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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 OverviewJay Winter

Jay Winter
"The mobilization of hatred is a way of saying there is no other way than to carry the war on to the bloody end.

"That level of hatred had a terrible moment to it, because as soon as you had crimes, let's say like atrocities in Belgium or France, the sinking of the Lusitania or the use of poison gas, then the criminals have to be punished. What does it do?

Propaganda poster
Anti-German propaganda poster
"First of all, it stops people from thinking about a compromise peace. How can you compromise with the devil? It stops people from thinking about the idea that the war may be engaging in war aims that have nothing to do with the war of the sons of light against the sons of darkness. It basically takes reason out of war. It changes it from a political conflict into a moral conflict. And once it becomes a moral conflict, then there is no argument anymore, there is only bloodshed.

"More bloodshed requires more soldiers, more soldiers to punish the criminals.

"When they are killed, they must be replaced. And, the families who are bereaved hate those who killed them. The hatred of the First World War is not different than the hatred of previous wars. It's just like everything else – it's bigger, it's wider, it's longer, it's deeper."

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