Themes Post-war

Regional Thematic Articles

Encyclopedic Entries

Survey Articles (Thematic)

  • The First World War saw the colonial empires of France and Britain mobilised to aid European and imperial war efforts. This mobilisation and the difficulties of demobilisation placed considerable strain on imperial systems which were only partly addressed … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The First World War was not only the precondition of the rise of fascist movements in a general way: more definitely, the fascists presented themselves as the heirs of the trench combatants. German ''Sturmtruppen'' and Italian ''arditi ''were chosen by … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • There have been four generations of historical writing about the 1914-1918 war. The first was composed of contemporaries who either fought in the war or helped run it, and spanned the period 1914-1939. Their focus was political and military. The second … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • By examining the origins, pathways, demographic impact and consequences for the public, the medical profession and governments, of the so-called “Spanish” influenza pandemic of 1918-1919, this article establishes the main contours of the worst … 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
  • The Great War gave new impulses to the further development of public welfare systems which had emerged in previous decades. The desire for the social protection of the population and the restoration of economic and living conditions destroyed by the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The Russian civil war was not simply a conflict between Red communists and White monarchists; rather, it involved a complex intertwining of military, social and political issues that were created or exacerbated by the Great War. It ended with the very … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The debate about the origins of the war remains a vibrant area of historical research. It has been characterised by a number of features. First, from the outset, political concerns shaped the debate, though these preoccupations have become less … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article offers an overview of peacemaking after the First World War from the armistices of 1918 until 1923. It considers the outcomes of the five Parisian treaties (Versailles, Saint-Germain and Neuilly in 1919 and Trianon and Sèvres in 1920) … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Veterans’ associations formed an influential social movement during the interwar period. They provided the platform for former soldiers to commemorate the war and their fallen comrades and to discuss their post-war problems. The associations merged the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • There are in the literature on the economic history of the Great War different approaches to the interpretation of war finance and inflation in Germany. Some scholars have analysed war finance and inflation in the context of economic mobilization during … READ MORE

    Thematic

Regional Thematic Articles

  • This article considers patterns of bereavement and mourning in Australia both during and immediately after the Great War. It argues that the conditions of modern warfare and sheer distance from the battlefields contributed to a sense of unreconciled loss … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • War victims left a huge vacuum both for their kin and society, which showed signs of weakening. While private bereavement was centered on deep personal grief, the state organized a public cult of the dead to supervise, channel and shape public mourning. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Some 70,000 Canadians died while in military service during the First World War, a loss that made commemoration imperative. The memory that emerged stressed the values for which the war had been fought and the new sense of national identity that emerged … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • From 1919 through the early 1920s, Americans energetically memorialized their role in the First World War. They built literally thousands of community monuments and functional memorials (such as buildings and parks), implemented an elegant scheme for … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Commemoration in the form of ceremonies and monuments was for the most part alien to African cultures and was largely a part of the European colonial project. As such, its main aim was to glorify colonialism. This article focuses on the commemoration of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The memory of the First World War has played a prominent role in Australian political culture. The Anzac legend, originating in the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, soon became the foundational narrative of an emerging nation. Despite profound changes in … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The scope of the commemorations that developed in Belgium and in the remainder of Europe showed the population’s need to keep the memory of World War I alive. The majority of Belgian municipalities erected their own war memorials through local … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In the countries of East Central Europe, the commemoration of soldiers who fell during the First World War followed a complex trajectory. After 1918, governments invested in war cemeteries and war memorials primarily as a means of commemorating the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War was commemorated in numerous ways in post-1918 Germany. Local and national monuments and activities of veterans’ organizations’ were some of the most visible forms of commemoration, although not the only ones. These commemorations … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Memorials designed to commemorate Indochina’s war dead were generally spearheaded by French agencies and commissions. The act of commemoration was laden with a variety of meanings. The question of who would be commemorated and according to which faith … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In Newfoundland, the cult of the fallen followed the military disaster that befell the Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont Hamel on 1 July 1916. Newfoundland and imperial officials portrayed the tragedy as a glorious sacrifice, beginning a wartime tradition … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Anzac Day is the primary method of New Zealand public engagement with the Great War. Commemorating the failed Anzac Landings of April 1915, New Zealand's Anzac Day has, in the years since then, been improvised, ritualised, shared, and fought over. From … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The fundamental factor in the existence of a Russian cult of the war dead was the public sphere and its particular characteristics in postwar Russian culture and politics, not a divergence from Europe in the Russian war experience. During World War I, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The article examines the main characteristics of commemorative processes which took place after the First World War in several countries in South East Europe. In many cases, the citizens of future joint states had fought on opposite sides during war, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines how Switzerland has remembered and commemorated the First World War, during which the country maintained a state of neutrality but in which it was still manifoldly involved. It suggests a periodisation following from the historical … 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
  • This article outlines the historiographical development from Africa’s treatment as a sideshow of World War I to attention to the conflict’s global dimensions starting in the age of decolonisation and attempts to integrate Africa’s role into this new … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Charles E.W. Bean’s twelve-volume ''Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918'' (1921-1942) dominated Australian historiography of the Great War for four decades. The theme of the ''Official History'', that the Australian nation was born … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Apart from a few brief words regarding the relevant scientific work of international scholars, this article focuses primarily on Austrian World War I historiography from 1918 to the present. Hence, characteristics of historiography in the “German … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • After a promising start, academic historiography of the First World War in Belgium fell silent after 1928. There was nothing that resembled an academic field of World War I studies in Belgium for decades. Two reasons might be the strength of Flemish … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Bulgarian historiography of World War One can be divided into three periods: a period between the two world wars, a period of ideological interpretation (1944-1989, though a tendency toward objective research and new areas of study was already visible … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Canada’s historiography of the First World War has tended to emphasize the war as a coming of age moment, with the exploits of soldiers engendering nationalism and greater independence from Britain. Particular emphasis has been placed on certain battles … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War has been a neglected topic in Chinese historiography from 1918 to today. Although it was a point of attention among contemporaries, both nationalists and communists did not want to remember the war. This article uncovers three major … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • East Central European historians of the First World War have focused and continue to focus on the regaining independence and state-building processes that took place in East Central Europe in the first half of the 20th century. During communist … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The history of the Great War has always been written by an array of actors, including academics who were nonetheless a minority prior to the 1960s. The existing scientific historiography is based on the work of successive generations of historians long … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article details the historiography of South Asian involvement in the First World War. It traces the process from early examples, such as the battle histories written by J.W.B. Merewether and Frederick Smith, and by James Willcocks shortly after the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Scholarship on Latin American history has for decades largely ignored the First World War as a major event in which the continent played a part. This was mainly due to historiography’s focus on the nation and as well as initially on diplomatic and later … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Anglo-French historiography on the Arab lands during World War I originated as European personal reflections and campaign analyses. Following World War II, scholarly literature reexamined the same campaigns but also considered promises made by the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article surveys New Zealand historiography of the First World War since 1918. It outlines the key frameworks studies have been pursued within, how these have developed over time and notes major … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Serbian historiography was analysed in light of Serbia’s historical position and role in the Western Balkans. The topics evolved out of the war’s origin and course, as well as out of Serbia’s relation to European historiography during … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War in Africa has been considered a sideshow compared to the catastrophe that took place in European theatre of war. As a result, the historiography of South Africa’s participation in the First World War has reflected this relative lack … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article provides the first continent-wide overview of the catastrophic, worldwide “Spanish” influenza pandemic in Africa. It focuses on the virus’ arrival, the countermeasures that vainly tried to stem it, its lethal and paralyzing impact on … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article seeks to analyze how the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the oldest existing humanitarian organization, coped with the outbreak of the First World and its aftermath. By using innovative methods of work and by deploying an … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Russian Civil War of 1917-20 was closely related to the World War in terms of its cause, conduct, and results. This article discusses the two distinct phases of the Civil War, which were divided by the collapse of the Central Powers. It examines the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • For Italy, the mass death of soldiers in the First World War was a completely unprecedented experience. An enormous amount of time and effort were expended to cope with it. Assorted microcosms of commemoration had already formed during the war at all … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Armistice agreement foresaw the occupation of the left bank of the Rhine, the dates of which were set by the Treaty of Versailles. The inter-allied occupation was a long-term endeavour: the French settled in the south and the Belgians in the north of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1914, Allied leaders plunged Africans into a conflict that was not their own. In West Africa, British and French colonial troops quickly occupied Togo, while the conquest of Cameroon proved much more difficult. A relatively short campaign led by white … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines the politics of the German (''Generalgouvernement'' Warschau) and Austro-Hungarian (''Militärgeneralgouvernement'' Lublin) occupation of the Kingdom of Poland during World War One. Both occupation governments strove to exploit the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article studies Germany’s experiences of occupation during and immediately after the First World War. The first section examines the French attack on Alsace-Lorraine in August 1914 and the Russian invasions of East Prussia from August 1914 until … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The occupation of the Arab lands of the Ottoman Empire was essentially the by-product of the war, but it had been in the making for a long time. Despite their attempt to appear as liberators rather than occupiers, the British and, later, the French … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Memories of occupation by foreign forces are not usually articulated except when prisoners of war speak of their experiences when debriefed. These are usually shameful episodes in the lives of those who survived. Collaboration with the enemy often … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Occupation played a crucial role in Eastern Europe between 1914 and 1921: the highly mobile front allowed trenches to be shifted over hundreds of miles, resulting in the usurpation of foreign lands. While Russia only managed to occupy Habsburg Galicia and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The occupation of South East Europe 1915-1918 had a complex structure reflecting different and often conflicting territorial claims and goals. In the fall of 1915 Serbia was divided into Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian and German occupation zones. The … 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
  • Agrarianism became a major political force in the independent states that emerged from the western periphery of the Russian Empire at the end of the First World War. Politicians of agrarian parties attained influential government positions in both Poland … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article argues that the shifts in the colonial administration after World War One should be analyzed from two intertwined perspectives: Firstly the new international system of the mandates and its language of development, and secondly the concrete … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The outbreak of war in 1914 interrupted a political crisis within the United Kingdom over the future of Ireland. Irish nationalists had been promised devolved government, which Ulster Unionists had pledged to resist by any means necessary. The failure to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The economic development of African territories in the years following World War I was fostered by European and American capital, as well as by African societies’ innovations in agricultural methods and strategies for organizing labor. African colonies … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Belgium had suffered considerable economic losses during the war, which was fought on part of its territory. Aside from the direct damages as a result of warfare, industry nearly came to a standstill under the German occupation, causing mass unemployment, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland – all countries founded after World War I on the ruins of the Russian Empire – had to face more complex challenges than most of the stable western states. The countries of East Central Europe needed to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • At the end of the war, all the belligerent countries had to face the dramatic consequences caused by a murderous and devastating conflict. France was no exception, especially as the majority of the battles on the western front occurred on its ground. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Starting from the essential parameters of the Italian economy and finance in the post-war years, this article points out the similarities with the evolution of other capitalist economies, and the elements of divergence. It then focuses on the economic and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Latin American countries continued to pursue export-led growth after the First World War. However, the external environment was by then much less favourable. Export growth was therefore modest. Fiscal and financial policies became more orthodox after the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The post-war economy was shaped by wartime changes. Compensation issues for soldiers and their families loomed and played out against a backdrop of post-war volatility – a boom followed by a depression. In the later 1920s, compensation issues were not … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In the context of the Russian economy’s spectacular collapse under the strain of the First World War and the 1917 revolution, this article analyses the two main phases of economic strategy in Soviet territory between the October Revolution and the de … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War devastated the human workforce through death and invalidity and caused a massive destruction of infrastructure and material in South East Europe. Its economies underwent a major setback from an already unfavorable situation. In … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1923, Turkey was declared a republic after fighting against the Allied occupation (1919-1922) following the First World War. In the 1920s, the Turkish political leadership was mainly engaged in making reforms at the political level. At the economic … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article will address the key political features in the post-war years of the Portuguese First Republic (1919-1926). Although the strategy of participation in the First World War opened a significant political crisis that extended its consequences … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Two factors made it especially important for Portugal’s interventionists not only to seize control of the Paris Peace Conference negotiations, but also to emerge victorious from the conference. The first was the nature of the Portuguese intervention in … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article focuses on the Africans who fought in the First World War and the role they played in bringing about social transformation in postwar African societies. It sheds light on the ex-soldiers as entrepreneurs and missionaries. The essay concludes … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Australia’s Great War was both unifying and divisive. The Anzac legend that celebrated soldiers’ achievements fostered national pride and confidence, but the war widened fissures based on class, religion, and ethnicity. In particular, the debate over … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Although in late 1918 countries of East Central Europe had different forms of government and military situations, they all faced similar social problems. First, the wartime ethnicization reached its peak during the phase of imperial collapse in Russia and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • French post-war society had to face the consequences of a mass death experienced on an unprecedented scale. Reintegrating the demobilized soldiers into civil society also constituted a major challenge in the immediate context of the post-war economic … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Identifying the three processes of “normalization”, liberalization, and militarization as key features of post-war Germany, this essay attempts to explain the dissonance between a largely successful military and economic demobilization, and an … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Post-war Italy was the only country that proved unable to use victory as a rhetorical device to consolidate its political system. Internal divisions rendered the old liberal ruling classes incapable of closing ranks in response to the post-war … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In contrast with the war in the West and its aftermath, the First World War in Eastern Europe did not come to an end in 1918, but instead gave rise to wars of national independence and to a prolonged civil war in the territory of the former Russian … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • South East European societies faced several challenges in the post-war period. Their population changed significantly as a consequence of war losses, war-conditioned migrations and territorial reshaping. As predominantly agrarian countries, they were … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In peacemaking in the former Ottoman Empire, a discrepancy developed between the discursive power of the Paris Peace Conference to make treaties, and the material power to determine the situation on the ground. In the Arabic-speaking lands, the Great … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • No British government had ever formed or provided for an army of the size required to honour its military commitments during the Great War. The initial treatment and ongoing support for veterans thus led to unprecedented demands on the government to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Portugal financed the extraordinary expenditures of the First World War in the same way as many other countries, i.e. running budgetary deficits, issuing debt, and printing money. By the end of the war, all nations were facing the same dilemma - they … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • China, which joined the Allied cause in 1917, profited economically from the First World War. This was due less to the young Republic’s direct involvement in the hostilities than the increased European demand for Chinese raw materials and food imports … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Though Switzerland was not conquered, its economy was strongly affected by the First World War, negatively as well as positively. On the one hand, the import of foodstuff and raw materials deteriorated towards the end of the war and inflation reduced the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic

Encyclopedic Entries

  • 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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  • This entry explains the Amritsar Massacre of 13 April 1919. It charts the events of the Massacre itself and the colonialist and nationalist imaginings of the Massacre that … READ MORE

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  • ''Arditi'' were elite assault troops in the Italian army. They also emerged on Italy’s post-war political scene thanks to newly formed associations. Even though many of them had ties to fascism, ''Arditi''’s active involvement in politics … READ MORE

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  • ''Askari'' is a word that means “soldier” or “police” in Kiswahili, Arabic, Turkish and a number of other languages. Colonial powers in many parts of eastern, central and southern Africa used the term widely to refer to the African soldiers who … 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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  • Max Bauer was a German artillery expert and a key suborndinate in the German Supreme Command. A loyal suporter of Ludendorff, Bauer intrigued against Falkenhayn and consistently pushed for the further militarisation of German everyday life. He played a … READ MORE

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  • The Great War was a severe trial for Belarus and its population. It ruined the local economy and caused a massive exodus of refugees. An attempt to establish Belarusian statehood was made during the chaos caused by the collapse of the Russian Empire, … READ MORE

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  • Edvard Beneš was a Czech politician, diplomat, and close collaborator of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. As Secretary General of the Czechoslovak National Council in Paris from 1916 to 1918, he successfully organized Czechoslovak propaganda; helped create the … READ MORE

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  • The "Black and Tans" were British ex-soldiers recruited to reinforce the United Kingdom’s police force in Ireland. The "Auxiliaries" were a temporary force of paramilitary police, composed of British ex-officers. Both the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries … READ MORE

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  • As a Flemish nationalist, August Borms actively collaborated with the Germans during the First World War. As a result of his ten-year imprisonment and his death sentence he became a true symbol of Flemish … READ MORE

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  • Elsa Brändström was the only neutral representative to work amongst prisoners of war (POWs) in Russia, Siberia, and Turkestan for five and a half years between winter between winter 1914 and summer 1920. POWs called her the “Angel of Siberia.” She … 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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  • During the First World War, the Bureau of Investigation, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, became a leading federal agency for the suppression of dissent. Bureau agents collected information for prosecutions under wartime sedition statutes but … 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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  • The Cenotaph is a major British war memorial. Standing in Whitehall, London, it was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and first unveiled on 19 July 1919. It provided an immediate focus for public grief following the First World War and has remained central to … READ MORE

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  • Michael Collins was a revolutionary leader who rose to become chairman of the Irish provisional government in 1922 and Commander-in-chief of its army in the brief interval that supervened before his death the same year. He sought to use violence in a … READ MORE

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  • Cossacks were warrior subjects who provided the tsars with mounted troops in return for land. The First World War and the revolutions of 1905 and 1917 brutalised and weakened the Cossack communities but also galvanised assertions of Cossack identity, only … READ MORE

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  • The Czechoslovak Legion was a military formation of Czechs, Slovaks, exiles, and former prisoners of war organized in Russia in 1914 to fight in the First World War. The article describes the history of the Czechoslovak military formations in Russia … READ MORE

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  • De Valera was a prominent figure in the Easter 1916 rebellion against British rule. He subsequently became head of the Irish … 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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  • The First World War, the Russian revolutions of February and October 1917, and the ensuing Civil War created a wave of emigration from the territories of the Russian Empire into Western and Central Europe and Chinese Manchuria. Émigré life was marked by … READ MORE

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  • Eupen-Malmedy is the name given to the two districts that Germany ceded to Belgium in 1920 as a consequence of the Treaty of Versailles. This cession and the semblance of a “referendum”, organised in 1920, turned the territory into a Belgian-German … READ MORE

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  • The Finnish Civil War was fought between the socialist Reds and the non-socialist Whites in the newly sovereign state. The conflict lasted from late January until mid-May 1918 and resulted in a White victory. The war began as an offshoot of the October … 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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  • Juozas Gabrys was one of the major advocates of Lithuanian political aspirations in the international arena from 1911 to 1918. He contributed to the establishment of the Council of Lithuania in 1917. However, by acting mainly abroad, he gradually lost … READ MORE

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  • At the start of the First World War, tens of thousands of Germans lived in Belgium, with noted communities in Antwerp and Brussels. How the Germans in Belgium experienced the war years, ranging from initial expulsion over partial return, to eventual … READ MORE

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  • Count Rüdiger von der Goltz was a German army general during the First World War who commanded divisions on the western and the eastern fronts. In 1918, he was also the commander of the German “Baltic Sea Division” during the civil war in Finland. … READ MORE

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  • As head of the Railway Section at the General Staff, Groener was responsible for the timely transport of troops to the front in August 1914. He was sacked from the Supreme Army Command (''Oberste Heeresleitung'', OHL) in August 1917 and deployed to the … 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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  • General Józef Haller was one of the best known Polish military commanders of the First World War period, a lieutenant of the Polish Legions, commander of the II Brigade of the Polish Legions, commander of the Polish Army in France, Inspector General of … 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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  • Paul von Hindenburg shot to fame after the Battle of Tannenberg in August 1914. He was Germany’s national hero of wartime, soon eclipsing the Kaiser. Appointed to the Supreme Command in 1916, he increasingly took on a political role. His myth survived … READ MORE

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  • After the First World War, Hitler created a mythical account of his war years for political gain. This account was a far cry from the realities of his war experience on the Western … READ MORE

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  • Horthy was a naval officer of Austria-Hungary. During the First World War he was first in command of a cruiser and then chief commander of the navy. After the war he took part in the counter-revolution in Hungary against the Bolshevik regime; following … READ MORE

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  • The so-called “Wars of Independence” in the Baltics were part of a larger conflict and continuing warfare in Eastern Europe. After the proclamations of independence and the November Armistice, national Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian armies were … 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 "khaki" general election of 1918 was held in Great Britain almost immediately after the Armistice. It was the first held under what was almost universal adult suffrage. The result was a crushing victory for a coalition comprised of Liberals supporting … 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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  • Aleksandr Vasil'evich Kolchak was a Russian admiral and political figure. He participated in the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, and the Russian Civil War. He was one of the leaders of the White movement in eastern Russia and was proclaimed … 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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  • Béla Kun was a Hungarian communist politician. He began his career as a social democrat. During the First World War he was captured by the Russians and later became a Bolshevik in Russia. From 1918 onward, he filled significant positions in the … READ MORE

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  • Johan Laidoner, Estonian general and statesman, started his career in the Russian army during World War I. He was crucial in establishing an Estonian army, which he commanded in the War of Independence (1918-20). In 1934 he participated in a coup … READ MORE

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  • In 1921 and 1922 the highest German court, the ''Reichsgericht'' in Leipzig, under pressure from the Allied powers, put seventeen Germans on trial for suspected war crimes in twelve trials. The trials and their results were criticized in both Germany and … READ MORE

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  • Vladimir Il’ich Lenin was the founder and leader of the Bolshevik Party and of the Soviet state up until his death. Theoretically and practically he combined the strategy of a socialist revolution with imperialism and war. After thus successfully … READ MORE

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  • Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck was commander of the German colonial troops in East Africa from 1914 to 1918. Lettow-Vorbeck faced far superior British, South African, Belgian, and Portuguese forces, but only surrendered after hostilities ended in Europe. He thus … READ MORE

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  • B.H. Liddell Hart served as a British infantry officer on the Western Front in 1915 and 1916 until he was gassed during the Somme Offensive. He is best known for his military historical and theoretical writing which contributed to a more critical … READ MORE

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  • Karl Liebknecht was the leading German socialist opponent of the First World War. He was the first member of parliament to vote against the financing of the war. On 1 May 1916 he was arrested and imprisoned for giving an anti-war speech in central Berlin. … READ MORE

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  • A few weeks before his entry in Brussels, on 22 November 1918, Albert I, King of the Belgians, held talks with various politicians in Loppem Castle. Some particularly important decisions were made, including the establishment of a new government and the … READ MORE

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  • Felix Graf von Luckner, the so-called “sea-devil”, was a German naval officer. During the Great War he became famous as a successful, but always gallant raider in the South Sea, until the merchant raider under his command, the sailing-vessel … READ MORE

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  • Nestor Makhno was a commander of peasant insurgents who fought the Bolsheviks, Whites and Ukrainian nationalists in the South East of present-day Ukraine. His espousal of anarchism has won him supporters among many Western anarchists, but some historians … READ MORE

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  • A Finnish aristocrat, Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim served as cavalry commander in the Imperial Russian army during the First World War. After the Russian Revolution, he commanded Finnish White forces in the Finnish Civil War of 1918. He served as the Head … READ MORE

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  • Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk was a Czech politician who started the Czechoslovak independence movement abroad. As head of the Czechoslovak National Council from 1916 to 1918, he provided an ideological basis for Czechoslovak propaganda, helped create the … READ MORE

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  • Georg Michaelis is usually portrayed as the politically failed chancellor of 1917. His resignation after fourteen weeks in office was the first overthrow of a Reich chancellor initiated by Reichstag political parties. Before he was appointed chancellor, … READ MORE

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  • Japanese interest in expansion into the South Pacific began in the 1870s. World War I provided a long sought after chance for the Japanese Imperial Navy to enhance its standing and gain a strategically important base. Japanese claims to the South Sea … 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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  • The Treaty of Neuilly was signed on 27 November 1919 between Bulgaria and the Allied and Associated Powers in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. Its territorial clauses were considered by Bulgarian society to be a national catastrophe and the definitive failure … READ MORE

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  • Francesco Nitti was minister of the Treasury in the Orlando Cabinet after the defeat of Caporetto in 1917 and prime minister of Italy in 1919. During his mandate he signed the treaty of Saint-Germain, started the economic reconversion of the country and … READ MORE

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  • War, massacres, displacement, famine and economic crisis left over 100,000 children orphaned across the Ottoman Empire during WWI. Though most orphans were left to fend for themselves, as their numbers swelled, state and charitable groups began to set up … 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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  • The Palmer Raids were efforts by the United States Department of Justice to arrest and deport suspected leftists and anarchists between November 1919 and January 1920. In response to the growing fear of political radicalism, United States Attorney General … 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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  • Friedrich von Payer was vice-chancellor of the German Empire from November 1917 to November 1918. In November 1918, he was offered the position of Reich chancellor, which he declined. After the First World War, Payer became a founding member of the German … READ MORE

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  • During the Russian Civil War, peasant uprisings swept the former Russian Empire. In 1918 and 1919, these uprisings were mainly local responses to requisitioning and conscription. In 1920 and 1921, the uprisings became larger in scale, above all in Tambov. … 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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  • Józef Klemens Piłsudski was a Polish statesman, socialist politician, freedom fighter, and soldier. He commanded the Polish Legions during the First World War, and served as the first chief of state (1918–1922), marshal (from 1920 onward), prime … READ MORE

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  • In the 19th century, the German-Polish borderlands became the object of nationalist designs on both sides. After 1871, the German nation-state sought to limit Polish citizens’ room for manoeuvre. During the First World War, the issue … READ MORE

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  • The ''Związek Legionistów Polskich'' (Polish Legionaries Union), or ZLP, was an association of veterans of Polish Legions who had fought under Józef Piłsudski for Poland’s independence during the First World War. The ZLP was active from 1922 to … READ MORE

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  • The Polish-Lithuanian border conflict (1914-1924) was a consequence of the processes of modernisation and the course of the First World War. Following the creation of the states of Lithuania and Poland after the war, the latent conflict between them … READ MORE

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  • The hostilities between Bolshevik Russia and Poland started as early as 1919. In April 1920, Poland and Ukraine liberated Kiev from Bolshevik control. However, in the summer of 1919, the Bolsheviks managed to push the Poles back to the Vistula, although … READ MORE

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  • The Polish-Ukrainian conflict over Eastern Galicia in 1918-19 refers to an armed conflict between Poland and the West Ukrainian National Republic (''Zakhidnoukrayins’ka Narodna Respublika,'' ZUNR). It took place largely on the territory of Eastern … READ MORE

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  • To many, the remembrance poppy is the defining symbol of the First World War, embodying loss of innocence and loss of life. Its more potent cousin, the opium poppy, ties the flower to conflicts dating back to antiquity, and its symbolic power persists on … READ MORE

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  • The Red Army was a paradoxical force created by a party deeply suspicious of regular armies. It had many problems and flaws, but its creation was a prerequisite to the Bolshevik victory in the Civil War. This had repercussions for the Soviet state, the … READ MORE

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  • The Red Scare was a period of heightened fear of radicalism in the United States after World War I. Labor unrest, the growth of bolshevism internationally, and a series of bombings triggered a number of government raids on suspected radicals, often in … 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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  • As early as 1915, France considered celebrating those who died for the nation. After four years of debate among political parties and veterans, 11 November became a national holiday in 1922. From the very beginning, the meaning of the ritual was complex … READ MORE

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  • The Treaty of Riga was signed by Poland and the Soviet state on 18 March 1921 and was preceded by a preliminary treaty of 12 October 1920. It ended the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1920 and was a crucial factor in establishing peace in Eastern Europe … 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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  • The Belgian ''Force Publique ''occupied Ruanda and Urundi in 1916 after taking control of Lake Tanganyika from the Germans. This enabled the local populations and individuals to use the change in power for their own ends, on the one hand, and Belgium to … READ MORE

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  • The 1923-1925 Ruhr occupation by France and Belgium was triggered when Germany defaulted on its reparations obligations. A passive resistance campaign obstructed the invaders but collapsed in September 1923. Both sides incurred significant costs and came … READ MORE

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  • The Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed by Austria and twenty-seven Allied and associated countries in the ''Château Neuf'' in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, southwest of Paris, on 10 September 1919. It officially ended World War I for the successor states of the … READ MORE

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  • ''Schwarze Schmach ''was a racist epithet for France’s colonial troops stationed in the German Rhineland after World War I. This early 1920s propaganda campaign focused on alleged sexual crimes by African soldiers to discredit the Versailles Treaty. It … READ MORE

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  • The Swiss Patriotic Federation (''Schweizerischer Vaterländischer Verband'', or SVV) was a private, right-wing association which was set up between 1919 and 1948 in response to the nationwide general strike of 1918. Originally conceived as a civil … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War, political writer and editor of Lithuanian magazines, Antanas Smetona in 1917 became chairman of the Council of Lithuania, which declared Lithuania as an independent state in 1918. He was twice President of Lithuania, 1919-1920 … READ MORE

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  • Upon their defeat in the First World War, German citizens developed strong conspiracies that their war efforts had been ruined by internal forces. These theories came to be known as ''Dolchstoßlegenden'', or stab-in-the-back theories, and they … READ MORE

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  • Joseph Stalin lived in Siberian exile from 1913 until the revolution of March 1917. During the early period after the “February Revolution”, as well as during the year November 1917 to November 1918, Stalin advocated his country’s non-participation … 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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  • 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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  • The Thiepval Memorial commemorates “the Missing of the Somme”: more than 72,000 British and South African soldiers who were killed in the region between 1915 and 1918 but have no known grave. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, it also honours the … READ MORE

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  • At the end of the Great War, many countries determined that they would bury an anonymous corpse to symbolize all those who died on the battlefields. In Italy, the ceremony for the entombment of the Unknown Soldier took place in Rome on 4 November 1921 at … READ MORE

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  • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw was originally built to honor the fallen Polish soldiers of the wars from 1914 to 1921. After the First World War the Cult of the Unknown Soldier commemorated the unidentified war dead throughout the world. In the … READ MORE

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  • The Treaty of Trianon is one of the Paris peace treaties that ended the First World War. It was concluded between Hungary and the Allied and Associated Powers on 4 June 1920 in the Grand Trianon Palace situated in the Versailles Palace park. It sanctioned … READ MORE

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  • Leon Trotsky's communist leadership was partially responsible for bringing about the October Revolution of 1917, after which Russia exited the First World War. Starting as an activist, he became People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs and People’s … READ MORE

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  • At the beginning of the 20th century Ukrainian lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian (Galicia, Transcarpathia, Bukovina) and Russian (the nine right-bank and left-bank provinces) Empires. Therefore, with the beginning of the First World War … READ MORE

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  • Kārlis Ulmanis was the first prime minister of the Republic of Latvia. His four terms of office saw the successful conclusion of the Latvian War of … READ MORE

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  • The ''Union des Nationalités'', alternatively called the ''Office Central des Nationalités'' or ''Bureau des Nationalités'', was created in 1912 in Paris and remained in existence until 1919. Its aim was to promote the cause of national and political … READ MORE

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  • Founded in Lyon in February 1918, the ''Union fédérale'' was the largest veterans’ association in interwar France. It campaigned for the improvement of veterans’ pensions and for the involvement of ex-servicemen in government. It was also a … READ MORE

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  • Founded on 11 November 1918 with the support of French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, the ''Union Nationale des Combattants'' was the largest right-wing veterans’ association in interwar France. It campaigned for the improvement of veterans’ … READ MORE

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  • A race riot is a mob-related domestic disturbance in which specific racial groups are targeted for violence. The United States experienced a significant increase in race riots during and after World War I; much of the violence resulted from a variety of … READ MORE

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  • Jukums Vācietis commanded the 5th ''Zemgale'' Latvian Rifle Battalion. After the October Revolution he sided with the Bolsheviks and became the first commander-in-chief of the Soviet Armed … READ MORE

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  • War veterans’ associations had a significant public voice in Weimar Germany as they claimed to represent the demands of those who had fought for the country. Divided into national, regional, and local branches, veterans’ associations were often an … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War, as professor at the University of Perm (Russia), Augustinas Voldemaras actively participated in the activities of Lithuanian exiles in Russia. In 1917 he argued for Lithuanian independence. On 11 November, 1918 he headed the … READ MORE

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  • The Volunteer Army was the operational formation of anti-Bolshevik forces in South Russian during the period of the Civil War. This army became the basis of the organization of the White Movement. After the defeat of the Whites many soldiers of the … READ MORE

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  • The latter Austrian ''Land'' Vorarlberg saw the rise of a grass root movement for a political union with Switzerland between autumn 1918 and spring 1919. These ideas never materialized, however, as the Paris Peace Treaties vetoed their … READ MORE

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  • During the interwar years, mourning and political exploitation were often closely linked in the commemoration of those killed in the First World War. While the development of German war cemeteries in France and Belgium began in the mid-1920s, numerous … READ MORE

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  • War Communism refers to policies, particularly economic, pursued by the Bolsheviks during the Civil War in response to the ideological and pragmatic demands of consolidating power. It was abandoned in 1921 amidst economic catastrophe and political revolt … READ MORE

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  • German war memorials were sites of both political conflict and personal mourning. Monumental displays of revanchism caused much controversy, but they were not prevalent. A nation without a national war memorial, Weimar Germany, was also one of the few … READ MORE

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  • One third of the 9.7 million soldiers killed or declared missing during the Great War left behind a widow. The mourning of these women was conditioned as much by the social conventions practiced during the time of peace as by the new constraints brought … READ MORE

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  • The Menin Gate in Ypres is the best known of the memorials to the missing in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's care. Designed by architect Sir Reginald Blomfield it is where the Last Post, the only daily ceremony in the world commemorating the dead … READ MORE

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See also

  • Since 1905 Britain had paid the Afghan ruler, Amir Habibullah, a subsidy and had controlled Afghanistan’s foreign relations, and he maintained Afghanistan’s neutrality throughout World War I in spite of strong pressure to induce him to join the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Though largely understudied to date, the regions in the western Balkans inhabited by Albanian speakers were afflicted by World War I in distinctive ways. The parceling out of former Ottoman lands to satiate the needs of neighboring political and economic … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The impact of the First World War on Australia was so profound that its memory dominates the national political culture even today, in the form of the Anzac “legend.” The mass casualties suffered in the Gallipoli campaign, Palestine and on the Western … READ MORE

    Regional
  • This article presents a survey of the First World War in the region of today’s states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. Chronologically the article begins with the outbreak of the war in August 1914 and ends with the conclusion of the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • From 1912 to 1918 Bulgaria engaged in a prolonged conflict that began in victory in 1913 and ended in defeat in 1918. During that period, the conflict exhausted Bulgaria’s manpower and material resources. By the end of the fighting in 1918, Bulgaria was … READ MORE

    Regional
  • This article discusses China’s role in the First World War with a focus on the country’s contribution to the war and the role of the war in shaping Chinese development and its place in the world. Contrary to common knowledge, China was not only … READ MORE

    Regional
  • 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
  • Ireland’s war experience cannot be separated from Irish politics. Indeed, the story is not one of 1914-18 but of 1912-23, as the vast majority of people sought to change Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom, resisted by others who, though a minority, … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Despite its neutrality, Luxembourg was occupied in August 1914 mainly for its strategic value. For four years, the national elites engaged in a difficult policy of cooperation with the German occupier. This choice did not prevent a deterioration of the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Montenegro entered the First World War politically and militarily exhausted. The outcome of the First and Second Balkan Wars in 1912 and 1913 had a devastating impact on the future of Montenegro. From 1914 until January 1916, the Montenegrin army fought … READ MORE

    Regional
  • New Zealand was the British Dominion furthest from the conflict in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Nonetheless with Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, New Zealand and its one million inhabitants were enmeshed in the Great War. The whole … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The Ottoman and European colonial contexts are the necessary background for understanding northern Africa’s unique history with both Allied and Central powers. The impact of European state-building, imperialist ideology, and industrialization upon … READ MORE

    Regional
  • During the Great War, the Ottoman Empire fought on several major and minor fronts, both in the Middle East and in the Balkans. Although initially seen as a military liability by its allies and a weak enemy by its foes, Ottoman armies delivered some heavy … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The outbreak of the First World War coincided with a period in Persian history when, following the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1909, the Iranians were poised to refashion the constitutional order and establish an independent, accountable and … READ MORE

    Regional
  • This paper presents the process of building an independent Polish state during the First World War, which, from the Polish perspective, was the most important result of this conflict. The article focuses mainly on the political and military developments … READ MORE

    Regional
  • World War I afforded the first opportunity for modern Romania to participate in a war which had a larger than regional horizon (South East Europe). The most important reason for participation was interest in gaining territories belonging to … READ MORE

    Regional
  • The Russian Empire entered the war in order to preserve its Great Power status, but it ended the war in a bout of revolution and decolonization. The army had a mixed record in the war, losing several key battles but remaining a dangerous force until the … READ MORE

    Regional
  • A short synthesis on Serbia's role and experience in the Great War encompasses several questions that still provoke controversies and offer many carefully reexamined data on issues such as war efforts in general, war casualties, war financing, refugees … READ MORE

    Regional
  • Siam (Thailand) declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary in mid-1917. In 1918 it sent a small expeditionary force to France, the only troops of an independent Southeast Asian country to participate in the war in Europe and the occupation of Germany. … 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
  • In 1914, the Union of South Africa was four years old; its military only two. British supremacy in the South African War (1899-1902) provoked different responses from English and Afrikaner white South Africans to World War I. Prime Minister Botha, seeing … 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
  • The idea for the unification of the Southern Slavs emerged in the 19th century and the strength of its appeal varied over the course of its development. During the First World War, unification became the main war aim of the government of the … READ MORE

    Regional

Survey Articles (Thematic)

  • The First World War saw the colonial empires of France and Britain mobilised to aid European and imperial war efforts. This mobilisation and the difficulties of demobilisation placed considerable strain on imperial systems which were only partly addressed … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The First World War was not only the precondition of the rise of fascist movements in a general way: more definitely, the fascists presented themselves as the heirs of the trench combatants. German ''Sturmtruppen'' and Italian ''arditi ''were chosen by … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • There have been four generations of historical writing about the 1914-1918 war. The first was composed of contemporaries who either fought in the war or helped run it, and spanned the period 1914-1939. Their focus was political and military. The second … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • By examining the origins, pathways, demographic impact and consequences for the public, the medical profession and governments, of the so-called “Spanish” influenza pandemic of 1918-1919, this article establishes the main contours of the worst … 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
  • The Great War gave new impulses to the further development of public welfare systems which had emerged in previous decades. The desire for the social protection of the population and the restoration of economic and living conditions destroyed by the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The Russian civil war was not simply a conflict between Red communists and White monarchists; rather, it involved a complex intertwining of military, social and political issues that were created or exacerbated by the Great War. It ended with the very … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • The debate about the origins of the war remains a vibrant area of historical research. It has been characterised by a number of features. First, from the outset, political concerns shaped the debate, though these preoccupations have become less … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • This article offers an overview of peacemaking after the First World War from the armistices of 1918 until 1923. It considers the outcomes of the five Parisian treaties (Versailles, Saint-Germain and Neuilly in 1919 and Trianon and Sèvres in 1920) … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • Veterans’ associations formed an influential social movement during the interwar period. They provided the platform for former soldiers to commemorate the war and their fallen comrades and to discuss their post-war problems. The associations merged the … READ MORE

    Thematic
  • There are in the literature on the economic history of the Great War different approaches to the interpretation of war finance and inflation in Germany. Some scholars have analysed war finance and inflation in the context of economic mobilization during … READ MORE

    Thematic

Regional Thematic Articles

  • This article considers patterns of bereavement and mourning in Australia both during and immediately after the Great War. It argues that the conditions of modern warfare and sheer distance from the battlefields contributed to a sense of unreconciled loss … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • War victims left a huge vacuum both for their kin and society, which showed signs of weakening. While private bereavement was centered on deep personal grief, the state organized a public cult of the dead to supervise, channel and shape public mourning. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Some 70,000 Canadians died while in military service during the First World War, a loss that made commemoration imperative. The memory that emerged stressed the values for which the war had been fought and the new sense of national identity that emerged … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • From 1919 through the early 1920s, Americans energetically memorialized their role in the First World War. They built literally thousands of community monuments and functional memorials (such as buildings and parks), implemented an elegant scheme for … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Commemoration in the form of ceremonies and monuments was for the most part alien to African cultures and was largely a part of the European colonial project. As such, its main aim was to glorify colonialism. This article focuses on the commemoration of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The memory of the First World War has played a prominent role in Australian political culture. The Anzac legend, originating in the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, soon became the foundational narrative of an emerging nation. Despite profound changes in … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The scope of the commemorations that developed in Belgium and in the remainder of Europe showed the population’s need to keep the memory of World War I alive. The majority of Belgian municipalities erected their own war memorials through local … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In the countries of East Central Europe, the commemoration of soldiers who fell during the First World War followed a complex trajectory. After 1918, governments invested in war cemeteries and war memorials primarily as a means of commemorating the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War was commemorated in numerous ways in post-1918 Germany. Local and national monuments and activities of veterans’ organizations’ were some of the most visible forms of commemoration, although not the only ones. These commemorations … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Memorials designed to commemorate Indochina’s war dead were generally spearheaded by French agencies and commissions. The act of commemoration was laden with a variety of meanings. The question of who would be commemorated and according to which faith … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In Newfoundland, the cult of the fallen followed the military disaster that befell the Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont Hamel on 1 July 1916. Newfoundland and imperial officials portrayed the tragedy as a glorious sacrifice, beginning a wartime tradition … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Anzac Day is the primary method of New Zealand public engagement with the Great War. Commemorating the failed Anzac Landings of April 1915, New Zealand's Anzac Day has, in the years since then, been improvised, ritualised, shared, and fought over. From … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The fundamental factor in the existence of a Russian cult of the war dead was the public sphere and its particular characteristics in postwar Russian culture and politics, not a divergence from Europe in the Russian war experience. During World War I, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The article examines the main characteristics of commemorative processes which took place after the First World War in several countries in South East Europe. In many cases, the citizens of future joint states had fought on opposite sides during war, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines how Switzerland has remembered and commemorated the First World War, during which the country maintained a state of neutrality but in which it was still manifoldly involved. It suggests a periodisation following from the historical … 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
  • This article outlines the historiographical development from Africa’s treatment as a sideshow of World War I to attention to the conflict’s global dimensions starting in the age of decolonisation and attempts to integrate Africa’s role into this new … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Charles E.W. Bean’s twelve-volume ''Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918'' (1921-1942) dominated Australian historiography of the Great War for four decades. The theme of the ''Official History'', that the Australian nation was born … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Apart from a few brief words regarding the relevant scientific work of international scholars, this article focuses primarily on Austrian World War I historiography from 1918 to the present. Hence, characteristics of historiography in the “German … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • After a promising start, academic historiography of the First World War in Belgium fell silent after 1928. There was nothing that resembled an academic field of World War I studies in Belgium for decades. Two reasons might be the strength of Flemish … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Bulgarian historiography of World War One can be divided into three periods: a period between the two world wars, a period of ideological interpretation (1944-1989, though a tendency toward objective research and new areas of study was already visible … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Canada’s historiography of the First World War has tended to emphasize the war as a coming of age moment, with the exploits of soldiers engendering nationalism and greater independence from Britain. Particular emphasis has been placed on certain battles … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War has been a neglected topic in Chinese historiography from 1918 to today. Although it was a point of attention among contemporaries, both nationalists and communists did not want to remember the war. This article uncovers three major … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • East Central European historians of the First World War have focused and continue to focus on the regaining independence and state-building processes that took place in East Central Europe in the first half of the 20th century. During communist … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The history of the Great War has always been written by an array of actors, including academics who were nonetheless a minority prior to the 1960s. The existing scientific historiography is based on the work of successive generations of historians long … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article details the historiography of South Asian involvement in the First World War. It traces the process from early examples, such as the battle histories written by J.W.B. Merewether and Frederick Smith, and by James Willcocks shortly after the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Scholarship on Latin American history has for decades largely ignored the First World War as a major event in which the continent played a part. This was mainly due to historiography’s focus on the nation and as well as initially on diplomatic and later … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Anglo-French historiography on the Arab lands during World War I originated as European personal reflections and campaign analyses. Following World War II, scholarly literature reexamined the same campaigns but also considered promises made by the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article surveys New Zealand historiography of the First World War since 1918. It outlines the key frameworks studies have been pursued within, how these have developed over time and notes major … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Serbian historiography was analysed in light of Serbia’s historical position and role in the Western Balkans. The topics evolved out of the war’s origin and course, as well as out of Serbia’s relation to European historiography during … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War in Africa has been considered a sideshow compared to the catastrophe that took place in European theatre of war. As a result, the historiography of South Africa’s participation in the First World War has reflected this relative lack … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article provides the first continent-wide overview of the catastrophic, worldwide “Spanish” influenza pandemic in Africa. It focuses on the virus’ arrival, the countermeasures that vainly tried to stem it, its lethal and paralyzing impact on … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article seeks to analyze how the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the oldest existing humanitarian organization, coped with the outbreak of the First World and its aftermath. By using innovative methods of work and by deploying an … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Russian Civil War of 1917-20 was closely related to the World War in terms of its cause, conduct, and results. This article discusses the two distinct phases of the Civil War, which were divided by the collapse of the Central Powers. It examines the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • For Italy, the mass death of soldiers in the First World War was a completely unprecedented experience. An enormous amount of time and effort were expended to cope with it. Assorted microcosms of commemoration had already formed during the war at all … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The Armistice agreement foresaw the occupation of the left bank of the Rhine, the dates of which were set by the Treaty of Versailles. The inter-allied occupation was a long-term endeavour: the French settled in the south and the Belgians in the north of … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1914, Allied leaders plunged Africans into a conflict that was not their own. In West Africa, British and French colonial troops quickly occupied Togo, while the conquest of Cameroon proved much more difficult. A relatively short campaign led by white … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article examines the politics of the German (''Generalgouvernement'' Warschau) and Austro-Hungarian (''Militärgeneralgouvernement'' Lublin) occupation of the Kingdom of Poland during World War One. Both occupation governments strove to exploit the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article studies Germany’s experiences of occupation during and immediately after the First World War. The first section examines the French attack on Alsace-Lorraine in August 1914 and the Russian invasions of East Prussia from August 1914 until … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The occupation of the Arab lands of the Ottoman Empire was essentially the by-product of the war, but it had been in the making for a long time. Despite their attempt to appear as liberators rather than occupiers, the British and, later, the French … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Memories of occupation by foreign forces are not usually articulated except when prisoners of war speak of their experiences when debriefed. These are usually shameful episodes in the lives of those who survived. Collaboration with the enemy often … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Occupation played a crucial role in Eastern Europe between 1914 and 1921: the highly mobile front allowed trenches to be shifted over hundreds of miles, resulting in the usurpation of foreign lands. While Russia only managed to occupy Habsburg Galicia and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The occupation of South East Europe 1915-1918 had a complex structure reflecting different and often conflicting territorial claims and goals. In the fall of 1915 Serbia was divided into Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian and German occupation zones. The … 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
  • Agrarianism became a major political force in the independent states that emerged from the western periphery of the Russian Empire at the end of the First World War. Politicians of agrarian parties attained influential government positions in both Poland … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article argues that the shifts in the colonial administration after World War One should be analyzed from two intertwined perspectives: Firstly the new international system of the mandates and its language of development, and secondly the concrete … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The outbreak of war in 1914 interrupted a political crisis within the United Kingdom over the future of Ireland. Irish nationalists had been promised devolved government, which Ulster Unionists had pledged to resist by any means necessary. The failure to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The economic development of African territories in the years following World War I was fostered by European and American capital, as well as by African societies’ innovations in agricultural methods and strategies for organizing labor. African colonies … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Belgium had suffered considerable economic losses during the war, which was fought on part of its territory. Aside from the direct damages as a result of warfare, industry nearly came to a standstill under the German occupation, causing mass unemployment, … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland – all countries founded after World War I on the ruins of the Russian Empire – had to face more complex challenges than most of the stable western states. The countries of East Central Europe needed to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • At the end of the war, all the belligerent countries had to face the dramatic consequences caused by a murderous and devastating conflict. France was no exception, especially as the majority of the battles on the western front occurred on its ground. … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Starting from the essential parameters of the Italian economy and finance in the post-war years, this article points out the similarities with the evolution of other capitalist economies, and the elements of divergence. It then focuses on the economic and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Latin American countries continued to pursue export-led growth after the First World War. However, the external environment was by then much less favourable. Export growth was therefore modest. Fiscal and financial policies became more orthodox after the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The post-war economy was shaped by wartime changes. Compensation issues for soldiers and their families loomed and played out against a backdrop of post-war volatility – a boom followed by a depression. In the later 1920s, compensation issues were not … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In the context of the Russian economy’s spectacular collapse under the strain of the First World War and the 1917 revolution, this article analyses the two main phases of economic strategy in Soviet territory between the October Revolution and the de … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • The First World War devastated the human workforce through death and invalidity and caused a massive destruction of infrastructure and material in South East Europe. Its economies underwent a major setback from an already unfavorable situation. In … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In 1923, Turkey was declared a republic after fighting against the Allied occupation (1919-1922) following the First World War. In the 1920s, the Turkish political leadership was mainly engaged in making reforms at the political level. At the economic … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article will address the key political features in the post-war years of the Portuguese First Republic (1919-1926). Although the strategy of participation in the First World War opened a significant political crisis that extended its consequences … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Two factors made it especially important for Portugal’s interventionists not only to seize control of the Paris Peace Conference negotiations, but also to emerge victorious from the conference. The first was the nature of the Portuguese intervention in … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • This article focuses on the Africans who fought in the First World War and the role they played in bringing about social transformation in postwar African societies. It sheds light on the ex-soldiers as entrepreneurs and missionaries. The essay concludes … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Australia’s Great War was both unifying and divisive. The Anzac legend that celebrated soldiers’ achievements fostered national pride and confidence, but the war widened fissures based on class, religion, and ethnicity. In particular, the debate over … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Although in late 1918 countries of East Central Europe had different forms of government and military situations, they all faced similar social problems. First, the wartime ethnicization reached its peak during the phase of imperial collapse in Russia and … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • French post-war society had to face the consequences of a mass death experienced on an unprecedented scale. Reintegrating the demobilized soldiers into civil society also constituted a major challenge in the immediate context of the post-war economic … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Identifying the three processes of “normalization”, liberalization, and militarization as key features of post-war Germany, this essay attempts to explain the dissonance between a largely successful military and economic demobilization, and an … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Post-war Italy was the only country that proved unable to use victory as a rhetorical device to consolidate its political system. Internal divisions rendered the old liberal ruling classes incapable of closing ranks in response to the post-war … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In contrast with the war in the West and its aftermath, the First World War in Eastern Europe did not come to an end in 1918, but instead gave rise to wars of national independence and to a prolonged civil war in the territory of the former Russian … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • South East European societies faced several challenges in the post-war period. Their population changed significantly as a consequence of war losses, war-conditioned migrations and territorial reshaping. As predominantly agrarian countries, they were … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • In peacemaking in the former Ottoman Empire, a discrepancy developed between the discursive power of the Paris Peace Conference to make treaties, and the material power to determine the situation on the ground. In the Arabic-speaking lands, the Great … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • No British government had ever formed or provided for an army of the size required to honour its military commitments during the Great War. The initial treatment and ongoing support for veterans thus led to unprecedented demands on the government to … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Portugal financed the extraordinary expenditures of the First World War in the same way as many other countries, i.e. running budgetary deficits, issuing debt, and printing money. By the end of the war, all nations were facing the same dilemma - they … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • China, which joined the Allied cause in 1917, profited economically from the First World War. This was due less to the young Republic’s direct involvement in the hostilities than the increased European demand for Chinese raw materials and food imports … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic
  • Though Switzerland was not conquered, its economy was strongly affected by the First World War, negatively as well as positively. On the one hand, the import of foodstuff and raw materials deteriorated towards the end of the war and inflation reduced the … READ MORE

    Regional Thematic

Encyclopedic Entries

  • 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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  • This entry explains the Amritsar Massacre of 13 April 1919. It charts the events of the Massacre itself and the colonialist and nationalist imaginings of the Massacre that … READ MORE

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  • ''Arditi'' were elite assault troops in the Italian army. They also emerged on Italy’s post-war political scene thanks to newly formed associations. Even though many of them had ties to fascism, ''Arditi''’s active involvement in politics … READ MORE

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  • ''Askari'' is a word that means “soldier” or “police” in Kiswahili, Arabic, Turkish and a number of other languages. Colonial powers in many parts of eastern, central and southern Africa used the term widely to refer to the African soldiers who … 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

    Entry
  • Max Bauer was a German artillery expert and a key suborndinate in the German Supreme Command. A loyal suporter of Ludendorff, Bauer intrigued against Falkenhayn and consistently pushed for the further militarisation of German everyday life. He played a … READ MORE

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  • The Great War was a severe trial for Belarus and its population. It ruined the local economy and caused a massive exodus of refugees. An attempt to establish Belarusian statehood was made during the chaos caused by the collapse of the Russian Empire, … READ MORE

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  • Edvard Beneš was a Czech politician, diplomat, and close collaborator of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. As Secretary General of the Czechoslovak National Council in Paris from 1916 to 1918, he successfully organized Czechoslovak propaganda; helped create the … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The "Black and Tans" were British ex-soldiers recruited to reinforce the United Kingdom’s police force in Ireland. The "Auxiliaries" were a temporary force of paramilitary police, composed of British ex-officers. Both the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries … READ MORE

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  • As a Flemish nationalist, August Borms actively collaborated with the Germans during the First World War. As a result of his ten-year imprisonment and his death sentence he became a true symbol of Flemish … READ MORE

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  • Elsa Brändström was the only neutral representative to work amongst prisoners of war (POWs) in Russia, Siberia, and Turkestan for five and a half years between winter between winter 1914 and summer 1920. POWs called her the “Angel of Siberia.” She … 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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  • During the First World War, the Bureau of Investigation, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, became a leading federal agency for the suppression of dissent. Bureau agents collected information for prosecutions under wartime sedition statutes but … 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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  • The Cenotaph is a major British war memorial. Standing in Whitehall, London, it was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and first unveiled on 19 July 1919. It provided an immediate focus for public grief following the First World War and has remained central to … READ MORE

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  • Michael Collins was a revolutionary leader who rose to become chairman of the Irish provisional government in 1922 and Commander-in-chief of its army in the brief interval that supervened before his death the same year. He sought to use violence in a … READ MORE

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  • Cossacks were warrior subjects who provided the tsars with mounted troops in return for land. The First World War and the revolutions of 1905 and 1917 brutalised and weakened the Cossack communities but also galvanised assertions of Cossack identity, only … READ MORE

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  • The Czechoslovak Legion was a military formation of Czechs, Slovaks, exiles, and former prisoners of war organized in Russia in 1914 to fight in the First World War. The article describes the history of the Czechoslovak military formations in Russia … READ MORE

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  • De Valera was a prominent figure in the Easter 1916 rebellion against British rule. He subsequently became head of the Irish … 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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  • The First World War, the Russian revolutions of February and October 1917, and the ensuing Civil War created a wave of emigration from the territories of the Russian Empire into Western and Central Europe and Chinese Manchuria. Émigré life was marked by … READ MORE

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  • Eupen-Malmedy is the name given to the two districts that Germany ceded to Belgium in 1920 as a consequence of the Treaty of Versailles. This cession and the semblance of a “referendum”, organised in 1920, turned the territory into a Belgian-German … READ MORE

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  • The Finnish Civil War was fought between the socialist Reds and the non-socialist Whites in the newly sovereign state. The conflict lasted from late January until mid-May 1918 and resulted in a White victory. The war began as an offshoot of the October … 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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  • Juozas Gabrys was one of the major advocates of Lithuanian political aspirations in the international arena from 1911 to 1918. He contributed to the establishment of the Council of Lithuania in 1917. However, by acting mainly abroad, he gradually lost … READ MORE

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  • At the start of the First World War, tens of thousands of Germans lived in Belgium, with noted communities in Antwerp and Brussels. How the Germans in Belgium experienced the war years, ranging from initial expulsion over partial return, to eventual … READ MORE

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  • Count Rüdiger von der Goltz was a German army general during the First World War who commanded divisions on the western and the eastern fronts. In 1918, he was also the commander of the German “Baltic Sea Division” during the civil war in Finland. … READ MORE

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  • As head of the Railway Section at the General Staff, Groener was responsible for the timely transport of troops to the front in August 1914. He was sacked from the Supreme Army Command (''Oberste Heeresleitung'', OHL) in August 1917 and deployed to the … 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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  • General Józef Haller was one of the best known Polish military commanders of the First World War period, a lieutenant of the Polish Legions, commander of the II Brigade of the Polish Legions, commander of the Polish Army in France, Inspector General of … 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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  • Paul von Hindenburg shot to fame after the Battle of Tannenberg in August 1914. He was Germany’s national hero of wartime, soon eclipsing the Kaiser. Appointed to the Supreme Command in 1916, he increasingly took on a political role. His myth survived … READ MORE

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  • After the First World War, Hitler created a mythical account of his war years for political gain. This account was a far cry from the realities of his war experience on the Western … READ MORE

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  • Horthy was a naval officer of Austria-Hungary. During the First World War he was first in command of a cruiser and then chief commander of the navy. After the war he took part in the counter-revolution in Hungary against the Bolshevik regime; following … READ MORE

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  • The so-called “Wars of Independence” in the Baltics were part of a larger conflict and continuing warfare in Eastern Europe. After the proclamations of independence and the November Armistice, national Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian armies were … 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 "khaki" general election of 1918 was held in Great Britain almost immediately after the Armistice. It was the first held under what was almost universal adult suffrage. The result was a crushing victory for a coalition comprised of Liberals supporting … 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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  • Aleksandr Vasil'evich Kolchak was a Russian admiral and political figure. He participated in the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, and the Russian Civil War. He was one of the leaders of the White movement in eastern Russia and was proclaimed … 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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  • Béla Kun was a Hungarian communist politician. He began his career as a social democrat. During the First World War he was captured by the Russians and later became a Bolshevik in Russia. From 1918 onward, he filled significant positions in the … READ MORE

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  • Johan Laidoner, Estonian general and statesman, started his career in the Russian army during World War I. He was crucial in establishing an Estonian army, which he commanded in the War of Independence (1918-20). In 1934 he participated in a coup … READ MORE

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  • In 1921 and 1922 the highest German court, the ''Reichsgericht'' in Leipzig, under pressure from the Allied powers, put seventeen Germans on trial for suspected war crimes in twelve trials. The trials and their results were criticized in both Germany and … READ MORE

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  • Vladimir Il’ich Lenin was the founder and leader of the Bolshevik Party and of the Soviet state up until his death. Theoretically and practically he combined the strategy of a socialist revolution with imperialism and war. After thus successfully … READ MORE

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  • Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck was commander of the German colonial troops in East Africa from 1914 to 1918. Lettow-Vorbeck faced far superior British, South African, Belgian, and Portuguese forces, but only surrendered after hostilities ended in Europe. He thus … READ MORE

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  • B.H. Liddell Hart served as a British infantry officer on the Western Front in 1915 and 1916 until he was gassed during the Somme Offensive. He is best known for his military historical and theoretical writing which contributed to a more critical … READ MORE

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  • Karl Liebknecht was the leading German socialist opponent of the First World War. He was the first member of parliament to vote against the financing of the war. On 1 May 1916 he was arrested and imprisoned for giving an anti-war speech in central Berlin. … READ MORE

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  • A few weeks before his entry in Brussels, on 22 November 1918, Albert I, King of the Belgians, held talks with various politicians in Loppem Castle. Some particularly important decisions were made, including the establishment of a new government and the … READ MORE

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  • Felix Graf von Luckner, the so-called “sea-devil”, was a German naval officer. During the Great War he became famous as a successful, but always gallant raider in the South Sea, until the merchant raider under his command, the sailing-vessel … READ MORE

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  • Nestor Makhno was a commander of peasant insurgents who fought the Bolsheviks, Whites and Ukrainian nationalists in the South East of present-day Ukraine. His espousal of anarchism has won him supporters among many Western anarchists, but some historians … READ MORE

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  • A Finnish aristocrat, Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim served as cavalry commander in the Imperial Russian army during the First World War. After the Russian Revolution, he commanded Finnish White forces in the Finnish Civil War of 1918. He served as the Head … READ MORE

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  • Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk was a Czech politician who started the Czechoslovak independence movement abroad. As head of the Czechoslovak National Council from 1916 to 1918, he provided an ideological basis for Czechoslovak propaganda, helped create the … READ MORE

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  • Georg Michaelis is usually portrayed as the politically failed chancellor of 1917. His resignation after fourteen weeks in office was the first overthrow of a Reich chancellor initiated by Reichstag political parties. Before he was appointed chancellor, … READ MORE

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  • Japanese interest in expansion into the South Pacific began in the 1870s. World War I provided a long sought after chance for the Japanese Imperial Navy to enhance its standing and gain a strategically important base. Japanese claims to the South Sea … 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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  • The Treaty of Neuilly was signed on 27 November 1919 between Bulgaria and the Allied and Associated Powers in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. Its territorial clauses were considered by Bulgarian society to be a national catastrophe and the definitive failure … READ MORE

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  • Francesco Nitti was minister of the Treasury in the Orlando Cabinet after the defeat of Caporetto in 1917 and prime minister of Italy in 1919. During his mandate he signed the treaty of Saint-Germain, started the economic reconversion of the country and … READ MORE

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  • War, massacres, displacement, famine and economic crisis left over 100,000 children orphaned across the Ottoman Empire during WWI. Though most orphans were left to fend for themselves, as their numbers swelled, state and charitable groups began to set up … 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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  • The Palmer Raids were efforts by the United States Department of Justice to arrest and deport suspected leftists and anarchists between November 1919 and January 1920. In response to the growing fear of political radicalism, United States Attorney General … 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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  • Friedrich von Payer was vice-chancellor of the German Empire from November 1917 to November 1918. In November 1918, he was offered the position of Reich chancellor, which he declined. After the First World War, Payer became a founding member of the German … READ MORE

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  • During the Russian Civil War, peasant uprisings swept the former Russian Empire. In 1918 and 1919, these uprisings were mainly local responses to requisitioning and conscription. In 1920 and 1921, the uprisings became larger in scale, above all in Tambov. … 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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  • Józef Klemens Piłsudski was a Polish statesman, socialist politician, freedom fighter, and soldier. He commanded the Polish Legions during the First World War, and served as the first chief of state (1918–1922), marshal (from 1920 onward), prime … READ MORE

    Entry
  • In the 19th century, the German-Polish borderlands became the object of nationalist designs on both sides. After 1871, the German nation-state sought to limit Polish citizens’ room for manoeuvre. During the First World War, the issue … READ MORE

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  • The ''Związek Legionistów Polskich'' (Polish Legionaries Union), or ZLP, was an association of veterans of Polish Legions who had fought under Józef Piłsudski for Poland’s independence during the First World War. The ZLP was active from 1922 to … READ MORE

    Entry
  • The Polish-Lithuanian border conflict (1914-1924) was a consequence of the processes of modernisation and the course of the First World War. Following the creation of the states of Lithuania and Poland after the war, the latent conflict between them … READ MORE

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  • The hostilities between Bolshevik Russia and Poland started as early as 1919. In April 1920, Poland and Ukraine liberated Kiev from Bolshevik control. However, in the summer of 1919, the Bolsheviks managed to push the Poles back to the Vistula, although … READ MORE

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  • The Polish-Ukrainian conflict over Eastern Galicia in 1918-19 refers to an armed conflict between Poland and the West Ukrainian National Republic (''Zakhidnoukrayins’ka Narodna Respublika,'' ZUNR). It took place largely on the territory of Eastern … READ MORE

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  • To many, the remembrance poppy is the defining symbol of the First World War, embodying loss of innocence and loss of life. Its more potent cousin, the opium poppy, ties the flower to conflicts dating back to antiquity, and its symbolic power persists on … READ MORE

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  • The Red Army was a paradoxical force created by a party deeply suspicious of regular armies. It had many problems and flaws, but its creation was a prerequisite to the Bolshevik victory in the Civil War. This had repercussions for the Soviet state, the … READ MORE

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  • The Red Scare was a period of heightened fear of radicalism in the United States after World War I. Labor unrest, the growth of bolshevism internationally, and a series of bombings triggered a number of government raids on suspected radicals, often in … 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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  • As early as 1915, France considered celebrating those who died for the nation. After four years of debate among political parties and veterans, 11 November became a national holiday in 1922. From the very beginning, the meaning of the ritual was complex … READ MORE

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  • The Treaty of Riga was signed by Poland and the Soviet state on 18 March 1921 and was preceded by a preliminary treaty of 12 October 1920. It ended the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1920 and was a crucial factor in establishing peace in Eastern Europe … 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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  • The Belgian ''Force Publique ''occupied Ruanda and Urundi in 1916 after taking control of Lake Tanganyika from the Germans. This enabled the local populations and individuals to use the change in power for their own ends, on the one hand, and Belgium to … READ MORE

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  • The 1923-1925 Ruhr occupation by France and Belgium was triggered when Germany defaulted on its reparations obligations. A passive resistance campaign obstructed the invaders but collapsed in September 1923. Both sides incurred significant costs and came … READ MORE

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  • The Treaty of Saint-Germain was signed by Austria and twenty-seven Allied and associated countries in the ''Château Neuf'' in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, southwest of Paris, on 10 September 1919. It officially ended World War I for the successor states of the … READ MORE

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  • ''Schwarze Schmach ''was a racist epithet for France’s colonial troops stationed in the German Rhineland after World War I. This early 1920s propaganda campaign focused on alleged sexual crimes by African soldiers to discredit the Versailles Treaty. It … READ MORE

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  • The Swiss Patriotic Federation (''Schweizerischer Vaterländischer Verband'', or SVV) was a private, right-wing association which was set up between 1919 and 1948 in response to the nationwide general strike of 1918. Originally conceived as a civil … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War, political writer and editor of Lithuanian magazines, Antanas Smetona in 1917 became chairman of the Council of Lithuania, which declared Lithuania as an independent state in 1918. He was twice President of Lithuania, 1919-1920 … READ MORE

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  • Upon their defeat in the First World War, German citizens developed strong conspiracies that their war efforts had been ruined by internal forces. These theories came to be known as ''Dolchstoßlegenden'', or stab-in-the-back theories, and they … READ MORE

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  • Joseph Stalin lived in Siberian exile from 1913 until the revolution of March 1917. During the early period after the “February Revolution”, as well as during the year November 1917 to November 1918, Stalin advocated his country’s non-participation … 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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  • 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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  • The Thiepval Memorial commemorates “the Missing of the Somme”: more than 72,000 British and South African soldiers who were killed in the region between 1915 and 1918 but have no known grave. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, it also honours the … READ MORE

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  • At the end of the Great War, many countries determined that they would bury an anonymous corpse to symbolize all those who died on the battlefields. In Italy, the ceremony for the entombment of the Unknown Soldier took place in Rome on 4 November 1921 at … READ MORE

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  • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw was originally built to honor the fallen Polish soldiers of the wars from 1914 to 1921. After the First World War the Cult of the Unknown Soldier commemorated the unidentified war dead throughout the world. In the … READ MORE

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  • The Treaty of Trianon is one of the Paris peace treaties that ended the First World War. It was concluded between Hungary and the Allied and Associated Powers on 4 June 1920 in the Grand Trianon Palace situated in the Versailles Palace park. It sanctioned … READ MORE

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  • Leon Trotsky's communist leadership was partially responsible for bringing about the October Revolution of 1917, after which Russia exited the First World War. Starting as an activist, he became People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs and People’s … READ MORE

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  • At the beginning of the 20th century Ukrainian lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian (Galicia, Transcarpathia, Bukovina) and Russian (the nine right-bank and left-bank provinces) Empires. Therefore, with the beginning of the First World War … READ MORE

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  • Kārlis Ulmanis was the first prime minister of the Republic of Latvia. His four terms of office saw the successful conclusion of the Latvian War of … READ MORE

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  • The ''Union des Nationalités'', alternatively called the ''Office Central des Nationalités'' or ''Bureau des Nationalités'', was created in 1912 in Paris and remained in existence until 1919. Its aim was to promote the cause of national and political … READ MORE

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  • Founded in Lyon in February 1918, the ''Union fédérale'' was the largest veterans’ association in interwar France. It campaigned for the improvement of veterans’ pensions and for the involvement of ex-servicemen in government. It was also a … READ MORE

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  • Founded on 11 November 1918 with the support of French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, the ''Union Nationale des Combattants'' was the largest right-wing veterans’ association in interwar France. It campaigned for the improvement of veterans’ … READ MORE

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  • A race riot is a mob-related domestic disturbance in which specific racial groups are targeted for violence. The United States experienced a significant increase in race riots during and after World War I; much of the violence resulted from a variety of … READ MORE

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  • Jukums Vācietis commanded the 5th ''Zemgale'' Latvian Rifle Battalion. After the October Revolution he sided with the Bolsheviks and became the first commander-in-chief of the Soviet Armed … READ MORE

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  • War veterans’ associations had a significant public voice in Weimar Germany as they claimed to represent the demands of those who had fought for the country. Divided into national, regional, and local branches, veterans’ associations were often an … READ MORE

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  • During the First World War, as professor at the University of Perm (Russia), Augustinas Voldemaras actively participated in the activities of Lithuanian exiles in Russia. In 1917 he argued for Lithuanian independence. On 11 November, 1918 he headed the … READ MORE

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  • The Volunteer Army was the operational formation of anti-Bolshevik forces in South Russian during the period of the Civil War. This army became the basis of the organization of the White Movement. After the defeat of the Whites many soldiers of the … READ MORE

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  • The latter Austrian ''Land'' Vorarlberg saw the rise of a grass root movement for a political union with Switzerland between autumn 1918 and spring 1919. These ideas never materialized, however, as the Paris Peace Treaties vetoed their … READ MORE

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  • During the interwar years, mourning and political exploitation were often closely linked in the commemoration of those killed in the First World War. While the development of German war cemeteries in France and Belgium began in the mid-1920s, numerous … READ MORE

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  • War Communism refers to policies, particularly economic, pursued by the Bolsheviks during the Civil War in response to the ideological and pragmatic demands of consolidating power. It was abandoned in 1921 amidst economic catastrophe and political revolt … READ MORE

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  • German war memorials were sites of both political conflict and personal mourning. Monumental displays of revanchism caused much controversy, but they were not prevalent. A nation without a national war memorial, Weimar Germany, was also one of the few … READ MORE

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  • One third of the 9.7 million soldiers killed or declared missing during the Great War left behind a widow. The mourning of these women was conditioned as much by the social conventions practiced during the time of peace as by the new constraints brought … READ MORE

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  • The Menin Gate in Ypres is the best known of the memorials to the missing in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's care. Designed by architect Sir Reginald Blomfield it is where the Last Post, the only daily ceremony in the world commemorating the dead … READ MORE

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