Europe in times of war and the desire for peace

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1. 1900-1945: Europe in Times of War and the Desire for Peace. 2. 1.War and Peace in the 20th century. 2.Propaganda 3. Pacifism 3. 1. War and Peace in the 20th Century …


1. 1900-1945: Europe in Times of War and the Desire for Peace. 2. 1.War and Peace in the 20th century. 2.Propaganda 3. Pacifism 3. 1. War and Peace in the 20th Century  The 20th century was the most murderous in recorded history. The total number of deaths caused by or associated with its wars has been estimated at 187 million, more than 10% of the world’s population in 1913. Taken as having begun in 1914 it, it was a century of almost unbroken war, dominated by world wars.  This century cannot be treated as a single block, chronologically it falls into 3 periods:  The era of world war centred on Germany (1914 to 1945)  The era of confrontation between the two superpowers aka Cold War (1945 to 1989)  The era since the end of the classic international power system  An important characteristics of war in the 20th century is the erosion of the distinction between combatants and non-combatants. The two world wars of the first half of the century involved the entire population of countries at war; both combatants and non-combatants suffered. In the course of the century the burden of the war shifted from armed forces to civilians, who were first the victims the the object of military or military-political operations.  The contrast between WWI and WWII is dramatic: 5% of those who died in WWI were civilians, in WWII the figure increased to 66%, 80% is today a realistic figure. 4. French Casualties WW1 Monuments aux Morts are French War memorials commemorating the heavy losses of WWI. Over 36.000 monuments have been built so people would remember the 1.327.000 soldiers killed. 5. War Memorials Though most memorials celebrate the glorious dead some denounce war with figures of grieving widows, orphans or wounded soldiers. 6. World Casualties WWII 7. Strategic Bombing Strategic bombing during World War II includes any government undertaking independent air campaigns of a clearly strategic intent. This includes the sustained bombing of railways, harbours, workers' housing, and industrial districts in enemy territory. Chambéry (France) Dresden (Germany) London (United Kingdom) 8. 2. Propaganda  Propaganda is the use of various media to influence public opinion by presenting selective information, or lying by omission. Magazines, television, radio, internet and such things have all become instruments propaganda and political warfare. Though very elusive propaganda can be defined as "the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognition, and direct behaviour to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.  The First World War was the first war in which the mass media played a significant part in disseminating news from the Fighting Front to the Home Front. It was also the first war to target systematically produced government propaganda at the general public. All the belligerents were therefore compelled to recognise that they had to justify the righteousness of the war and, to this end, themes such as patriotism and nationalism played an important role. 9. 2. Propaganda  By 1918, it had become clear that propaganda was a fact of modern society. For some it represented the solution to the challenges of the twentieth century; for others, its greatest threat. The sheer volume and intensity of the literature on propaganda published in the interwar period, largely in response to its deployment in the First World War, attests both to its contemporary importance and to its contested status. This literature established a series of assumptions (now largely discredited by scholars) that were difficult to dislodge: propaganda was an unseen, almost mystic, force in society that could manipulate the thoughts and behaviour of the vulnerable masses at will. Its success was undoubted and the repercussions for both liberal democracy and for fledgling European dictatorships considerable. 10. Le Canard enchaîné ( English: The Chained Duck or The Chained Paper) is a satirical newspaper published weekly since 1915. It was founded to resist militarist propaganda during WWI and fight censorship. It continued to publish and grow in popularity and influence until it was forced to suspend publication during the occupation of France in 1940 and resume publication after WWII. Many of the Canard's early contributors were members of the Communist and Socialist parties, but it shed its alignment with those groups in the 1920s. Its current owners are not tied to any political or economic group. It now avoids any political alignment, and has gained a reputation for publishing incriminating stories and criticizing any political party with no preference. The Canard does not accept any advertisements. Newspapers were expected to print what the government wanted the reader to read. These were designed to develop and strengthen the current of hatred that was already engendered in France. The same thing was done in every participating country– untrue headlines were tolerated and even encouraged by the authorities. During World War I, postal censorship was in force, as the authorities thought it necessary to control the public's morale and thus engaged in a sort of psychological warfare. Censorship was current during the war, leading to the creation of Le Canard enchaîné. 11. 3. Pacifism The word “pacifisme” first occurs in France at the beginning of the 20th century. The word was coined by French peace activist Emile Arnaud and adopted at the 10th Universal Peace Congress in Glasgow in 1901. Quite a large number of dictionaries and encyclopaedias and most historians define Pacifism as “an unconditional rejection of all form of warfare”. Pacifists reject war and believe there is no moral grounds which can justify resorting to war. War, for the pacifist, is always wrong. French pacifism covers the whole political spectrum from far right to far left. Socialist Party poster campaingning for general disarmament. 12. While French schoolteachers of the late nineteenth century have been celebrated for teaching patriotism and converting 'peasants into Frenchmen', their interwar counterparts have enjoyed little such acclaim. Once the war was over, teachers saw themselves as the caretakers of the national memory. But in the highly nationalistic period following the war, the question became what exactly was that memory and how should it be shaped? How should one teach about the events of 1914- 1918? Textbooks published between 1918 and 1924 tended to portray the war as a triumph of French courage and unity. The books stressed German atrocities and French heroism and urged French schoolchildren above all, "Do Not Forget!" Ironically, what did get forgotten in these texts were casualties, the participation of women, and the grim realities of four years of bloodletting. Contemporary critics have condemned French pacifist schoolteachers of the interwar decades for cultivating anti patriotism and facilitating the defeat of 1940. Drawn to pacifist ideals in the aftermath of World War I, schoolteachers sought to 'morally disarm' the nation by purging their classrooms of the militaristic images, symbols, narratives, and values that had led their generation to accept war without question in 1914. At the same time, however, their teaching remained rooted in longstanding patriotic and republican traditions. 13. A current of discourse had emerged among soldiers and civilians that condemned the war as a meaningless slaughter. This language was given political shape by a nucleus of dissident socialists and pacifists who blamed the Allies as much as the Germans for the catastrophe and turned war into the absolute enemy. From 1925, one of their leading figures, Victor Marguerite, ran an influential campaign for “moral disarmament”. The more mainstream language of pacifism was that based on arbitration, collective security and international law. Such ideas were rooted in nineteenth-century liberalism and had received their first enactment at the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 and the setting up of the League of Nations. The League of Nations was set up in the hope that international cooperation and collective resistance to aggression might prevent another war. Members of the League were entitled to the assistance of other members if they came under attack. The policy of collective security ran in parallel with measures to achieve international disarmament and where possible was to be based on economic sanctions against an aggressor. 14. In 1926, the French Foreign Minister, Aristide Briand, received the German delegation at Geneva as Germany entered the League of Nations. On this highly symbolic occasion, he declared: « Is it not a moving spectacle [...] that barely a few years after the most frightful war that has ever convulsed the world, when the battlefields are still almost damp with blood [...] the same peoples which clashed so roughly meet in this peaceful assembly and affirm mutually their common desire to collaborate in the work of universal peace? [...] Messieurs, peace for France and Germany means that the series of painful and bloody encounters that has stained every page of history is over; over too, are the long veils of mourning for sufferings which will never ease. No more wars, no more brutal and bloody solutions to our differences! [...] Away with rifles, machine-guns, cannon! Make way for conciliation, for arbitration, for peace! 15. Chamberlain's policy of appeasement emerged from the failure of the League of Nations to enforce collective security. It appeared to be ineffectual when confronted by the aggression of dictators, notably Germany's remilitarization of the Rhineland, and Italy's invasion of Abyssinia. The Munich Agreement was a settlement permitting Nazi Germany’s annexion of portions of Czechoslovakia along the country's borders mainly inhabited by German speakers: Sudetenland. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe: Germany, Italy, Great Britain and France. Today, it is widely regarded as a failed act of appeasement toward Germany. “Pourquoi mourir pour Danzig? (Why Die For Danzig) was the title of an article by Neo- Socialist Marcel Déat, published on May 4, 1939 in the Parisian newspaper L’Œuvre. The article concerned one of the Nazi ultimatums to the Second Polish Republic, regarding the demand to transfer control of the Free City of Danzig (Gdańsk) to Germany. In the article, Déat argued in favour of the appeasement policy. He asserted that France had no interest in defending Poland, and that Hitler would be satisfied after receiving the territory he (rightfully, according to Déat) demanded. Opposition to World War II was mostly vocal during the early part of World War II, and stronger still before the war started while appeasement and isolationism were considered viable diplomatic options. In France PCF (French Communist Party) and Communist-led organizations including veterans of the Spanish Civil War, opposed the war during the period of the Hitler-Stalin Pact but then turned into hawks after Germany invaded the Soviet Union.


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