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Pacifist and Anti-Militarist Writing in German, 1889-1928

From Bertha von Suttner to Erich Maria Remarque

Historical research has dispelled a number of myths surrounding Word War I: whereas the outbreak of war was greeted by the urban middle classes with frenzied enthusiasm, in working-class areas and smaller towns the mood was more of foreboding. Little attention has so far been paid to those who opposed the war and its underlying culture of militarism, though opposition to war and militarism has a distinguished German pedigree. This volume explores opposition to war and militarism among a range of German-language authors in a period roughly defined by two international bestsellers: Suttner’s ’Die Waffen nieder’ (1889) and Remarque’s ’Im Westen nichts Neues’ (1928). Major figures (Kraus, Schnitzler, Zweig) have not lacked attention, but some of the authors discussed here (Andreas Latzko, Hans Chlumberg) are still far from being household names. These essays remind us that the period’s opposition to war and militarism manifested itself in a broad range of literary forms and publications, providing a different emphasis from previous volumes exploring connections between German-language literature and pacifism.

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