Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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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…

Film, The First World War in

(1,429 words)

Author(s): Chambers II, John W. | Rother, Rainer
Film, The First World War in ISFWWS-Keywords: Australia | Britain | Canada | Culture | France | Germany | Italy | Russia | The United States of America First published in: Brill's Encyclopedia of the First World War, Gerhard Hirschfeld, Gerd Krumeich, Irina Renz, Markus Pöhlmann and James S. Corum, Leiden (2012) Documentaries and feature films, 1914–1943 (a selection) 1914–1918 England Expects (G.L. Tucker, Great Britain, 1914) The German Spy Peril (W. Barker, Great Britain, 1914) The Great European War (G. Pearson & G.B. Samuelson, Great Britain, 1914) It’s a Long Way to Tipperary…

Epidemics

(1,367 words)

Author(s): Eckart, Wolfgang U.
Epidemics None of the classic war plagues struck with their former severity during the First World War. With the exception of the great influenza epidemic of the final year of the war, the series of significant epidemic diseases that arose occurred in the form of concentrated outbreaks of infectious diseases in the various theaters of war, limited in terms of place and time. The following absolute figures convey at least an impression of the rates of infection in the German field armies and occup…

Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer

(631 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Churchill, Winston Leonard Spencer (November 30, 1874, Blenheim Palace – January 24, 1965, London), British politician. Churchill’s political development in the years leading up to World War I was significantly shaped by the events of the Second Moroccan Crisis of 1911, in the wake of which he was named first lord of the Admiralty. Churchill held several ministerial posts after switching from the Conservatives to the Liberal Party in 1904: from 1905 to 1908 he served as under-secretary of state for …

Jellicoe, John R.

(609 words)

Author(s): Herwig, Holger H.
Jellicoe, John R. (December 5, 1859, Southampton – November, 20, 1935, London; Viscount of Scapa from 1918; Earl Jellicoe from 1915), British admiral. Jellicoe joined the Royal Navy in 1872 and took part in the Russo-Turkish War in 1877 as well as in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. As director of naval ordnance, he had been responsible for equipping HMS Dreadnought with heavy gunnery in 1905. Appointed rear admiral in 1907, Jellicoe was made Third Sea Lord in the following year and supervised the construction of 90 battleships, including eig…

Troeltsch, Ernst

(500 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf
Troeltsch, Ernst (February 17, 1865, Haunstetten near Augsburg – February 1, 1923, Berlin), German theologian, philosopher of culture and historian. In the first two years of the war, Troeltsch, with the authority of a German professor of theology, used his great influence to define public debate about the World War as a “culture war,” providing it with memorable slogans. As early as August 2, 1914, he gave a notable speech to the city and University of Heidelberg announcing his commitment to the …

Talat Pasha, Mehmed (Talât Pasha or Mehmed Talat)

(292 words)

Author(s): Zürcher, Erik Jan
Talat Pasha, Mehmed (Talât Pasha or Mehmed Talat) (September 1, 1874, Adrianople [modern Edirne] – March 15, 1921, Berlin [assassinated]), Ottoman statesman. Born into a poor family, Talat Pasha joined the underground movement of the Young Turks in 1890. He was one of the founding members of the Ottoman Freedom Society, which later joined forces with the Committee of Union and Progress in order to unleash the Constitutional Revolution in July 1908. After the revolution, Talat Pasha became the committee’…

Groener, Wilhelm

(732 words)

Author(s): Kitchen, Martin
Groener, Wilhelm (November 22, 1867, Ludwigsburg – May 3, 1939, Bornstedt [today part of Potsdam]), German general and first quartermaster general in the general staff of the field army. The son of a warrant officer from Württemberg, Groener owed his career in the Prussian-German Army solely to his exceptional skills and was one of the leading “technicians” whose opinions gained increasing weight in the general staff. Groener was a cultivated and liberal man, although he was also receptive to the …

Trench Art

(650 words)

Author(s): Korff, Gottfried
Trench Art The generally accepted cultural-historical term for what, during the First World War and afterwards, was called in Germany Schützengrabenkunst or Kriegsvolkskunst, in France l’art des tranchées or l’artisanat des tranchées, and in Britain also soldiers’ art. Most objects categorized as trench art were produced in military hospitals or prisoner of war camps, using materials found at the front. Examples include flower vases from shell cases, letter openers from shell splinters, small sculptures fashioned in the chalk of the…

War on Stage. Home Front Entertainment in European Metropolises 1914–1918

(6,871 words)

Author(s): Krivanec, Eva
Krivanec, Eva - War on Stage. Home Front Entertainment in European Metropolises 1914–1918 ISFWWS-Keywords: Culture | Home fronts | French society during the war | Germany | Society | Portugal | Austria-Hungary | Science, Technology, and Medicine Other Fronts, Other Wars? Joachim Bürgschwentner, Matthias Egger and Gunda Barth-Scalmani , (2014) Publication Editor: Brill, The Netherlands, 2014 e-ISBN: 9789004279513 DOI: 10.1163/9789004279513_018 © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Krivanec, Eva

Music Theater

(1,707 words)

Author(s): Hebestreit, Oliver
Music Theater There were only a very few voices calling for the cessation of public music-making after the outbreak of the First World War. So music continued to be performed for the duration of the conflict. However, musical institutions and music makers did not remain untouched by the effects of the war, which included the drafting of artists, financial restrictions, the changed character of concert programs and repertoires, and state censorship. In all belligerent states musicians were drafted or went to the front as volunteers. But conscription also affected te…

Women Serving behind the Front

(530 words)

Author(s): Schönberger, Bianca
Women Serving behind the Front Women served as secretarial staff and catering personnel in the rear area and occupation zone, in order to release soldiers for frontline duty. More than 20,000 women auxiliaries worked behind the frontline in the German Army between April 1917 and November 1918, the majority of them on the Western Front. From 1917, women were also employed in the field in the armies of Great Britain (approx. 10,000), Austria-Hungary (approx. 36,000), and the United States (approx. 6,00…

Railways

(539 words)

Author(s): Thoss, Bruno
Railways A means of mass transportation of persons and goods, developed in the 19th century, and adapted for military purposes in the second half of the century. The first extensive and operationally effective implementation of plans for the transportation of major bodies of troops by rail occurred in the wars of 1866 and 1870/1871. From that point on, all general staffs included the railways in their operational plans, and created specialized military units for the construction, safeguarding, an…

Zweig, Arnold

(588 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Thomas F.
Zweig, Arnold (November 10, 1887, Glogau – November 26, 1968, East Berlin), German writer. The son of a Jewish saddle maker, Zweig studied German literature, art history, and modern languages, with a view to becoming a teacher, but then decided to live from his writing. After being drafted in 1915, he took part in the battles in Belgium and Serbia, and at Verdun, as an Armierungssoldat (non-combatant equipment service soldier). In 1917 Zweig became a clerk at the headquarters of the army press office at Ober-Ost Headquarters in Kovno, Lithuania. Contact with Eastern European Jew…

The Mater Dolorosa on the Battlefield— Mourning Mothers in German Women’s Art of the First World War

(10,203 words)

Author(s): Siebrecht, Claudia
Siebrecht, Claudia - The Mater Dolorosa on the Battlefield— Mourning Mothers in German Women’s Art of the First World War Keywords: First World War | German women's art | maternal sacrifice ISFWWS-Keywords: Women and War | Visual Arts | Germany | Religion | Society | Home fronts Abstract: A predominant theme in women's art of the First World War is that of maternal sacrifice. Contemporary women's literature, short stories and poetry also present the experience of mothers sacrificing their sons for the fatherland as the most im…

Czechoslovakia

(939 words)

Author(s): Hadler, Frank
Czechoslovakia One of the successor states to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was assembled from the Bohemian Crown lands located in the Austrian part of the Empire, namely Bohemia, Moravia, and Austrian Silesia, as well as the former Hungarian territories of Slovakia and the Carpathian Ukraine (Ruthenia). The state was founded on October 28, 1918, with the official title of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. In Czechoslovakia as of 1921, a total of 13,613,172 people inhabited an area of 140,484 km2. Under law the 8.7 million Czechs and Slovaks, representing 66% of the total…

Rathenau, Walther

(882 words)

Author(s): Sabrow, Martin
Rathenau, Walther (September 29, 1867, Berlin – June 24, 1922, Berlin [assassinated]), German industrialist and politician. He was the son of Emil Rathenau, later the founder of AEG. Under the Empire he followed a career as an industrial employer which took him to the board of AEG (1899) as proprietor of the Berlin Handels-Gesellschaft (1902), and then to the supervisory board of AEG, of which in 1912 he became chairman. By 1914 Rathenau was one of the most influential German and European major in…

Sailors’ Revolt (Kiel Mutiny)

(1,108 words)

Author(s): Epkenhans, Michael
Sailors’ Revolt (Kiel Mutiny) Beginning in late October 1918, the Sailors’ Revolt ushered in the end of Imperial Germany. Within only just a few days the mutiny spread from Kiel to the entire German Reich. Mutinous sailors, soldiers stationed in the homeland, and industrial workers joined forces to overthrow the antiquated old order. The High Seas Fleet had already been shaken by commotions in the summer of 1917. These had been caused by monotonous on-board duties as well as by poor and unequal foods rations. Another cause of unrest was the latent…

Going Home

(6,187 words)

Author(s): Wolf, Susanne
Wolf, Susanne - Going Home Keywords: Dutch government | Germany | Netherland Abstract: The British ambassador in The Hague wrote to the Dutch government declaring that, as the war was over, all treaties concerning the POWs interned in the Netherlands and Switzerland were no longer valid. To this end the British proposed to send five ships to collect the approximately 5,000 British and Commonwealth men currently interned in the Netherlands. The need to mobilize the army had meant tha…

Monuments

(2,302 words)

Author(s): Behrenbeck, Sabine
Monuments War memorials do not function solely as monuments to the war-dead, but also to “affirm the identity of the survivors” (Reinhart Koselleck). They construct the past in order to cope with the present. War-memorials thus say more about their architects than about the fallen, and the wars they are supposed to commemorate. In the age of mercenary armies, there were no monuments commemorating the common soldier; this honor was reserved for officers and commanders. In Prussia at the beginning of the 19th century, with the introduction of genera…
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