The present volume provides a critical insight into the relationship of art and war. It shows how artists perceive war and how they depict it, to warn the spectator but to cure their own trauma at the same time.
War causes destruction, loss, and trauma. Many artists have used their art to express feelings and memories related to these losses and their own traumatic experiences. The artwork that came into existence due to such processes reflects on events of our past, but should be considered a warning at the same time. To deal with human suffering means to fully engage with the artist remains of human war experiences. The present volume aims to provide a first critical insight into the relationship between art and war, showing how artists dealt with human losses, destruction, and personal trauma.
War creates veterans and societies are reminded by their existence that violent conflicts had been waged in the past. Even when the wars have been long forgotten by many, veterans are the ones whose fate has been tied to war and destruction.
Societies often struggle with their veterans, especially when they have to address the former soldiers’ traumatic experiences and acknowledge the wounds that hurt beyond the body. While veterans are often a steady reminder of violent conflicts of the past, they are often ignored by their societies, once peace is achieved. Nevertheless, veterans play an important role in postwar contexts as well and their role, their possible influence and impact in the supposedly non-violent world need to be addressed. The present volume discusses the role of veterans in the aftermath of war and shows how they had been treated by and how societies tried to reintegrate them in narratives of the past.
Im Dezember 1939 verweigerte Hans Langsdorﬀ vor der La-Plata-Mündung einen letzten, aussichtslosen Kampf gegen überlegene britische Seestreitkräfte, sprengte sein Schiﬀ vor Montevideo, rettete seine Besatzung von 1.200 Mann und nahm sich wenige Tage später das Leben. Um seine Gestalt hat sich ein Mythos gebildet, der eine rationale Auseinandersetzung mit seinen Handlungsmotiven zwischen militärischer Loyalität und moralischer Integrität bisher erschwerte. Langsdorﬀ handelte in einer Grenzsituation, räumte der ethischen Dimension den Vorrang ein und übernahm die persönliche Verantwortung, indem er aus dem Leben schied.
In seiner Gesamtbiographie Langsdorﬀs beschreibt der Autor einen Oﬃzier, der zeitlebens versuchte, seine geistige Unabhängigkeit – selbst in der hierarchischen Struktur des Militärs – zu bewahren. Die Achtung vor der Würde des Menschen kennzeichnete seinen Wertekanon, den er auch in Kriege einhielt. Indem Kaack seinen Protagonisten in dessen jeweilige politische und soziale Umwelt einbettet, legt er zugleich ein Stück Mentalitätsgeschichte der deutschen Marine in drei Epochen vor.
A crucial collection of new insights into a topic too often ignored in military history: the close interrelationship between cities and warfare throughout modern history. Scenes of Aleppo’s war-torn streets may be shocking to the world’s majority urban population, but such destruction would be familiar to urban dwellers as early as the third millennium BCE. While war is often narrated as a clash of empires, nation-states, and ‘civilizations’, cities have been the strategic targets of military campaigns, to be conquered, destroyed, or occupied. Cities have likewise been shaped by war, whether transformed for the purposes of military production, reconstructed after bombardment, or renewed as sites for remembering the costs of war. This conference volume draws on the latest research in military and urban history to understand the critical intersection between war and cities.