walter schulze-mittendorff bio 08

Walter Schulze-Mittendorff

8. The War 1914 - 1918
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Never before has the world experienced a war such as the First World War. Every minute, four soldiers die, at the end of the four years of war 10 Million soldiers will have lost their lives. It is the first war in which the technical innovations of the Industrial Revolution are employed: motor cars, machine guns, aircraft, and poison gas. The first machine-supported mass mortality causes a deep trauma in the psyche that will continue to have its effect for decades to come. 
In 1918 the war is lost for Germany and Austria. The German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II has fled and the monarchy been overthrown by the people. The end of this devastating war and the simultaneous collapse of the strict monarchal authority system catapults Germany into a new freedom never before experienced in which all areas can play out their ambitions, and let off steam, especially those of the arts and culture, and in politics as well.
The lost war divides the population into extreme groups, the war continues in the streets, in uprisings, revolts and streetfights. That's why the German government temporarily recedes to the small Thuringian city of Weimar which lends the first German democratic-republican form of government its name: the ‚Weimarer Republik’ (1919 - 1933). The Roaring Twenties (later to become the ‘Golden Twenties’) are golden for the arts, for culture, and for social life in general, politically they are confused, and not at all peaceful. During the 14 years of the ‚Weimarer Republik’, 14 Reich Chancellors in succession are seen at the head of government. There are forces that demand retaliation, a revenge for the lost war, and in the end they will prevail.
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