Legacies of the Great War

About this Episode

Guests
Jennifer Siegel, Aaron Retish, Julie Powell

This month marks the 100-year anniversary of U.S. entry into World War I. But, as the world commemorates the centennial of the war, U.S. events have been few and far between. Why is the war remembered so differently in Europe versus the United States, and what legacies might we be forgetting? In this episode of History Talk, we speak to three experts—Jennifer Siegel, Aaron Retish, and Julie Powell—about the war that shaped the course of the 20th century. Join us to learn why World War I is remembered so differently in combatant countries, what the war's most important geopolitical and human impacts were, and how its legacies continue to affect us today.

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Cite this Site

Brenna Miller, Jessica Viñas-Nelson , "Legacies of the Great War" , Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective
December, 2017
https://origins.osu.edu/historytalk/legacies-great-war?language_content_entity=en.
December, 2017

Transcript

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

Welcome to History Talk the podcast that brings together a panel of experts to discuss current events in historical perspective. I'm your host, Jessica Vinas-Nelson.

 

Brenna Miller 

And I'm your other host, Brenna Miller. This year marks 100 years since the beginning of US involvement in World War I and the withdraw of Russia from the war after the seizure of power by Bolshevik forces in October of 1917.

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

For the war Centennial, we've invited three historians to discuss the most important legacies of the war in the US and Europe and around the world. In the studio with us we have Dr. Jennifer Siegel, a specialist in modern European diplomatic and military history, in the Department of History at The Ohio State University.

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

Hello, thank you so much for having me here.

 

Brenna Miller 

Via phone we have Dr. Aaron Retish, historian and expert in late Imperial and Soviet history at Wayne State University.

 

Dr. Aaron Retish    

Hello, nice to be here.

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

And finally, we have Julie Powell, a PhD candidate in modern European history at The Ohio State University specializing in interwar French culture and the impact of war and personal and national identities.

 

Julie Powell   

Hello. 

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

Thanks for joining us today. We're currently in the midst of commemorating 100 years since World War One. Why are these events important for us to remember? 

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

Well, I would argue that the First World War is particularly important to remember because of the fact that it set up the entire 20th century differences between the prewar period and the post war period are very stark, the ways in which the war concluded set up the international systems and the structures that allowed for the events of the 20th century, the international events of the 20th century, to evolve in the way that they evolved.

 

Dr. Aaron Retish    

I would also add that many of the issues that brought on the First World War, and that the combatant nations during the war fought over and contested are still with us today be it with nationalism, ideas of mass mobilization, the use of the media, arms control, taking a small country and making a regional conflict into a global one that these are all if you will, lessons of history and there are a lot of lessons that we can learn from the First World War.

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

Why is there so much commemoration for the war? Have there been other wars remembered so publicly 100 years later?

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

I think it's a great question. I would actually argue that in this country, there hasn't been that much commemoration of the war at all.

 

Dr. Aaron Retish    

Exactly. 

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

As a Europeanist, the First World War, even before this hundredth anniversary, is much more present in Europe, in memorialization in the history that is taught in the schools and wars that people speak about. You know, there's an evocative presence of the First World War in a way that really doesn't exist in this country. The circuit for commemoration in this country has been sort of sparce in comparison to what has been going on elsewhere.

 

Julie Powell   

In some sense, the First World War has never really been sort of America's war in the way that it has been in Europe, and the commemorative of culture there is robust in a way that as Jennifer points out, frankly, isn't here. And I don't know that in the US, we have something to compare it with, you know, so I wasn't around for the centennial of, you know, the Civil War, which perhaps would be maybe the closest comparison, but I suspect, World War II, since that was, Americans really associated themselves and sort of our national identity more with our participation in that war, that we'll see sort of a larger effort on that front. But I don't know, certainly not for the First World War not here, as there is in Europe.

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

I mean, the 50th anniversary of the Second World War was a much bigger deal in this country. And in I would say, in Europe, as well. But we want to talk about the first world war not the Second World War. Aaron?

 

Dr. Aaron Retish    

Let me just add my support for what my colleague said that in the United States, it has been very quiet on the centennial. You know there's the museum to the First World War in Missouri, there are attempts to put a new Memorial in Washington, DC, but it's nothing like the Second World War. And you know, it's probably because of the casualty rate. The number of casualties that the United States had was miniscule compared to Europe and how much the First World War kind of transformed Europe. But if you look at 2014, specifically, France opened up, had this amazing Memorial. England had this public ceremony of putting red poppies all across London. So you could kind of see this physical commemoration of the First World War. On the United States, there's hardly anything. If I can give you a vignette, I was teaching the First World War at Wayne State in 2014 and we were trying to on Armistice Day find poppies to wear, and nobody could find them in the United States. But I had a Canadian student. Remember, Canada was part of the British Commonwealth. And he was able to bring over kind of a load of red poppies that he got at Tim Hortons in commemoration of the centennial of the wars. There you see just over the border kind of the difference in the commemoration of the war.

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

So why does it hold such an important place in Europe?

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

I think that the size of the conflict, the extent of the conflict, the casualty numbers that Aaron was referring to earlier, the level of devastation, and the ways in which Europe, the map of Europe was redrawn, all of that really impacted the significance in terms of the need to touch back to the First World War. Also in terms of the ways in which memorialization of wars in general reference the First World War., Veterans Day in this country, Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, in Britain, and in the rest of Europe all date to the end of the First World War. So much of the references of war memorialization go to World War One as Aaron was talking about the red poppies. The reason that red poppies are so readily available in Europe -- and I will agree the red poppy that I have comes from when I happen to have been in Britain in November a month in which everyone for the entire month seems to be wearing a red poppy on their lapel -- that is because of course the red poppy which references the poppies in Flanders Field is the symbol of the fundraising organization for veterans. It's much more present even in the memorialization of war. So it's a much more visible war in Europe than here.

 

Julie Powell   

Yeah, I would agree with that. I think it's also important to remember, too, that I mean, as Jennifer points out, the scale of this was so massive. You know, this is the first conflict, where all of these nations are using armies of citizen soldiers, where they're conscripting instead of using professional armies. And so people are involved in a way that they hadn't been before. It touched more people than it had in the past. Every family in Europe knew someone who had died, knew someone who was injured. And so the breadth of it, the reach of the conflict was something that people had never seen before.

 

Brenna Miller 

So who were the main actors in the war? And what were the key issues the war was being fought over?

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

Essentially, we're talking about a war between the Central Powers the principal members of which were Germany, Austria, Hungary, as well as the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria and the Allied and associate powers, initially, the entente powers of Britain, France, the Russian Empire. The principal addition to that, of course, much later on was the United States fighting in on the side of the allies. But the United States was not ever an ally, it was an associated power. You also have wrapped up in this conflict, Japan, Serbia. Serbia always gets left out.

 

Julie Powell   

Romania, Greece, to some extent, yeah

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

Portions of the various empires

 

Dr. Aaron Retish      

Yes, I was going to add that we also need to remember that when you talk about Great Britain, or Germany or France, you're also talking about all the related colonies and empires that and the people and the laborers that come into that. 

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

So it truly was a World War.

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

In many ways.

 

Brenna Miller 

I mean, what were some of the key issues that the war was being fought over? How would people argue at the time what they were fighting about?

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

In many ways it depends upon which stage of the war that we were talking about. And also who you were asking. I think many of the great powers felt that they were fighting for, to hold on to their great power status, and this was a question of competition, over resources, influence, status. What's interesting about the First World War as opposed to the Second World War, a war that my students always remind me they're much more familiar with, and much more with which they're much more comfortable, is the fact that it was not clearly a war of good versus evil. It was much harder to distinguish oneself from one's enemy. These were in many ways systems, governing systems that were for the most part equivalent. Oddly enough, you had the great autocratic empire aligned with Europe's western democracies. The British Empire, France, these were constitutional democracies. In many ways, Russia was most certainly not, even though they had made somewhat half-hearted movements towards a constitutional system, a parliamentary system. But Russia had much more in common with Germany and Austria-Hungary than they did with their actual allies. But for geostrategic reasons, Russia was allied with the French and the British. So the distinguishing between the sides is much more complicated in the First World War than in the Second World War, where you could contrast between liberal democracy and Nazi Germany, fascism.

 

Julie Powell   

The goodies in the baddies, and yeah.

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

Yeah, I mean, I think that's exactly right, I would just add one other thing that we shouldn't see that war was inevitable. In 1914, I mean, there were these tangled alliances and some military escalation and in some quarters kinds of expectation and desire for war. But that doesn't mean that war was actually going to happen in 1914. It was a kind of a series of, of happenstance and circumstances that led to this slow walk to war.

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

And particularly not the war that actually developed. No one expected the war that they found themselves in, and the war that dragged on for as many years as it did, and, you know, involved so many people and created so many casualties.

 

Julie Powell   

Yeah, I mean, that's an important point. Of course, initially, you know, going into the war, people thought well we'll be done by Christmas, and we'll be home and, of course, this will be an incredibly short conflict. And, of course, the reason for that is this was something that they hadn't -- their experience in warfare prior to this was the Imperial Wars, right? And these were quick, decisive wars, in fact, where they were fighting, you know, in Africa and East Asia and things like this. And the firepower was far superior. They had created these situations in which they restricted actual sale of arms to people in these Imperial places, so that they did have superior firepower. And so they were used to these quick, decisive battles. And what they found was quite surprising to them, I think. 

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

And they also had really willfully ignored the examples that were available to them that indicated, that suggested the kind of warfare they would find themselves involved in, the examples of trench warfare that existed in the Boer War, in the US Civil War, the ways in which modern weaponry would change, a war of the offensive, a mobile war, the kinds of things they should have looked at, the Russo-Japanese War for those kinds of examples. And yet they took very often the wrong lessons from these wars, the lessons that fit their preconceptions as to what the war would actually look like.

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

Immediately after the War's end what did many think the legacy of the war would be? 

 

Julie Powell   

You know, they really thought they were fighting a war for civilization. They thought this was the war to end all wars, you know. They thought, you know, once we have this, it's so horrible, no one will ever want to have this again. And that's partly responsible for this, you know, the structuring of these international institutions, the Treaty of Versailles, and things like that in 1919. And so certainly, they thought this would be the last conflict, if it's kind of we know, of course, in hindsight, that wasn't at all the case.

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

Although interestingly even while the war was being fought, there are already people who are referring to this war as the First World War, which really suggests that there was a resignation, that there would be a Second World War, you know, beyond this, this war. I think it really depends on who you are talking about when you are looking at what did they think the legacy was? What did they expect that they had accomplished from fighting this war? I, and I think that Julie's absolutely right to be to be latching on to the idea that they did feel that they were fighting something that would end war, that they were fighting for civilization, that they were fighting for, particularly after the introduction of the United States into the conflict and Wilson's very lofty 14 points, the idea that they would be creating a world in which big and small nations would have almost an equal say, that they would be, that they were creating a world in which national self-determination would be the governing theme. Of course, if you ask the Japanese in the wake of the war, when they were trying to argue for a system in which there would be no racial discrimination in the conduct of international relations, and that was smacked down quite forcefully by the United States, by the British Empire, they would say that the aftermath of the war was not a world in which this kinder gentler system of international nations had been established.

 

Julie Powell   

That was really more about preserving sort of the world order as it had been.

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

Right. 

 

Julie Powell   

Yeah.

 

Dr. Aaron Retish

I mean, from the left, and from, you know, looking at it from the Russian perspective, there's, I mean, I think they're the kind of the dualistic ideas about the legacy of the war, where the Bolsheviks, I mean Lenin in particular, seeing the wars and this imperialist war, you know, after they came to power in October of 1917, there was an idea that the war could be transformed into a war to fight against imperialism and capitalism. And, you know, as the war is ending in 1918, into 1919, you could see this red wave coming through Europe. So, you know, there was a very short idea that the war would actually lead kind of this liberation of the working class against capitalism. I mean, obviously, that didn't work. But there's also, I think, another kind of ground-level idea of the commemoration of the war as not of heroic, but one of victimization, of understanding the plight of the soldiers, of the male soldiers, with the publication of photographs, of letters, of memoirs that were coming out, even as the war was still going on that depicted the everyday struggles of the soldier. And that, I think, created a discourse and narrative of the soldiers as victims kind of wrapped up in this larger conflict that they could not escape.

 

Julie Powell   

The First World War created this very, very robust veterans’ movement that is, is also significant and is also important in terms of thinking about the legacies and thinking about the role of soldiers. Particularly in France, the veterans’ movement was an association for every town, there is an association for every malady and every sort of disfigurement or mutilation, right. And these men took positions in the French government. They were sort of figureheads of this movement for peace, because they actually had, they had fought, you know, they sort of saw themselves as being able to make the determination that, you know, it was worth it to try to prevent a war like this moving forward. And they also sort of heralded these moves towards disability rights and workers’ rights. They were integral in the work of the International Labor Organization's Disablement Committee and major figures like Adrian Ticksiet and Alberto Moss, French veterans, were integral in these sort of international movements for peace and reconciliation. So I think that's another important piece to remember as well.

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

And these are part of also the legacies that no one recognized at the time. I mean, the greatest legacy of all I would argue is the shift of power from Europe, to the periphery, to the United States, and ultimately the Soviet Union, as a result of the First World War and also the shift of power and authority from the European empires and the European Center to the areas that had been their empire. There's a real transition that took place as almost a side effect of the First World War in economic power, in independence. While Europe was concentrating on this war, the areas that had been part of their, their formal empire and informal empire, were forced to actually build up, begin to take early steps towards building up their own industries, acting much more independently than they were able to do while Europe was focused on the Empire. And this is really a moment where the shift towards independence takes place. In the end, it really is the end of the European era. It takes place in the process of World War One, while no one was really paying attention to this.

 

Julie Powell   

It really is a founding moment, and particularly in terms of national identity for the former dominions, right? It's so funny, I was looking at a Canadian passport the other day, and you know, how we have our images and that sort of celebrate, like, you know, American accomplishments and all these types of things. And many of the images in the Canadian passport were from World War One and World War One monuments. 

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

And it's very much for Australia and New Zealand as well, a pivotal moment in their in their national histories.

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

And what are the fiscal results of the war?

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

Well, everyone always talks about both war loans and reparations payments. And when they're talking about the finances of the war itself, the way in which this war was paid for this was very much, oh, so a war that was fought on credit. And initially the credit for fighting, this war came from the European combatants themselves. Germany certainly did much to finance the war efforts of its Alliance partners, Britain, and initially France served as the paymasters for their alliance, although the French were unable to keep up the financing of the war to the extent of the British war. But essentially, so much of the funding for the fighting of this word came from the United States, the Allies borrowed from the United States and Britain borrowed on behalf of its allies from the United States, because, of course, the British with a much more room bust, financial system themselves, were able to obtain better rates. But at the end of the war, this left Europe with an extraordinary debt burden towards the United States. Along with that debt burden came a real transition in power and authority and influence, going forward, a true movement of the financial center of the world, from London, from the City of London, to New York, to Wall Street, from the pound sterling, which had been the strongest currency in the world to the US dollar. And, you know, we're still living with that today, London may still be a financial center, but it doesn't have the authority that that wall street does.

 

Brenna Miller 

So Russia also had its own very unique experience in World War One. So, Aaron, how is the war remember differently in Russia? What were the key impacts of the war there versus what we see in other locations?

 

Dr. Aaron Retish

So you know, we've talked about how the First World War has shaped the 20th, the 21st century, I mean, you can clearly see that in Russia, but it's contested, it's problematic, in fact, only recently in 2014, what they're actually the erection and commemoration of a large memorial to the fallen from the First World War. In part, it's because you know, Russia, lost the war, but also because the war was enveloped in the Russian Revolution. So there were memorialization to the war. But it was only the memorialization to the 1917 revolution. And, you know, a lot of scholars have shown recently how important the war was to bring in on a 1917 revolution, both in February, in October, and that's both guys, the collapse of the economy, you know, the lack of bread, the rising prices of fuel, but also mass mobilization, mobilization of national sentiment, the decentralization of the Tsar. The radicalization of politics, all led to revolution, and led to a specific type of state that the Soviet state really was built upon, but the violence of the war, and the kind of need for mass mobilization, both during the war and the resulting Civil War, that didn't end until 1921, or 1922. So it was remembered in the Soviet Union through the lens of Soviet struggle, if you will. So most of the war was remembered through literature, talking about revolution, through soldiers experiences, although, you know, All Quiet on the Western Front, for example, was translated into Russian and that actually gained a lot of readership. And it's only now that the state has tried to talk about those who had fallen in the First World War, were heroes of the revolution, if I can kind of add on to this, that what is kind of interesting now in 2017, is as not just the centennial the entrance of the US into the war. But there's this year long remembrance of the centennial of the Russian Revolution. And in Russia, they've really, the state has really struggled. But what to do with this, that is, should they remember a revolution in 2017? And in fact, descent? Or can, they've gone back to using the same language that they use in here. I'm talking about Putin using the same language that they used in 2014 to talk about the victims of the Revolution, the victims of the war, and that we need to see this as a way of bringing the nation together, even when those outside of Russia undermine the Russian nation.

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel

What I think is so fascinating, of course, is the fact that the Russian Revolution and the evolution of what became the Soviet states, and their relationship with the rest of the great powers and the rest of Europe and the West, is so closely wrapped up in that need to keep Russia in the war. The response that the Bolshevik Revolution, and that the Bolsheviks found from Britain, France, the United States, the lack of welcome that they received, it's very closely related to that need, at first to keep Russia in the, in the war itself. So this, again, is a way in which we can see the evolution of the 20th century being very, very closely related to the First World War and the effect that the First World War had on the course of the Russian Revolution and the response that the new Soviet state found.

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

Changing topics a little bit, how did the war impact French national identity and culture? Julie? 

 

Julie Powell   

Obviously, the war was really, really deeply important for the French. And there were a couple of reasons for this. The western front, which is sort of the quintessential image of the First World War, and trench warfare was in France, right? And France, French land was devastated. And I think the First World War is sort of this redemptive narrative for France, right? They were devastated. But they were resilient, right. So they're down, which was one of the major battles in the Western Front, 70 out of 85 French divisions fought there. So this was really sort of this thing that everyone in France had to pass through, they had the shared experience, General, Robert Nivelle at Verdun had this very, very famous quote, "ils ne passeront pas," so they shall not pass. Right? So it's this idea of courage and steadfastness in the face of adversity and triumph. And this really plays into the idea of French national identity, I think. This is also the war in which France regained the territories of Alsace and Lauren, which had been taken by the Germans 45 years prior, with the Franco Prussian war. So that was very important, obviously, as well. And I think that the First World War is much less contested in terms of French memory than their other wars. So this really can stand as the sort of monument to French identity, in which case, you know, a second world war, of course, which begins in 1939. France is out in the spring of 1940. And the Algerian War, which was an imperial conflict is deeply contested. And so in terms of French identity, the First World War is much less contested than these other conflicts. And I think that's sort of where they would would place their emphasis.

 

Brenna Miller 

It's fabulous that we have experts here on international and US history and France and Russia. We just wanted to open the question up a little bit to think about if there were other significant legacies of the war around the world, and how did it change the map elsewhere?

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

Well, again, that's that, again, is a huge question. I do think one of the most important legacies, something that we are still dealing with the repercussions of is the way in which the Middle East was a playing field for the war. And the ways in which the lands to the Middle East were almost favors promised to everyone and anyone if they were willing to participate in the war on both sides. It's so it just so happens that of course, the promises made to the victors are more important than the promises that were made by those who lost the war. But one of the most significant elements of the wars are the ways in which diplomatic negotiations and promises made for territorial gains were dangled in front of noncombatants and neutrals. This of course, we see the aftermath of promises that the British made to the Arabs in the Hussein McMahon agreement, promises that the British made to their allies in the Sykes-Picot treaty, the ways in which the British promised the same strip of land to anyone who was willing to support them in the war, the Balfour Declaration, which promised a Jewish homeland in the region. All of these conflicts and conflicting promises lay the groundwork for the continuing crises in the Middle East, simply the ways in which borders were drawn. This, of course, comes out of the peace treaties, not necessarily the war itself, but they relate to those diplomatic negotiations and agreements that were made during the war. We can go region by region in the world and see the ways in which these same issues took place. South Eastern Europe had similar wheeling than dealings. The ways in which the Greeks and the Bulgarians and the Italians were going back and forth over drawing of borders, in their region, all as a lure to bring them into the war. These are the smaller stories of the war that don't get told in the same way that the origins of the war are told over and over again. We all know about the assassination of Franz Ferdinand on the streets of Sarajevo. We all have heard about the expectations for a short war. But we haven't spent nearly enough time and, of course in a brief podcast, we don't have nearly enough time to talk about the ways in which the smaller States of Europe and the smaller states and groups around the world, in many ways big players in the ways in which the war was fought.

 

Julie Powell   

Yeah, the Italians referred to the end of the conflict as a mutilated piece, because in fact, they hadn't gotten the spoils that they thought they had earned, coming into the conflict that they thought they had earned.

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

Are there any final major misconceptions about World War One or hidden legacies that would be good for listeners to know, Aaron?

 

Dr. Aaron Retish    

All right, if we're talking about common misconceptions. One of the first thing that comes up is that, in fact, if you were a soldier, you had a better chance of surviving than most of the previous wars. Which is true, but that also belies of the larger fact that millions of people died, right. In Russia alone, it was, you know, around 1.7 million soldiers were killed. You know, almost 19 million soldiers, soldiers were actually mobilized or served in the war. And that, you know, there was a whole population up turned. In Russia it was 3.5 million civilians actually became refugees, yeah, by 1917. And this was across Europe that this was kind of devastating to the civilian population to a degree that had never happened before. And, you know, we need to remember not only kind of the triumph, if you will, of the First World War, the geopolitics of it, but also how much it affected everyday life of peasants, of workers that have transformed kind of gender relations, and that it was an absolutely devastating cataclysmic event for every European who lived through the war.

 

Julie Powell   

I think one of the kind of larger misconceptions, and this is debatable, I guess, but I suppose this is my opinion, is that there was an inevitability that World War One would lead to World War Two, right? There's this thesis of like, oh, well, it's the next 30 Years War, right. And the sort of baseline for this is that, well, the Treaty of Versailles was so punishing to the Germans that, of course, this was inevitable, and to be frank, that's just not really the case. Germany didn't lose a lot of land. It lost 10% of its land that it had acquired and that was the territories of Alsace-Lorraine that it had only gotten in 1871. Article 231, which is known as sort of the guilt clause, the punishment clause, it wasn't it wasn't so much a moral judgment as it was this requirement that they pay for all this devastation in the area that the war had been fought. And in fact, there were similar clauses that appeared in the treaties with Austrian and Turkey, right. So this wasn't outside of the norm. The payments weren't particularly onerous. There was the 1929 stock market crash, but that hit everyone, you know. And as Jennifer pointed out, you had the Dawes Plan that restructured payments. There was nothing inevitable about this, and certainly not in the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, which I think is sort of a misconception that's moved a bit too broadly for my taste.

 

Dr. Jennifer Siegel 

And I think you're making an excellent point, much was being done in the 1920s to fix the problems of what was not a perfect treaty, the Treaty of Versailles. None of the Paris peace treaties that ended the First World War were without flaws. But they were flaws that could be worked on and that were being worked on that there isn't this inevitability of the Second World War, coming from the First World War, coming from the peace treaty. We rely so much on John Maynard Keynes's idea of a Carthaginian peace and the economic consequences of the peace that we have become somewhat brainwashed. That in fact, it was that Versailles was entirely responsible for everything bad that came after. Obviously, we also know that Hitler was referring directly to the Treaty of Versailles when he was claiming justification for the steps that he was taking to rebuild Germany in violation of the terms of that treaty. But there's not a direct line that can be drawn from the First World War to the Second World War.

 

Dr. Aaron Retish    

I think there isn't a direct line. But we also need to understand that the end, the socio-political environment after the war created fertile ground for kind of this radicalization of politics and mobilization of the population in a degree that we didn't see before the war, including para-militarism. That it was maybe it wasn't going to lead to a second world war, but there was going to be a radicalization of politics. And I don't think that you would have had such radicalization politics on the left and the right without the war.

 

Jessica Vinas-Nelson  

Thank you so much, guys. We'll wrap it up on that note. Thank you to our three guests, Dr. Jennifer Siegel, Dr. Aaron Retish, and Julie Powell. For more on this topic, check out our November 2017 article on “The Long Legacy of World War One” available on origins.osu.edu and also see Julie Powell article, "Shock Troops: Medical Film and the Performance of Shellshock for the British Nation at War," in the Journal of Social History of Medicine.

 

Brenna Miller 

Thanks, everyone. This episode of History Talk podcast was brought to you by Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, an online publication of the public history initiative and the Goldberg Center and the history department at The Ohio State University in Columbus and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Our main editors are Steve Conn and Nicholas Breyfogle, our executive producer is David Staley, our audio and technical advisor is Paul Kotheimer, our audio producers and hosts are Brenna Miller and Jessica Vinas-Nelson. Song and band information can be found on our website. You can find our podcasts and more on our website origins.osu.edu, on iTunes, and on SoundCloud, and as always, you can find us on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for listening.

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