In: Wie Demokratien enden
The Cultural Impact of the First World War
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.
Von Athen bis zu Putins Russland
Mit dem Ende des Kalten Krieges erschien die Demokratie als klares Erfolgsmodell. Doch die um 1990 begonnene Demokratisierung in Osteuropa, Afrika und Lateinamerika hat allzu häufig mit Rückfällen in autoritäre Systeme geendet. Auch die Hoffnungen auf einen „arabischen Frühling“ wurden weitgehend enttäuscht. China zeigt als größte Nation der Erde keine Anzeichen einer Demokratisierung. Und in Europa und Nordamerika haben populistische Bewegungen, deren demokratische Ausrichtung zumindest zweifelhaft ist, breiten Zulauf. Selbst die ältesten Demokratien stecken heute in der Krise.
Dieses Buch öffnet den Blick auf die beunruhigende Tatsache, dass das Scheitern von Demokratien ein durchaus häufiges Phänomen ist, für das die Geschichte reiches Anschauungsmaterial bietet. Ausgewiesene Historiker schildern in kompakten Einzelkapiteln das Ende der Volksherrschaft in Athen, Frankreich, Italien, Deutschland, Spanien, Pakistan, Burma, Chile und Russland. So spannt sich der Bogen vom Ende der ersten Demokratie in Athen über das 19. und 20. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart. Doch nichts ist zwangsläufig: Aus den Fehlern der Vergangenheit lässt sich für die Gestaltung der Zukunft lernen.
The Second World War and Beyond
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 Image of Japan’s Military Abroad
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.
The Portrayal of Destruction and Mass Violence
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.