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World War One - Aftermath

               Aftermath Film Clips

1919 Revolution in Germany

The Emergence of a New World Power (The New Republic, 1922)

Having studied the global power structure that came into place following the carnage of the First World War, British philosopher Bertrand Russel (1872 - 1970; Nobel Prize for Literature, 1950) was surprised to find that the most dominate nation left standing was not one of the European polities that had fought the war from start to finish - but rather the United States: a nation that had participated in only the last nineteen months of the war.

American power would reach its peak twenty years later...


The Political Crisis in Post-War Germany (Current Opinion Magazine, 1919)

The Current Opinion foreign correspondent filed this short dispatch about the pandemonium unfolding in post-World War I Germany:

"The great fact to the outside world is that a German parliament has actually precipitated a crisis. It threw out the Scheidemann cabinet. It presided over the birth of a Bauer one. It was the German parliament which dictated to the government regarding its composition, instead of meekly obeying the government, as had been the custom..."

More about leftists in Weimar Germany can be read here.


The Emaciated Germans (Time Magazines, 1923)

Fresh from his trip through post-war Europe, U.S. Senator Robert La Follette (1855 - 1925) declared:

"The Germans have been underfed for seven years. They are suffering for want of food, fuel and clothing. Young children and old people are dying from hunger and disease induced by hunger. Emaciated, despairing, they are waiting the end."

Click here to read about the American invalids of W.W. I.


1923 Germany (Vanity Fair Magazine, 1923)

Maximilian Harden (1861 1927) was a major-league journalist and editor in Germany at the time of the First World War. Between 1914-18 he was all-in for a German victory. After the defeat he believed in the democracy that came with the Weimar Republic - but he hated the economic state that his country was forced to endure - and that is what he addresses in this column.

"An old married couple, or a widow, who in 1914 were assured of an untroubled existence on an income 6,000 marks a year, cannot buy with that amount today a pair of shoes, or any new sheets, and can get nine or ten pounds of butter at the most...If anyone has looked upon all this destitution, which is borne by many in silence and true dignity, if anyone has seen this decay of a whole nation, which is like the crumbling of some venerable cathedral, and if in spite of this he puts it all down as camouflage, then that person has a heart of stone in his breast."


Rampant Inflation in Post-War Germany (Click Magazine, 1944)

Author and radio commentator Emil Ludwig (1881 1948) recalled the economic catastrophe that devastated post-World War I Germany as a result of their inflated currency:

"Inflation in Germany really started on the first day of the war in 1914 when the government voted a credit of five billion marks. This was not a loan...I saw the mark, the German monetary unit corresponding to the British shilling or the American quarter, tumble down and down until you paid as much for a loaf of bread as you would have paid for a limousine before inflation started."


Over 15,000 Suicides in 1928 Germany (Pathfinder Magazine, 1931)

A short notice compiled from figures collected at the end of 1928 showed that Germany was the all-time global-champion when it came to suicide:

"In that year 16,036 persons in Germany committed suicide. This is an average of 44 a day or 39 for each 100,000 persons in the country..."


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