The Way to War and Propaganda

Zinnsoldaten der k.u.k. Armee um 1900, UNBEKANNT, Um 1900, Zinn, Privatbesitz, Salzburg
Zinnsoldaten der k.u.k. Armee um 1900, UNBEKANNT, Um 1900, Zinn, Privatbesitz, SalzburgKlicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Reserve-Soldaten bei der Abfahrt vom Bahnhof Hallein. Zug mit der Aufschrift " Heil Ă–sterreich, Sieg unsern Waffen", UNBEKANNT, 1914
Reserve-Soldaten bei der Abfahrt vom Bahnhof Hallein. Zug mit der Aufschrift " Heil Österreich, Sieg unsern Waffen", UNBEKANNT, 1914Klicken um Bild zu vergrößern
J. Förderer (Würzburg), Propagandapostkarte: "Europäischer Dreschplatz", 1914 - 1918, Druck nach Grafik, Salzburg Privatbesitz
J. Förderer (Würzburg), Propagandapostkarte: "Europäischer Dreschplatz", 1914 - 1918, Druck nach Grafik, Salzburg PrivatbesitzKlicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Propaganda-Fächer, Buch- und Kunstdruckerei Hermes Wien XVII, 1914-1918, Holz, Karton, Papier, bedruckt, Salzburg Museum, , Inv.-Nr. 169-65
Propaganda-Fächer, Buch- und Kunstdruckerei Hermes Wien XVII, 1914-1918, Holz, Karton, Papier, bedruckt, Salzburg Museum, , Inv.-Nr. 169-65Klicken um Bild zu vergrößern

  


“Heil” and “Victory”
Mobilisation of Millions

On 25 July 1914 – three days before the declaration of war – Emperor Franz Joseph I ordered the partial mobilisation of Austria-Hungary and on 31 July 1914 general mobilisation. Conscripts had to report at their barracks. Thousands of volunteers signed up, too, filled with enthusiasm and imagining a rapid defeat of Serbia and Russia and a return home at Christmas at the latest. When the first casualty reports came in and military offensives floundered, this enthusiasm mostly turned to bewilderment and grief. By the end of the war, the imperial-royal army had conscripted more than eight million soldiers.

  
Transport Chaos
Transport chaos caused by troop deployment and lack of railway wagons meant that the civilian population received scarcely any supplies of food and provisions; the consequences were disastrous.
Serbien muss sterbien … Serbia must Die – and Jeder Schuss ein Russ' – Every Gunshot a Russian

  
War Propaganda
Ever since 1914, war propaganda had for the first time been exploiting modern mass media, including posters, post cards, photographs and film as well as the press. In Austria-Hungary, the imperial-royal war press bureau – founded on 28 July 1914 as part of the Army Supreme Command – took over control of all publications and systematic propaganda for military purposes. This also involved the creation and reinforcement of enemy stereotypes and the glorification of violence.

  
Patriotism versus Pacifism
The staff and associates of the war press bureau for literature, the press, art, photography, film and music had to adapt their personal points of view to suit these tasks. Among others, the authors Stefan Zweig and Franz Karl Ginzkey, the painters Ferdinand Andri, Felix Albrecht Harta, Oskar Laske and Arthur Stadler, and the journalist Alice Schalek – as one of very few women – were working for the war press bureau. The course of the war turned quite a few of them – including Zweig and Stadler – into committed pacifists.


“Murderers” and “Beasts”
Great Power Propaganda
France, Great Britain and the USA exploited modern methods of propaganda as well. France cited the war crimes of the German troops in Belgium and Emperor Franz Joseph’s declaration of war as propaganda in order to mobilise the people against the German Empire and Austria-Hungary.

  
Recruitment of Volunteers
There was no national military service in Great Britain at the start of the war; the country thus had to campaign for volunteers. To this purpose, the War Propaganda Bureau publicised the crimes of the Central Powers, the bomb attacks by German aircraft and airships on British towns and cities and the execution of the British nurse Edith Cavell as an alleged spy in Germany. After entering the war in April 1917, the USA could also rely on the Hollywood motion picture industry and the support of prominent actors like Charlie Chaplin.

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