrique Rodó was a Uruguayan writer. His main work ''Ariel'' was published in 1900. As a journalist, Rodó reflected his personal interpretation of the First World … READ MORE

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  • A pacifist writer, Romain Rolland was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1915. During the Great War, he refused to choose one camp over the other and suffered nationalist attacks. In the post war years, he developed closer ties to the ''Parti … READ MORE

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  • Joseph Roth was a Jewish writer and journalist. His experiences at the Eastern Front in Galicia in 1916–1917 and the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy after the war had a lasting impact on his fiction and intellectual … READ MORE

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  • This article examines how the outbreak of war in 1914 established Bertrand Russell’s reputation as social critic with an international audience. It considers his major writings on a range of topics, from foreign policy to the psychological impulses that … READ MORE

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  • The renowned archaeologist Friedrich Sarre used his local knowledge to support the German-Ottoman war effort in western Persia in various leading functions. After the war, he sheltered the fugitive war criminal Enver Pasha in his … READ MORE

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  • Siegfried Lorraine Sassoon was a British soldier, poet and novelist. His work bitterly exposes the horrors of the First World War and offers a soldier’s account of the … READ MORE

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  • This article deals with the activities of journalist and photographer Alice Schalek as war correspondent during the Great War. Between 1915 and 1917 Schalek reported from the South Tyrolean, Isonzo and Eastern fronts. She published her reports in … READ MORE

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  • Soldier’s humour, as expressed in jokes, songs and slang, reflected a dark, ironic and sardonic mind-set common among combatants. It usually contributed to individual psychological resilience, group bonding and unit cohesion. However, it could also act … READ MORE

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  • Based in Paris, the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) newspaper, ''Stars and Stripes,'' debuted on 8 February 1918 and ran for seventy-one weeks. The AEF commander, General John J. Pershing, requested the newspaper be established to improve morale in … READ MORE

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  • Having gained success throughout Europe with his compositions for the ''Ballets Russes'' (centered in Paris), Russian-born Igor Stravinsky took refuge from World War I in Switzerland from 1914 to 1920. Here, adjusting to the constrained circumstances, he … READ MORE

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  • Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905. She wrote an internationally acclaimed antiwar novel ''Die Waffen nieder!'' (''Lay Down Your Arms!'') and co-founded the Austrian Peace Society (1891) and the journal, ''Die Waffen … READ MORE

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  • Whether on the Western or Eastern Front, by German, French, British, Canadian, American and other armies, shows were regularly organized on the front lines and at base camps during the Great War. They fulfilled an essential mission of recreation which … READ MORE

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  • ''Battle of the Somme'' was a feature-length British documentary film, released in August 1916 while the fighting on the Somme was still in progress. Filmed by commercial cameramen under military supervision, it was a remarkably accurate portrayal of the … READ MORE

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  • Franz Werfel’s world-famous novel made the Armenian genocide internationally known. His novel is based on a historical event in summer 1915, when several thousand Armenian peasants escaped their imminent deportation and hid on a mountain. After a … READ MORE

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  • ''Osudy dobrého vojaka Švejka za světové války'' (''The Good Soldier Švejk'') by Jaroslav Hašek belongs to the most valuable and informative artistic accounts of the Great War. Despite an initially cold reception, the novel won international fame … READ MORE

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  • The Last Days of Mankind (''Die letzten Tage der Menschheit'') is the major work by Vienna’s most prolific satirist, Karl Kraus. Published in full in 1922, the drama ridicules the interconnected ills of modernity Kraus saw as fueling the war machine: … READ MORE

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  • ''Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften'' (''The Man without Qualities'') is a novel by Robert Musil, begun in 1918. The first book was published in 1931, and the first part of the second book was published in 1932. The incomplete novel offers a panorama of social, … READ MORE

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  • The song now known as the "Chanson de Craonne" ("Song of Craonne") remains one of the most well-known First World War songs in France. Several months before the mutinies in spring 1917, its text expressed weariness due to the seemingly endless war and … READ MORE

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  • In 1918, producer Robert Goldstein was convicted and imprisoned under the Espionage Act of 1917 for screening ''The Spirit of ’76'', a movie about the American Revolution that authorities deemed subversively anti-British. Goldstein’s treatment … READ MORE

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  • "Trench Art" is a genre of folk art comprised of items created in wartime, or from war materiel. It may be made by servicemen and women or by civilians, and is particularly associated with the First World War, which witnessed its greatest … READ MORE

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  • “''Stimmen im Sturm''” was a Swiss cooperative which published nine issues with decidedly Germanophile content. They not only defended the German war effort, but also argued against the French and the Swiss French side. The journal came up against … READ MORE

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  • Comics played a very important role in the total mobilization in Italy. Firstly in the cities and then in the trenches, they were a new propaganda tool and explanation of the war for children and soldiers with low literacy. At the same time, the war … READ MORE

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  • The War Archives (''Kriegsarchiv''), centre of the official historiography of the Imperial and Royal Army in the pre-war period, changed, during the First World War, into a repository for recent war records and a propaganda institution for the … READ MORE

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  • The War Press Office, or ''Kriegspressequartier'' (KPQ) was the central propaganda institution of the Austro-Hungarian armed forces during World War I. Initially, the KPQ co-ordinated only print media, engaging numerous journalists and notable writers. … READ MORE

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  • In the First World War, war toys were regarded as a means to strengthen children’s identification with the war effort. Production and consumption of war toys in 1914 to 1915 reached heights never seen before, but then lost pace because of a shortage of … READ MORE

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  • The Vienna Philharmonic, a music institution typical of the high bourgeoisie before the First World War, played patriotic music in many charity concerts during the conflict and was sent to neutral countries, such as Switzerland, on cultural missions. The … READ MORE

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  • Wireless telegraphy became an integral part of warfare on the ground, in the air, and at sea by 1918. Wireless helped to make the war global, though historians still debate its impact on the course of the … READ MORE

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  • ''Wolffs Telegraphisches Bureau'' was a news agency that was the central source for news in Germany during the war. Because of censorship mechanisms, newspapers tended to reprint Wolff’s news verbatim. The quality of Wolff’s news inspired many … READ MORE

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