Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Hugenberg, Alfred

(627 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
Hugenberg, Alfred (June 19, 1865, Hannover – March 12, 1951, Kükenbruch [now part of Extertal, Kreis Lippe]), a leading figure in German commerce and industry, and politician. After studying law and economics from 1894 to 1899 Hugenberg worked for the Prussian Settlement Commission in Posen, where he distinguished himself as a rigorous champion of the Germanization policy. In 1890 he was one of the founding members of the extreme right-wing Pan-German League ( Alldeutscher Verband), for whom he subsequently remained active, if frequently behind the scenes. In 1909 Hugenberg becam…

Sub-Saharan Africa

(719 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Sub-Saharan Africa Africa without the Arab North, and without the settler colonies in the South. Sub-Saharan Africa was both a theater of war and a source for the recruitment of soldiers and laborers during the First World War. The main areas fought over were the German colonies of Togo, Cameroon, and German East Africa, as their capture would enable the wireless stations located there to be destroyed, and their harbors neutralized as bases for the German Navy. When British and French forces occup…

Oncken, Hermann

(271 words)

Author(s): Cornelissen, Christoph
Oncken, Hermann (November 16, 1869, Oldenburg – December 28, 1945, Göttingen), German historian. A lecturer in history at Heidelberg University before the war, in the years before 1914 Oncken was also well known to the public as an advocate of the foreign- and domestic-policy directions taken by Bethmann Hollweg’s government. This manifested itself in his publications promoting German-English conciliatory efforts. It also explains why Oncken was so extremely disappointed over the British declarati…

Leopold, Prince of Bavaria

(337 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Leopold, Prince of Bavaria (February 9, 1846, Munich – September 28, 1930, Munich), German and Bavarian field marshal. Leopold, the second son of the future prince regent Luitpold, joined the Bavarian Army in 1861 and took part in the 1866 and 1870–1871 campaigns. A lieutenant colonel in 1871, he was appointed commanding general of the Ist Bavarian Army Corps in 1887. From 1891 to 1913, Leopold served as inspector general of the Fourth Army District. During this period he attained the ranks of colon…

German Patriotic Associations

(931 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
German Patriotic Associations Designation for the nationalist clubs of the German Empire. Beneath the banners of imperialism and nationalism, numerous nationalist organizations arose in Germany after the 1880s. These associations mostly occupied themselves with foreign policy issues. There was for example the Verband für das Deutschtum im Ausland (‘Association for German Culture Abroad’), founded in 1881; the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (‘German Colonial Society’), founded in 1887; as well as the greatest national association of the German Empire, the Deutsche Flottenv…

Lawrence, Thomas Edward

(391 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Lawrence, Thomas Edward (August 15, 1888, Tremadoc, Wales – May 19, 1935, Moreton, Dorset), British officer, archaeologist, author and adventurer (“Lawrence of Arabia”). Lawrence had participated in excavations in Syria and Anatolia before the war, when he took up a post with the Arab Bureau in Cairo. Because he had since 1916 been in contact with the Emir of Mecca, Hussein bin Ali, the British government gave Lawrence the task of organizing the Arab Revolt against the Turks. He received support in…

Military Chaplaincy

(856 words)

Author(s): Haidl, Roland
Military Chaplaincy (German Militärseelsorge), collective pastoral care for soldiers and other members of the armed forces. During the World War, both Christian confessions as well as the Jewish communities organized their own military chaplaincies on the basis of the two Prussian military church regulations of 1902 ( preussische militärkirchliche Dienstordnungen). In doing so, the German military chaplaincy underwent the greatest expansion of its entire history. The military chaplaincy was a state organization that was subordinated to the war…

Second International

(537 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Second International International federation of national Socialist parties; founded in 1889 in succession to the First International (1864–1876), collapsed during the First World War. The attitude of the Second International to war was constantly debated at its congresses before the First World War. Although a resolution passed at the Stuttgart Congress in 1907 had called on the sections in the various countries to take countermeasures if war threatened, it had left the choice of means to the aff…

Spain

(827 words)

Author(s): Albes, Jens
Spain This one-time world power had sunk to the level of a second-rate power after the 17th century. During the World War, however, it grew to become the most important neutral state of Europe. Favorably situated geo-strategically – two continents plus two oceans meeting at the Straits of Gibraltar – Spain constituted a veritable island of neutrality, surrounded by the warring states of France with Morocco, England with Gibraltar, and after March 1916 Portugal as well. That caused this land on the Iberian Peninsula to unexpectedly become the object of international interest. Despite co…

War Credits

(773 words)

Author(s): Zilch, Reinhold
War Credits War credits were one of the crucial means of financing the war. They were raised in various forms, by various methods, and in various amounts, by all belligerent nations at home and sometimes abroad. War credits were necessary because some elements of normal state receipts fell drastically upon the outbreak of war, while the financial burden abruptly multiplied. War credits were raised at home in the form of short- or long-term government bonds, or by increasing the amount of paper cur…

Wilhelm II, German Kaiser

(1,402 words)

Author(s): C.G. Röhl, John
Wilhelm II, German Kaiser ( January 27, 1859, Berlin – June 4, 1941, Doorn, Netherlands), German Kaiser and King of Prussia. Kaiser Wilhelm was characterized by Germany’s enemies during the First World War as an aggressive warmonger, the personification of the German lust for conquest. Not only among the Allied populace, showered as it was with bloodthirsty caricatures and poisonous propaganda, but also in well-informed government circles (not least in the White House), the war was seen simply as “t…

Poland

(2,056 words)

Author(s): Hecker, Hans
Poland At the beginning of the First World War, Poland existed only in the form of three territorial fragments: the largest and central portion belonged to the Russian Empire (Congress Poland/Russian Poland), the western and northwestern portion (Posen, West Prussia) to Prussia, and thus to the German Reich, and the southern (Galicia and Lodomeria) to Austria-Hungary. As the Central Powers and Russia bordered one another on Polish territory, the war in the East was predominantly fought there. Thr…

South Tyrol

(754 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
South Tyrol The part of the Tyrol situated south of the Brenner. Between August 1914 and May 1915, South Tyrol was disputed territory between the Italians and Italy’s Triple Alliance partners Austria-Hungary and the German Reich. At issue initially was Trentino (according to the census of 1910: 393,111 inhabitants, of whom 366,844 were speakers of Italian and Ladin, 13,893 German-speakers, 2,666 speakers of other languages, and 9,708 foreigners, the greater portion of them North Italians), then th…

Ferdinand I, King of Romania

(366 words)

Author(s): Höpken, Wolfgang
Ferdinand I, King of Romania (August 24, 1865, Sigmaringen – July 20, 1927, Sinaia), king of Romania from 1914. Ferdinand, from the house of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, became heir to the Romanian throne upon his adoption by the childless King Carol I. Until the death of his adoptive father in October 1914, Ferdinand pursued a military career that culminated in leading Romania’s army in the Balkans War of 1913. He gained little in political status by his assumption of the throne, as, especially in fore…

Sports

(883 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Sports When the World War broke out, the Burgfrieden (Fortress Truce) between Turner (German workers’ sports movement) gymnasts and other athletes crumbled in the face of the possible awarding of the 1916 Olympic Games to Berlin. The Turner movement was critical of the ‘international Olympiad,’ rejecting its games as “English attempts to break records,” and not for Germans. Once it became clear that the war would last awhile, the idea grew of replacing the Olympiad with “German war games” as their “national Olympic games.” Accordingly in 1917, the Deutscher Reichsausschuss für die …

Botha, Louis

(310 words)

Author(s): Zimmerer, Jürgen
Botha, Louis (September 27, 1862, Greytown, Natal – August 27, 1919, Rusthof, Pretoria), South African general and politician. Botha was perhaps the most gifted member of the Boer military and one of the leading politicians of South Africa. He demonstrated his superior tactical skills as a general in the Boer War (1899–1902). Serving as prime minister of the Transvaal from 1907, Botha worked towards reconciling the Boers and the British. From 1910 he headed the government of the newly established …

Protestantism

(641 words)

Author(s): Hübinger, Gangolf
Protestantism In the years before the outbreak of war, Anglo-Saxon Protestantism made repeated efforts to establish closer international relations with other churches. The World Alliance for Promoting International Friendship through the Churches, financially supported by the American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, with Friedrich Siegmund Schultze as its German contact, had called its founding assembly in Constance for the 3rd and 4th August of 1914. However, as the war began all the churches qui…

September Program (Septemberprogramm)

(581 words)

Author(s): Roolf, Christoph
September Program ( Septemberprogramm) A four-page document issued by the Reich Chancellery in its final version on September 9, 1914, with the innocuous title of Vorläufige Richtlinien über unsere Politik bei Friedensschluß (Provisional Political Guidelines for when Peace is Concluded). The September Program bears the signature of Reich Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg. It counts as the first, comprehensive war-objectives program of the German Reich leadership in the World War. It resulted from weeks of consultations by the Reich…

Scheidemann, Philipp

(314 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Scheidemann, Philipp ( July 26, 1865, Kassel – November 29, 1939, Copenhagen), German politician. From 1911 he was a member of the governing body of the SPD, and from 1913 one of the three chairmen of the SPD parliamentary party. During World War I, he was one of the best known Social Democrats in German public life. A brilliant speaker, he defended the Burgfrieden policy, but at the same time worked for a settlement with forces in the party opposed to war. In countless interventions he called for “peace by rapprochement” without reparations or annexations.…

Armed Forces (Great Britain)

(4,680 words)

Author(s): Bourne, J.M.
Armed Forces (Great Britain) The First World War was a highly unpleasant experience for the British. The perception of this war in public opinion was once summed up by the historian A.J.P. Taylor in the disparaging words “brave, helpless soldiers; blundering, obstinate generals; nothing achieved.” This negative view was primarily the consequence of the losses of human life, as the number of casualties among the soldiers was without precedent in the history of Great Britain. The majority of these los…
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