1914 All Over Again?

tags: World War I



Susanne Spröer heads the Culture Background editorial office at DW.

Trenches and gas masks, spiked helmets and propaganda postcards: Newspapers, magazines and online media have been commemorating World War One for weeks as 2014 marks the centenary of the war's outbreak.

Often, articles attest that our world today isn't that far off from 1914, stating a "haunting currentness of WWI," a "past that doesn't go by," and "the Great War's disastrous echo."

And there are in fact similarities between 1914 and 2014....

And just like Sarajevo's conspirators, there are indoctrinated people today who are willing to die for their extremist ambitions: the masterminds of the 9/11 attacks or suicide attackers who kill innocent bystanders in Baghdad on an almost daily basis.

But such actions are ostracized by the international community today. And so is the dictum of war as "continuation of politics with different means" which was coined by the Prussian general and military theorist Carl von Clausewitz in the 19th century. On the eve of the First World War, he described a legitimate political course of action available to those in power....




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