With the close of the war came the release of millions of combat veterans onto the streets of the world. Some of these veterans adjusted nicely to the post-war world - but many had a difficult time. Their maladjustment was called Shell Shock and it could manifest itself in any number of ways; in the attached article, written less than a year after the war, one anonymous American veteran explained his own personal encounter with the illness.
Click here to read a post-W.W. I poem about combat-related stress...
"One of the most sinister results of the war has been a new wave of anti-Semitism in Europe. Recent dispatches from Berlin describe street demonstrations against Jews and speak of "a veritable pogrom atmosphere" in Munich and Budapest. In Poland, Jewish blood has flown freely, amid scenes of horror described by Herman Bernstein and other writers in American newspapers. In Ukraine the number of Jews massacred during the early part of the present year is estimated anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000."
Ten years after America entered the First World War, thrice elected French Prime-Minister André Tardieu (1876 – 1945) put pen to paper and came up with a book about the complicated relations between France and the United States "Devant l'Obstacle" (1927):
"They go on repeating the words 'American friendship' without realizing that America as a nation does not want friendships, and separates herself from her political associates the moment she can do so, as unceremoniously as she did in 1919, when she signed a separate peace with Germany. Few French students know or remember that less than twenty years after Lafayette left the American shores, America was at war with the country to which she virtually owed her freedom..."
Click here to read another article in which André Tardieu slanders the Americans.
Click here should you wish to read good thoughts by a Frenchman concerning America's entry into W.W. I.
British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey (1862-1922) 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 wag 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.