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The Great War
Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Timeline Maps & Battles The Shaping of the 21st Century Historians
Historians OverviewSarah O'Brian-Twohig

The Artist as a Socialist
Sarah O'Brian-Twohig
"There was a huge awareness that what was happening to us was actually changing the parameters of what it meant to be a human being.

"Now that's a kind of social revolution of sorts. There were huge shifts, but there is a sense and it's a great – it's a mixture of excitement and trepidation. And I wouldn't say it was doom. I certainly wouldn't say it was apocalyptic doom.

"I think it's that sense of what on earth is this all going to lead to? A great sense of excitement that the stultified old 19th Century was over and a belief that new open forms would develop. But at the same time they could then see how the capitalist system and the imperial society in Germany was actually leading to these horrendous barracks and tenements in which the workers lived, and inhumane living conditions.

"So it doesn't surprise me in the least that for a lot of artists in Germany, there was a thrust straight into socialist thinking. It doesn't mean that they joined parties, but there was this desire that society should actually be literally blown to smithereens and that we should develop something much more humane."

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