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1. The Myth of War Enthusiasm
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the attitudes of ordinary Germans as the country went to war in 1914, focusing in particular on the myth of ‘war enthusiasm’. As we move through the module, we consider: (i) the difference between the Germans’ attitudes to war in 1939 as compared to 1914; (ii) the impact of writers such as Erich Maria Remarque who wrote about a ‘lost generation’; and (iii) the significance of contemporary photographs taken in 1914.
In this course, Professor Matthew Stibbe (Sheffield Hallam University) thinks about the experience of ordinary Germans in the First World War. We begin by thinking about the attitudes of Germans towards the declaration of war in 1914, focusing in particular on the myth of ‘war enthusiasm’. In the second module, we think about the economic mobilisation for war – especially the changing role of women in the German economy – before turning in the third module to the growth of internal opposition to the war from 1915 onwards. In the fourth module, we think about how the authorities responded to this opposition to the war, focusing in particular on the impact of the British naval blockade and the use of unrestricted submarine warfare, before moving on in the fifth and final module to consider how and why the war came to an end.
Matthew Stibbe is Professor of Modern European History at Sheffield Hallam University. He is a specialist in twentieth-century German and European history, and currently serves on the committee of the German History Society. His most recent publications include (as co-editor with Kevin McDermott) Eastern Europe in 1968: Responses to the Prague Spring and Warsaw Pact Invasion (2018) and (as co-editor with Ingrid Sharp) Women's International Activism During the Inter-War Period, 1919-39 (2018).
Cite this Lecture
Stibbe, M. (2019, February 06). Germany – The First World War, 1914-18 - The Myth of War Enthusiasm [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/germany-in-the-first-world-war-1914-18/the-myth-of-war-enthusiasm
Stibbe, Matthew. "Germany – The First World War, 1914-18 – The Myth of War Enthusiasm." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 06 Feb 2019, https://massolit.io/courses/germany-in-the-first-world-war-1914-18/the-myth-of-war-enthusiasm