- List of Maps, Tables, and Illustrations
- List of Contributors
- List of Abbreviations
- Origins of Modern Germany
- Senses of Place
- Women and Men: 1760–1960
- States, People, and Nation, 1760–1860
- International Conflict, War, and the Making of Modern Germany, 1740–1815
- Cosmopolitanism and the German Enlightenment
- The Atlantic Revolutions in the German Lands, 1776–1849
- The End of the Economic Old Order: the Great Transition, 1750–1860
- Escaping Malthus: Population Explosion and Human Movement, 1760–1884
- Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, 1760–1871: Enlightenment, Emancipation, New Forms of Piety
- The Formation of German Nationalism, 1740–1850
- German Literature and Thought From 1810 to 1890
- Germany: The Nation State
- Nation State, Conflict Resolution, and Culture War, 1850–1878
- Authoritarian State, Dynamic Society, Failed Imperialist Power, 1878–1914
- The Great Transformation: German Economy and Society, 1850–1914
- Race and World Politics: Germany in the Age of Imperialism, 1878–1914
- Germany 1914–1918. Total War as a Catalyst of Change
- The German National Economy in an Era of Crisis and War, 1917–1945
- Dictatorship and Democracy, 1918–1939
- Piety, Power, and Powerlessness: Religion and Religious Groups in Germany, 1870–1945
- The Place of German Modernism
- Nationalism in the Era of the Nation State, 1870–1945
- Todesraum: War, Peace, and the Experience of Mass Death, 1914–1945
- The Three Horseman of the Holocaust: Anti-Semitism, East European Empire, Aryan Folk Community
- On the Move: Mobility, Migration, and Nation, 1880–1948
- Germany 1945–1989
- Germany is No More: Defeat, Occupation, and the Postwar Order
- Democracy and Dictatorship in the Cold War: the Two Germanies, 1949–1961
- Generations: The ‘Revolutions’ of the 1960s
- Industrialization, Mass Consumption, Post-industrial Society
- Religion and the Search For Meaning, 1945–1990
- Culture in the Shadow of Trauma?
- The Two German States in the International World
- Contemporary Germany
- <i>Annus Mirabilis</i>: 1989 and German Unification
- Germany and European Integration Since 1945
- Toward A Multicultural Society?
Abstract and Keywords
It is a commonplace to see the First World War as a major caesura in German and European history. This article records the war years from 1914–1918 in Germany. Not least, such an interpretation can rely on the perceptions of influential contemporary observers. In Germany, as in other belligerent countries, many artists, intellectuals, and academics experienced the outbreak of the war as a cathartic moment. While it is straightforward to see the mobilization for war and violence as a major caesura for any of the belligerent countries, it is much more complicated to account for causalities and for German peculiarities. Difficult methodological questions arise, which have not always been properly addressed. While Germany was facing a ‘world of enemies’, as a popular slogan suggested, the semantics of the political shifted to an articulation of emotions, excitements, and promises, contributing to a dramatized narrative centered around the notions of sacrifice and fate. The effect of World War I concludes the article.
Benjamin Ziemann is Professor of Modern German History at the University of Sheffield.
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