The battles of the First World War created a fundamentally new impression of war. Total warfare, the use of propaganda, chemical weapons, and every possible other measure to ensure victory defined the event that should later be known as the »Great War«, because it caused so many deaths and much suffering. The catastrophe also had an impact on the humanities, which inevitably had to deal with the processing of an event that seemed to be too big to be clearly understood by the human mind. The present volume covers several interdisciplinary perspectives by dealing with the impact of the war on the humanities during and after the conflict that deeply influenced the mindset of the 20th century.
War Memorials were an important element of nation building, for the invention of traditions, and the establishment of historical traditions. Especially nationalist remembrance in the late 19th century and the memory of the First World War stimulated a memorial boom in the period which the present book is focusing on.
The remembrance of war is nothing particularly new in history, since victories in decisive battles had been of interest since ancient times. However, the age of nationalism and the First World War triggered a new level of war remembrance that was expressed in countless memorials all over the world. The present volume presents the research of international specialists from different disciplines within the Humanities, whose research is dealing with the role of war memorials for the remembrance of conflicts like the First World War and their perceptions within the analyzed societies. It will be shown how memorials – in several different chronological and geographical contexts – were used to remember the dead, remind the survivors, and warn the descendants.
Japan has always been fascinating for foreign observers. This volume will show, how its military has been perceived abroad and what image about the Japanese Army existed between 1853 and 1945 in the minds of those who read and heard stories from the Far East.
When forcefully opened by a US mission in 1853, Japan was transformed by its ruling elites into a strong nation state, whose military and political forces wanted to avoid a colonization by foreign powers. Therefore, Japan’s military capacities were of special interest and the army and navy were westernized very fast. Japanese soldiers became known as “Asia’s Prussians”, and were often described as “gallant enemies”. This image, however, should rapidly change after the First World War. During the battles in China since 1937, and the Pacific since 1941, the Japanese soldiers were often referred to as “devils.“ This volume will take a closer look at the images of Japan’s military abroad to show how these images were created, how they changed and what stimulated the differences with regard to the foreign perception of Japan and its military between 1853 and 1945.
With the end of the Second World War, all its violence, war crimes, and sufferings as well as the atomic threat of the Cold War period, societies began to gradually remember wars in a different way. The glorious or honorable element of the age of nationalism was transformed into a rather dunning one, while peace movements demanded an end of war itself.
To analyze these changes and to show how war was remembered after the end of the Second World War, the present volume assembles the work of international specialists who deal with this particular question from different national and international perspectives. The contributions analyze the role of soldiers, perpetrators, and victims of different conflicts, including the Second World War. They show which motivational settings led to the erection of war memorials reflecting the values and historical traditions of the second half of the 20th and the 21st centuries. Thus, this interdisciplinary volume explores how war is commemorated and how its actors and victims are perceived around the globe.
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 critical insight into the relationship between art and war, showing how artists dealt with human losses, destruction, and personal trauma.