Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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War Letters

(596 words)

Author(s): Jakob, Neil
War Letters War letters from soldiers were already published in large numbers during the war, but also in the postwar period. Just after the outbreak of hostilities, war letters were almost immediately published in all warring countries, at first in newspapers and later in book form. In the beginning, they were mostly intended to satisfy the population’s longing for eyewitness accounts, but also to support the public image of the war-enthusiastic nation and of the successful war in a propagandisti…

War Interpretations

(2,359 words)

Author(s): Hüppauf, Bernd
War Interpretations During the first days of the World War people already began to suspect that this was not an ordinary conflict that might be seen as a continuation of 19th-century European wars. This perception of the war called for an interpretation, which the writers, intellectuals, philosophers, and scholars of all warring nations were only too willing to provide. The prominent public persons (though seldom women) of all major powers and of their former colonies …

Encountering the ‘Enemy’: Prisoner of War Transport and the Development of War Cultures in 1914

(11,480 words)

Author(s): Jones, Heather
Jones, Heather - Encountering the ‘Enemy’: Prisoner of War Transport and the Development of War Cultures in 1914 Keywords: Prisoners of War | Home fronts | Society | Published memoirs and biographies | Politics | Germany | Britain | France ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.006 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Jones, Heather

Pan-German League

(886 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
Pan-German League Radical nationalistic organization in Germany. The Pan-German League (Alldeutscher Verband, ADV) was founded in Berlin in April 1891 and (until 1894) operated under the name Allgemeiner Deutscher Verband (“General German Association”). It was formed as a non-party organization on the initiative of a small circle of activists that included representatives from the community of “ethnic Germans” living outside of the German Empire ( Volksdeutsche), several colonial propagandists with ties to Carl Peters, and Alfred Hugenberg, who was still a yo…

Women Readers of Henri Barbusse: The Evidence of Letters to the Author

(5,284 words)

Author(s): Smith, Leonard V.
Smith, Leonard V. - Women Readers of Henri Barbusse: The Evidence of Letters to the Author Keywords: Literature | Women and War | Experience of combat | French society during the war | Home fronts | Politics | Gender ‛Warfare and Belligerence’ Pierre Purseigle, Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2005 e-ISBN: 9789047407362 DOI: 10.1163/9789047407362.014 © 2005 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Smith, Leonard V.

Szögyény-Marich, László (Ladislaus) de

(262 words)

Author(s): Kronenbitter, Günther
Szögyény-Marich, László (Ladislaus) de (November 12, 1841, Vienna – June 11, 1916, Csór), Austro-Hungarian diplomat. At first Szögyény-Marich participated in Hungarian politics as a nobleman. After 1883, he worked in the Foreign Ministry of the Habsburg Monarchy. Later as minister, he represented the Hungarian government at the Royal Court in Vienna. In 1892 he was named Austria-Hungary’s ambassador to Berlin, an office which he held until 1914. Szögyény-Marich was actually scheduled to retire in sp…

Haase, Hugo

(360 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Haase, Hugo (September 29, 1863, Allenstein – November 7, 1919, Berlin [murdered]), German politician. One of the two chairmen of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD; Social Democratic Party of Germany) from 1911 onward, Haase opposed the Burgfrieden (Fortress Truce) policy that had been adopted by the majority of his party. He nonetheless bowed to party discipline. Speaking before the Reichstag on August 4, 1914, he read out the declaration in which the SPD approved the war credits – against his own conviction. Until…

Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este

(274 words)

Author(s): Kronenbitter, Günther
Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este (December 18, 1863, Graz – June 28, 1914, Sarajevo [murdered]), Archduke of Austria-Este. Obligatory for archdukes, Franz Ferdinand underwent military service, soon advancing in royal succession after the suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf in 1889. Convinced that the struggle for independence of the Magyar political elites would very soon destroy the Habsburg Empire, Franz Ferdinand opposed, without compromising, every concession to Hungary. Instead, he planned a…

‘If It Had Happened Otherwise’—First World War Exceptionalism in Counterfactual History

(8,232 words)

Author(s): Badsey, Stephen
Badsey, Stephen - ‘If It Had Happened Otherwise’—First World War Exceptionalism in Counterfactual History Keywords: counterfactual history | exceptionalism | First World War | Uchronia ISFWWS-Keywords: Legacy | Literature | General | Politics | Experience of combat Abstract: While any historical event or development has unique characteristics, historians use the term ‘exceptionalism’ to identify those which appear to have no equivalent. The counterfactual history website Uchronia lists in its database some 2,600 books, stories and articles of counterfact…

Rumors

(703 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Rumors In all societies involved in the World War, social culture was influenced by “informal communication” media. In addition to military letters, trench newspapers, and unofficial leaflets and pamphlets, a large number of rumors supplied the lack of social information once censorship had caused the public media to lose credibility. In many places these rumors contained could a mixture of propaganda, popular cultural mythology, visions driven by panic fear, and (though very rarely) genuine information. An initial surge in war rumors can be observed in connection with…

Grey, Sir Edward

(405 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Grey, Sir Edward (April 25, 1862, Fallodon, County of Northumberland – September 7, 1933, Fallodon; from 1916 First Viscount Grey of Fallodon), British politician. Grey was foreign secretary from 1905 to 1916, and chief architect of Britain’s foreign policy before the war. After studying at Balliol College, Oxford, he was elected to the House of Commons in 1885 as Liberal member of parliament for the constituency of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Grey retained this seat for his entire political career. As par…

Salandra, Antonio

(328 words)

Author(s): Isnenghi, Mario
Salandra, Antonio (August 13, 1853, Troia [Foggia Province] – December 9, 1931, Rome), Italian politician, prime minister. A lawyer from Apulia, later Professor of Constitutional Studies and Constitutional Law, was from 1886 a liberal right-wing member of parliament under Sidney Sonnino. He held office several times as secretary of state and minister, always playing a mediating role between the leaders of the Liberal Party, Sonnino and Giolitti. He became prime minister in March 1914. His period i…

Reichsbund Jüdischer Frontsoldaten

(289 words)

Author(s): Sieg, Ulrich
Reichsbund Jüdischer Frontsoldaten Reich Federation of Jewish Front Soldiers. Founded in early 1919 by Captain Leo Löwenstein, this veterans’ organization worked primarily to counter the disparagement of Jewish World War patriotism. The organization’s local chapters quickly gained a following, especially among Jewish liberals. During the Kapp Putsch of 1920 and the Berlin Scheunenviertel ( Jewish Quarter) Riot of 1923, members defended the Jewish residents against Antisemitic attacks. In 1925 the Reichsbund jüdischer Frontsoldaten counted as the …

Carson, Sir Edward Henry

(338 words)

Author(s): Horne, John
Carson, Sir Edward Henry (February 9, 1854, Dublin – October 22, 1935; from 1921 Baron Carson of Duncairn), Minster (Kent), Anglo-Irish politician (British First Lord of the Admiralty). As a Protestant, Carson was a lifelong committed advocate of the union of Ireland with Great Britain. He began his career as a barrister, and eventually became a leading English Conservative politician. Carson led the Unionists in the north of Ireland during the Ireland Crisis of 1912, supporting their threat to oppo…

Sitwell, Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverell

(339 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Sitwell, Sir Francis Osbert Sacheverell (December 6, 1892, London – May 4, 1969, Florence), British writer. Sitwell enlisted with the First Battalion of the Grenadier Guards in December 1914. His experience of trench warfare between 1914 and 1917 awakened in him a profound awareness of the pointlessness of the slaughter, an awareness he sought to articulate in his early poems. Sitwell and his sister Edith, who was also active as a poet and writer, influenced the younger generation of writers in the 1…

Peace Movements

(1,734 words)

Author(s): Holl, Karl
Peace Movements Social and political movements, at first based in the middle class, appearing from the early 19th century. “Pacifism” was organized in the form of peace societies and unions on national and local levels. In Germany the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft, DFG (German Peace Society), was founded in 1892. Their aim was cooperation with peace organizations in other countries, at first by means of international peace congresses, and from the end of the 19th century through the International Peace Office in Bern. The expectation of so-called organized pacifism, accordin…

Langemarck Legend

(647 words)

Author(s): Hüppauf, Bernd
Langemarck Legend One of the peculiarities of the First World War was the mythologizing of towns and locations where strategically decisive or particularly costly battles had been fought. The resulting legends combined facts, interpretations, and fantasies to form collective memories that transcended military events and the topographical limits of the battlefields concerned. Of the three legendary battles that occupied a prominent place in Germany’s consciousness for decades – Langemarck, Tannenbe…

Heinrich (Henry), Prince of Prussia

(395 words)

Author(s): Schranz, Daniel
Heinrich (Henry), Prince of Prussia (August 14, 1862, Potsdam – April 20, 1929, Hemmelmark [now belonging to Barkelsby]), German grand admiral. Heinrich was born in 1862 the second son of the future Kaiser Friedrich III. At the age of 15 he became the only Prussian prince to embark upon a military career in the Imperial Navy. After completing naval college Heinrich was promoted lieutenant commander in 1882. He was given his first command, a torpedo boat, in 1886. This was followed by a series sea-goi…

Moltke, Helmuth Johannes Ludwig von (the Younger)

(578 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Moltke, Helmuth Johannes Ludwig von (the Younger) (May 25, 1848, Gersdorff [Mecklenburg] – June 18, 1916, Berlin), German general; chief of the Army General Staff and nephew of Field Marshal von Moltke. In 1869 Moltke joined Fusilier Regiment the Queen’s No. 86 (Schleswig-Holstein), taking part in the Franco-Prussian War as a lieutenant. In 1872 he succeeded in transferring to the 1st Foot Guards Regiment. Moltke’s later military career was shaped by his closeness to his famous uncle – Moltke was his a…

Lichnowsky, Prince Karl Max

(442 words)

Author(s): Wüstenmeyer, Manfred
Lichnowsky, Prince Karl Max (March 8, 1860, Kreuzenort [near Ratibor, Upper Silesia] – February 27, 1928, Berlin), German diplomat. In some ways Lichnowsky was a typical representative of the Imperial German diplomatic class, which consisted overwhelmingly of members of the nobility. Nevertheless, Lichnowsky was an independent and shrewd individual. Wilhelm II appointed him ambassador to London in the autumn of 1912, against the objections of the German Foreign Ministry. The Kaiser’s hope that the appointment of an Anglophile as his representative might ensure Br…
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