Josef Schulz, um 1926, Aus dem "Kriegstagebuch: Kaiserjäger", Tusche, © Salzburg Museum
Josef Schulz, um 1926, Aus dem "Kriegstagebuch: Kaiserjäger", Tusche, ©  Salzburg MuseumKlicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Josef Schulz/Überarbeitung, um 1926, Original: Aus dem "Kriegstagebuch: Kaiserjäger", Tusche; Salzburg Museum/Dominik Hruza studio
Josef Schulz/Überarbeitung, um 1926, Original: Aus dem "Kriegstagebuch: Kaiserjäger", Tusche; Salzburg Museum/Dominik Hruza studioKlicken um Bild zu vergrößern

The pre-1914 years were already marked by nationalism, imperialism and arms build-up, leading to numerous military conflicts. The European Great Powers and non-European states like Japan and the USA fought in Africa, Asia and America to gain influence and territory. In 1908 meanwhile, Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, occupied since 1878 by imperial-royal troops; this sparked off protests from Serbia and Russia. Two Balkan wars were fought in 1912 and 1913, although without the involvement of Austria-Hungary.

   
The Conflict with Serbia
The assassination on 28 June 1914 of the Austrian-Hungarian crown prince and his spouse by a member of the Bosnian underground movement Mlada Bosna (Young Bosnia) was the catalyst but not the cause of the First World War. Franz Conrad von H√∂tzendorf, Chief of General Staff of the overall imperial-royal armed forces, had been planning preventive action against Italy, Russia and Serbia for years ‚Äď as had Germany against France. Speculation that Serbia had given the order for the assassination strengthened the Austrian-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph‚Äôs resolve ultimately to take action against Serbia. Germany pledged its unconditional support of Austria-Hungary.

   
The Decision to Start a War
British attempts to mediate on behalf of peace failed; on 28 July 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. The Ottoman Empire (today Turkey) and Bulgaria joined in the war on the side of the Central Powers Germany and Austria-Hungary; in May 1915 Italy entered on the side of the Entente states France, Great Britain and Russia. By the time the war ended in November 1918, around 40 nations were involved in the First World War.

   
Reactions in Art to War and Trauma
Many artists and authors reacted in various ways to the war; its effects were also overwhelmingly felt on the so-called home front in Salzburg, although the city and the region were not situated in the combat zone.

 

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