War and Memory

  

"Zukunftsvision – August 1918.“, Alfred Kubin und Anton Faistauer auf einer Pinzgauer Alm in Gesellschaft einer Grille, Alfred Kubin (1877 – 1959), 1918, Tuschfeder auf Bütten, Salzburg Museum, Inv.-Nr. 1313-2006
"Zukunftsvision – August 1918.“, Alfred Kubin und Anton Faistauer auf einer Pinzgauer Alm in Gesellschaft einer Grille, Alfred Kubin (1877 – 1959), 1918, Tuschfeder auf Bütten, Salzburg Museum, Inv.-Nr. 1313-2006Klicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Aufruf zur Bildung einer Salzburger Volkswehr, gezeichnet von den Vorsitzenden der provisorischen Landesversammlung Johann Lackner, Max Ott und Robert PreuĂźler, November 1918, Stadtarchiv Salzburg
Aufruf zur Bildung einer Salzburger Volkswehr, gezeichnet von den Vorsitzenden der provisorischen Landesversammlung Johann Lackner, Max Ott und Robert Preußler, November 1918, Stadtarchiv SalzburgKlicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Karl Rössing (Gmunden 1897 - 1987 Wels), Der alte Garde (Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär´), aus "Mein Vorurteil gegen diese Zeit", Holzstich, Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Karl Rössing (Gmunden 1897 - 1987 Wels), Der alte Garde (Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär´), aus "Mein Vorurteil gegen diese Zeit", Holzstich, Museum der Moderne SalzburgKlicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Postkarte: Anschluss, um 1918, Privatbesitz
Postkarte: Anschluss, um 1918, PrivatbesitzKlicken um Bild zu vergrößern


War and Memory
The longer the war lasted and the more complex the situation became, the more difficult were the endeavours for peace. When peace came at last, exultation did not last very long. The resolutions in the Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain obstructed stabilisation of political relations in Europe and the colonies and sparked off violent reactions, especially in Germany and Austria-Hungary, which were exploited by political groups.

  
Culture of Remembrance
The “Great War” is strongly anchored in the memories of Great Britain, France and other nations such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, while in Germany and Austria it has been submerged by the Nazi period and the Second World War, and in Italy by Fascism. In the German-speaking regions, the memory is preserved most notably in war memorials in remembrance of the “heroes” of 1914–1918 (and those of 1939–1945). They mostly do not do justice to the war experiences of First World War soldiers, and simultaneously play down National Socialism and the Second World War

   
Peace At Last!
Russia concluded a separate peace after the Revolution year of 1917, thus ending the conflict on the Eastern Front. In autumn 1917, German and imperial-royal troops at the Isonzo Front managed to push forward – also with the aid of poison gas – in the direction of the Piave River, but military collapse followed a few months later. Ceasefire was declared in Padua on 3 November 1918. The Austrian-Hungarian war was over. The German delegation signed the ceasefire agreement in Compiègne near Paris on 11 November, thus finally ending the First World War.

  
The Road to the Republic
In October 1918, Emperor Karl, the successor to Franz Joseph, who had died in 1916, issued the Völkermanifest – Peoples’ Manifesto – granting the right of self-determination to the Habsburgian peoples who had rebelled against the monarchy. In November he withdrew from his role in state affairs, but never abdicated officially. The founding of the Republic of German Austria followed on 30 October; by 12 November, the nine Federal Lands had declared their entry into the Republic. A few months later, the people of Salzburg could exercise their equal and free rights to vote in universal suffrage.

  
Peace Projects
With the help of US President Woodrow Wilson, the League of Nations aimed to provide for a new, peaceful world order; the First World War had irrevocably transformed the global (geo)political, social and economic situation and set the course for new conflicts. However, the influence of the League of Nations, founded in 1920, unfortunately remained negligible as regards armed conflicts between the wars.

  
Salzburg Festival
Considerations about organising a festival in Salzburg had already been mooted in the war year of 1917. The first performance of Everyman in August 1920 on Domplatz in front of the cathedral is regarded as the actual hour of its birth. The Catholic and Baroque interpretation of history envisaged the creation of an individual Austrian identity and the strengthening of a mentality binding ethnic groups together. The involvement of international artists and an international public sparked off criticism of the festival in the period between the wars that was anti-Semitic in tone.

  
Yearning for Germany
A great yearning to be identified with Germany arose after the end of the Monarchy, not only among members of the German National Movement. People mistrusted Austria after the collapse of the Habsburg empire, and the central government in Vienna. In May 1921, Salzburg held a referendum on the annexation to Germany. 99 per cent voted in favour of it, but the result had no validity because of the annexation prohibition contained in the peace treaties of 1919.

  
The Erosion of Democracy and the Rise of National Socialism
The First World War had shaken society to its very foundations. The situation of home-coming, traumatised soldiers, of war widows and orphans harboured social and political time-bombs. Fascism and National Socialism loomed up, nourishing dissatisfaction over the peace treaties, loss of territory and the depressed economic situation brought about by the war. The establishment of paramilitary associations in the nineteen-twenties led to another wave that eroded the foundations of democracy.

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