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.
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.