14 – Diaries of the Great War (14 – Tagebücher des Ersten Weltkriegs) Episodes 1 and 2
World War I
Wednesday, 8 October 2014, 6:30 pm
Goethe-Institut Washington, GoetheForum
+ 1 (202) 289-1200
Germany/France/Canada, 2014, dramatic documentary, Directors: Jan Peter and Yury Winterberg, LOOKS Film
Discussion follows with Marion Deshmukh, Robert T. Hawkes Professor of History, Department of History and Art History, George Mason University; Eric Lohr, Professor and Susan Carmel Lehrman Chair of Russian History and Culture, Department of History, American University; and Katrin Schultheiss, Director of Graduate Studies, Associate Professor of History, The George Washington University
14 - Diaries of the Great War retells the story of the greatest war mankind had ever seen in a unique way, conveying the vivid, emotional stories of individuals – soldiers in the trenches, housewives, and children – from France, Germany, Great Britain, Austria-Hungary, Russia, the United States, and Austria based on the memories they left behind in diaries, letters, postcards and telegrams. This evening presents the first two episodes.
Episode 1: The Abyss
Europe in 1914 is a tense and extremely well-armed continent. When the heir to the Austrian throne and his wife are killed in Sarajevo, war begins: with naïve excitement, soldiers move to the front with the expectation that they’ll be home by Christmas. The protagonists range from children in many different countries who gradually begin to experience the impact of the war to artist Käthe Kollwitz and her husband Karl, who watch as their 17-year-old son volunteers to join.
Episode 2: The Onslaught
A European conflict becomes a world war in which modern weapons systems meet traditional methods. The number of casualties is immense, and all leaders are convinced that larger armies and more weapons will bring victory. These stories follow soldiers and their families on all fronts, including Ernst Jünger, as they experience war’s unsentimentality and draconian penalties.
In conjunction with the exhibition Postcards from the Trenches: Germans and Americans Visualize the Great War.