The Truth Behind The Collective Memory

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Just after the end the First World War, a phenomenal fear emerged in many societies that prevalent chaos and struggle to restore peace in politics, economics and the society itself, was irrevocable consequence of men brutalized by the war cruelty. The hope that ‘war was to end war’ had been proven to be far from truth. Hence, it is ironic that the need to somehow legitimize war experience, created what George L. Mosse calls the Myth of the War Experience. This myth ‘looked upon the war as a meaningful and even sacred event’ and generated a massive consent that brutality was of vital importance to create a national destiny. The controversial ‘brutalization thesis’ has recently become a passionate debate among historians, thus developing…show more content…
Such indifference was even more strengthen by the radical Rights which soon predominated political arena. The political agenda of the Rights were decisively based on the Myth of the War Experience, which legitimized (not only theoretically but also practical adjustment of the law) their aggressive and racist politics which certainly embraced the dehumanization of the enemy. Such view, based upon no matter whether a real or just presupposed threat, meant that foe was stereotyped. For instance, Mosse recalls that pre- existed tensions and dislike of Jews associated with Bolshevism turned to become a massive hatred, imposing that they were the only to be blamed for Germany’s after-war hardships. This contempt to the ‘enemy’ was exposed through various forms of propaganda which became inseparable contrast of the ideal of manliness. Manliness, together with Camaraderie, Mosse suggests, was another part of the Myth of the War Experience which exerted influence over the brutalization process. Upsurge of the warrior ideal - ‘the man of steel’, indirectly encouraged barbarism within the society. Consequently, Mosse Draws a conclusion that attitudes toward death which eventually generated a myth, were the cause for these symptoms of brutality in the society and ultimate brutalization of politics, transporting the Great World War to the inevitable WWII. As we can see, Mosse builds his argument by providing various
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