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Re-visiting World War I

Interpretations and Perspectives of the Great Conflict

Edited By Jarosław Suchoples and Stephanie James

This book discusses various aspects of World War I. It focuses on topics proposed by contributors resulting from their own research interests. Nevertheless, as a result of common efforts, re-visiting those chosen aspects of the Great War of 1914–1918 enables the presentation of a volume that shows the multidimensional nature and consequences of this turning point in the history of particular nations, if not all mankind. This book, if treated as an intellectual journey through several continents, shows that World War I was not exclusively Europe’s war, and that it touched – in different ways – more parts of the globe than usually considered.
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Ismar Dedović & Tea Sindbæk Andersen - ‘To battle, go forth all heroes’. World War I Memory as a Narrative Template in Yugoslavia and Serbia


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Ismar Dedović

The SAXO Institute University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Tea Sindbæk Andersen

The Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies University of Copenhagen, Denmark

‘To battle, go forth all heroes’. World War I Memory as a Narrative Template in Yugoslavia and Serbia

Abstract: This chapter investigates the creation and development of a Yugoslav and Serbian World War I memory narrative from the establishment of the first Yugoslav state, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918, to the centenary of the World War I in 2014. World War I was experienced very differently in Serbia, Montenegro and the regions of the Habsburg Empire which were united in a Yugoslav state at the end of the war. Nevertheless, the chapter argues that one dominant ‘narrative template’ was established out of Yugoslav World War I memory in the interwar period, and this template prevailed throughout the Yugoslav period. Drawing on examples from schoolbooks, monuments, fictional literature and songs, the chapter demonstrates how the Yugoslav and Serbian memory narrative focused on Serbia’s heroism, victories and sacrifice in the Great War, while the war experience in other parts of Yugoslavia was downplayed. The Serbian heroic war memory became a central pillar of the Yugoslav state narrative, especially in the interwar period, but with varying intensity throughout the 70 years of the Yugoslav state’s existence, until the destruction of the Yugoslav federation in 1991. In spite of this shared memory tradition,...

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