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Pela Paz! For Peace! Pour la Paix!



Maria Manuela Tavares Ribeiro, Maria Fernanda Rollo and Isabel Maria Freitas Valente

Peace is generally defined as a state of non-belligerency between states. This means that it is defined negatively as the absence of war. So is peace just a pause between two wars?
In French, the term is significant: peace is considered a slice of life between two conflicts. Thus, we speak of the early 20th century as the «Belle Époque» and we talk about the «interwar period», which implies the failure of peace.
Twenty years after the end of the Great War, another, even more terrible conflict began. At the same time, an inversion of values took place in European minds that along with the horrors of war made it very difficult for any Franco-German reconciliation to take place. We would have to wait for the end of the Second World War and its consequences to speak of peace as a realistic utopia.
This volume brings together a number of articles in Portuguese, French and English – on topics such as «thinking peace», intellectuals and peace, federalism and universalism, religiosity and secularism, women and peace, and campaigns and mobility – from many prestigious experts and young researchers. They bring new ways of thinking and interdisciplinary perspectives, and provide an attentive, critical reading of the core subject. This volume proposes to substantiate concepts, projects, movements, speeches, images and representations, and to deepen the knowledge of the key personalities who thought about peace between 1849 and 1939.
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“No more war!” Pacifist War Veterans in Germany, 1918-1923

Friedensbund der Kriegsteilnehmer


“No more war!”

Pacifist War Veterans in Germany, 1918-1923

Benjamin Ziemann*

Abstract: The article charts the development and performative practices of the “no more war”-movement in Germany from 1919 to 1923. Based on a coalition of an association of pacifist war veterans with the two socialist parties SPD and USPD, the movement staged public demonstrations in many German cities on 1 August to commemorate the beginning of the First World War in 1914. The agitation of the “no more war”-movement was part of a wider anti-war discourse of German war veterans, who offered a class-based critique of the injustice in the German wartime army. During the years from 1918 to 1922, these discourse were able to exert considerable influence in German public opinion.

The title of this article almost seems to be a contradiction in terms. Many historians would agree that war veterans in Germany were potential Fascists, and nothing else, an interpretation that is a staple of historical scholarship on interwar Europe. In this view, their war experience had turned German soldiers of the Great War into almost natural supporters of right-wing or extreme right-wing political parties. The Freekorps movement, those paramilitary units that brutally suppressed Communist uprisings in Berlin, Munich and other German cities in 1919/20, seem to be a case in point.1 This point has found its seminal formulation in the late George L. Mosse’s comparative study of war remembrances. Here, Mosse analysed a pattern of public...

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