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German Fatherland Party(Deutsche Vaterlandspartei – DVLP)

(518 words)

Author(s): Hagenlücke, Heinz
German Fatherland Party( Deutsche Vaterlandspartei – DVLP) An annexationist collective movement of nationalist-conservative circles in Germany. The DVLP was officially founded on September 2, 1917, (“Sedan Day”) in Königsberg. Honorary president was Duke Johann Albrecht von Mecklenburg-Schwerin, first chairman Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. The party’s guiding and driving spirit was the former Generallandschaftsdirektor (president of a regional land-owners’ council) Wolfgang Kapp, who, in reaction to the Reichstag peace resolution of July 19, 1…

Union of Democratic Control

(305 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Union of Democratic Control British association of radical-liberal and socialist politicians and intellectuals who spoke out against imperialistic politics and annexationist war aims while advocating a democratically controlled foreign policy. The U.D.C. was founded on September 5, 1914, as a manifestation of open protest against British politics during the July Crisis by James Ramsay MacDonald, Norman Angell, Arthur Ponsonby, and Edmund Dene Morel. Other co-founders included, among others, Bertrand…

Falkenhayn, Erich von

(1,204 words)

Author(s): Afflerbach, Holger
Falkenhayn, Erich von (September 11, 1861, Burg Belchau [Kreis Graudenz] – April 8, 1922, Schloss Lindstedt [near Potsdam]), German general and chief of the General Staff. Falkenhayn came from a West-Prussian “Junker” family with a strong military tradition. He entered the cadet corps at the early age of ten. He had a successful career as a young officer, and attended military academy. His life took an unusual turn when, in 1896, he took leave from the army and, for professional and financial reaso…

War Atrocities

(955 words)

Author(s): Kramer, Alan
War Atrocities War atrocities may either be in direct violation of international law or contravene the generally accepted conventions of war, or else be conform to international law but nevertheless condemnable. The basic premise lies in the particular atrocity of the type of warfare or in the choice of victims. When defenseless people deliberately become the target of acts of war (civilians, shipwrecked persons, captured or wounded soldiers), the afflicted side perceives such acts as war atrociti…

Poincaré, Raymond

(994 words)

Author(s): Krumeich, Gerd
Poincaré, Raymond (August 20, 1860, Bar-le-Duc [Département Meuse] – October 15, 1934, Paris), French politician, state president. Poincaré came from a prosperous French provincial bourgeois family. Despite a political career that took place predominantly in Paris, his home town of Bar-le-Duc (capital of the Meuse Department) remained for him a haven of social and political retreat. Poincaré became one of the defining personalities of moderate republicanism in France. A lawyer by profession, he wa…

German War Graves Commission

(615 words)

Author(s): Brandt, Susanne
German War Graves Commission Founded in 1919 this commission, entitled the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge (VDK), was the most important private organization of the interwar period concerned with the creation and maintenance of German war graves. After 1923 the Zentralnachweiseamt für Kriegerverluste und Kriegergräber (‘Central Office for War Victims and War Graves,’ or ZAK) in Berlin was officially charged by the Interior Ministry with the many tasks involved in the care of war graves, and of fallen soldiers’ next-of-kin, as wa…

Paris Peace Conferences

(739 words)

Author(s): Schwabe, Klaus
Paris Peace Conferences In Paris between January 18 and June 28, 1919, peace conferences were held by the victorious powers of the First World War in order to make final decisions on a host of questions, and then to write them as regulations to which the signatories would be contractually obligated. Additionally the victorious powers would conclude so-called minority treaties with the allies of the German Empire after the signing of the Versailles Treaty. The Paris Peace Conferences were held in se…

Compiègne

(335 words)

Author(s): Werth, German
Compiègne French town and railway junction on the River Oise, some 60 km northeast of Paris; in 1917 it became the seat of the French Headquarters (GQG) and later the site of the 1918 Armistice. On November 11, 1918, at around 5:20 am, the Armistice between the Entente represented by chief negotiator Marshal Ferdinand Foch, and the German Empire was signed in a wooded area near Compiègne. The act itself took place in a railway carriage parked in a siding that belonged to a disused railway gun emp…

Michaelis, Georg

(639 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Michaelis, Georg (September 8, 1857, Haynau [Silesia] – July 24, 1936, Bad Saarow [district Fürstenwalde]), German politician (chancellor of the Reich and Prussian prime minister). As a doctor of law, the young Michaelis rapidly ascended the steps of the Prussian administrative bureaucracy. Having officiated as deputy district administrator in the Lower Silesian city of Liegnitz (current Legnica) from 1902 to 1909, he was then appointed undersecretary of state in the Prussian Treasury Department. Following the outbreak of the war, he became chairman of the board of d…

Liebknecht, Karl

(460 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Liebknecht, Karl (August 13, 1871, Leipzig – January 15, 1919, Berlin [assassinated]), German politician. The son of Wilhelm Liebknecht, founder of the German Social Democratic Party ( Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands – SPD), Karl Liebknecht was a lawyer and a member of the SPD group in the Prussian lower house of Parliament, as well as later in the Reichstag. He also made a name as a writer of sociological and subversive literature. In 1907 Liebknecht was sentenced to 18 months in prison for antimilitary propaganda.…

Japan

(2,146 words)

Author(s): Schwentker, Wolfgang
Japan Japan rose to become a Great Power in East Asia during the two centuries preceding 1914. Although the Japanese Empire had become the object of Western imperialism during the late 19th century, they had resisted all attempts at colonization. After victories in both the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895 and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, Japan itself stepped into the imperialist arena in East Asia as the new colonial power. As Japan expanded its empire upon the Asian continent before 1914,…

Gas Warfare

(1,909 words)

Author(s): Müller, Rolf-Dieter
Gas Warfare With the large-scale use of poisonous chlorine gas at Ypres on April 22, 1915, the Germans opened a new chapter in the history of modern warfare. It marked the birth of a new “weapon of mass destruction,” which has had a profound impact on war and peace in the twentieth century and beyond. The use of poison gas became one of the hallmark phenomena of the First World War because it changed the image of the soldier and his “chivalrous struggle” much more radically than any other contemporary weapons development. The question of guilt – which side violated the Hague Convention…

Gaulle, Charles de

(360 words)

Author(s): Waechter, Matthias
Gaulle, Charles de (November 22, 1890, Lille – November 9, 1970, Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, Département Haute-Marne), French officer and politician. As a young officer, De Gaulle was decorated among other things, for Verdun. He fell prisoner to the Germans, and undertook several spectacular escape attempts. The World War came to have a special meaning for him, especially for his awareness of politics and history, and for his ideological formation. For De Gaulle, the Union sacrée achieved during the war became his lifelong ideal for a successful, domestic political or…

Bäumer, Gertrud

(749 words)

Author(s): Rouette, Susanne
Bäumer, Gertrud (September 12, 1873, Hohenlimburg – March 25, 1954, Bethel, now part of Bielefeld), German literary author and women’s rights campaigner. Bäumer was a leading representative of the moderate wing within the bourgeois women’s movement, a distinguished liberal politician and commentator as well as an author of historical novels. From 1910 to 1919 she chaired the Federation of German Women’s Organizations (Bund Deutscher Frauenvereine, BDF), the umbrella organization of the bourgeois women’s movement. The trained teacher, who held a doctorate in German lit…

Instruction in Patriotic Values (German)

(340 words)

Author(s): Pöhlmann, Markus
Instruction in Patriotic Values (German) The need for a methodical, propagandistic strengthening of the army’s and population’s will to hold out had thrust itself upon the German government since the aggravation of the military and economic situation in the year 1916. Under the impression of the Reichstag’s Peace Resolution, the military leadership decided to take the initiative. On July 29, 1917, the chief of the General Staff issued the Leitsätze für die Aufklärungsarbeit unter den Truppen ( Guidelines for dispensing instruction among the troops), which henceforth regulated …

Reparations

(2,115 words)

Author(s): Geyer, Martin H.
Reparations Since the First World War the normal term for war compensation, by which a state is obliged to remedy damage illicitly caused by it on the sovereign territory of an enemy. In contrast to the traditional practice whereby financial obligations were imposed by the victors in a war in the form of tribute, the concept of reparations introduced…

Karl I, Emperor of Austria

(573 words)

Author(s): Jerabék, Rudolf
Karl I, Emperor of Austria (August, 17, 1887, Persenbeug [Lower Austria] – April 1, 1922, Quinta do Monte [Madeira]), Emperor of Austria, King o…

Cecil (of Chelwood), Edgar Algernon Robert

(318 words)

Author(s): Winter, Jay
Cecil (of Chelwood), Edgar Algernon Robert (September 14, 1864, London – November 24, 1958, Tunbridge Wells; from 1923 First Viscount), British politician. Cecil was one of the architects and longstanding champions of the League of Nations. After training as a lawyer, he began his political career in 1906 as Conservative Member of Parliament for East Marylebone. At the outbreak of the First World War he first became involved with the Red Cross. He became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Fore…

Regiment

(328 words)

Author(s): Storz, Dieter
Regiment Major administrative unit of a service branch, normally led by a colonel. The infantry of all European countries had been organized into regiments since the late 17th century. In order to ensure command efficiency, regiments were further divided into battalions and companies. Other branches of the army, notably the cavalry and artillery branches, were also organized into regiments. Administrative units corresponded with tactical units except for any existing regiments of special troops, …

Haase, Hugo

(360 words)

Author(s): Mühlhausen, Walter
Haase, Hugo (September 29, 1863, Allenstein – November 7, 1919, Berlin [murdered]), German politician. One of the two chairmen of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD; Social Democratic Party of Germany) from 1911 onward, Haase opposed the Burgfrieden (Fortress Truce) policy that had been adopted by the majority of his party. He nonetheless bowed to party discipline. Speaking before the Reichstag on August 4, 1914, he read out the declaration in which the SPD approved the war credits –…
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