British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey (1862-1933) was quicker than most of his contemporaries when he recognized what was unfolding in Europe during the August of 1914, and uttered these prophetic words:
"The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."
The anonymous old saw who penned this opinion column came to understand Gray's words; four years after the war he looked around and found that the world speeding by his window seemed untouched by the heavy handed Victorians. For this writer, the Victorian poet and writer Matthew Arnold (1822 - 1888) represented the spirit of that age and it all seemed to come crashing down in 1922:
"Granting that the son of Arnold of Rugby was more troubled over the decay of Christian dogma than we are, it should be remembered that the decay symbolized for him a fact of equal gravity to ourselves -- the loss of a rational universe in which to be at home. But he never doubted how a new world was to be built -- by justice and by reason, not by claptrap and myth."
Attached is a sad advertisement that ran on the pages of THE NATION for a number of years following the end of the war. Posted by a German charity, the ad pictures -what we can assume to be- a starving German child from one of the more impoverished regions of Saxony or Thuringia. All told, the photo and the accompanying text clearly illustrate the economic hardships that plagued post-World War I Germany.
Click here to read an article about the German veterans of W.W. I.
Attached is a review of "The American Era" by H.H. Powers. The reviewer disputes the author's argument that the First World War made Britain a weaker nation:
"Mr. Powers' interpretation of the war and it's squeals is that the Anglo-Saxon idea, having triumphed, will set the tone for the whole world. He also believes that the real depository and expositor of this idea in the future must be America. Britain, he thinks,in spite of her great geographical gains from the war-- he considerately exaggerates these, has sung her swan song of leadership."
A similar article about American power can be read here.
A brief article published some six months after the Armistice in which the editors collected various opinion pieces from assorted German newspapers that clearly stated the deep hatred many Germans felt for their former king. Also mentioned was the possibility that the dethroned Kaiser could possibly stand trial before the "court of Nations".
"The rotten branch on the Hohenzollern tree must be broken off, so that the tree may once more bloom and flourish. William II is superficial, frivolous, vain, and and autocratic; a lover of pomp; proud of his money, void of seriousness; a petty worshiper of his own petty self; without one trait of greatness, a poseur, an actor, and worst of all for a ruler: a coward."
Click here to read what the Kaiser thought of Adolf Hitler.
A few cartoons by the illustrator George Wright (1872 - 1951) depicting the American Third Army during it's 1919 occupation of Germany.
It was estimated that there were as many as two million empty seats around the collective family dinner tables in Post World War One Britain. Such an absence of young men could not help but lead to a new social arrangement:
"England is the great human laboratory of our generation - England with her surplus of two million women, her restless, well-equipped, unsatisfied women".
Too many European women were unable to find husbands and moved to America.