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Abstract

World War I dismantled Imperial Germany and, long after the fighting had ceased, continued to shape the newly-born Weimar Republic. This paper argues that a war over the memory of the Great War in Germany led to Weimar’s downfall. The Weimar Republic’s lack of a collective memory of the first total war became the center of the political debate on the republic’s viability and Germany’s future. This war debate was potently wielded in the arenas of literature and art to heighten political conflict and ensure that the war’s memory seeped into every aspect of society. Ultimately, Weimar’s inability to promote any consensus on the war’s meaning in the face of opposition from the conservative and extremist right weakened the republic significantly and led to its downfall.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

DOI

https://doi.org/10.25172/jour.6.2.3

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