Not Our War: Writings Against the First World War

Not Our War: Writings Against the First World War

A collection of writings and speeches that is the perfect antidote to those who want to downplay the very real anti-war feelings that existed during the First World War. 

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"Years before the 1914 war began. preparations were feverishly underway to block any outbreak of a war involving the major powers. Emerging from decades of peace convocations and debates, pacts and pledges to Never Again Allow War were solemnly argued out, enacted and underwritten by the great socialist, anarchist, syndicalist, communist and pacifist leaders of the day. The beacon of the antiwar movement in Europe was the inspiratonal German Socialist Workers party who garnered over a million votes in national elections, was the largest party in the Reichstag and held the key to blocking authority to fund any war ("not one penny") and to preventing mobilization and conscription ("not one man".) The world seemed safe from war and threats of conflagration. European youth from all countries traveled to Germany in the summers out of loyalty to what everybody acknowledged was the most reliable and uncompromising peace leadership of the continent. On the national political level the German Socialist Party was unassailable in its antiwar policies. Yet when the war erupted in August 1914, all the manifestos, pacts and solemn declarations were furiously swept away as a shack of match sticks is swept away by a dam that has burst. The German Socialist Party, the great bastion of antiwar pledges ("Not one man, Not One Penny") collapsed and instantly voted to authorize funds and to commence mobilization. The peace movement reacted with trauma and disbelief. Could we have done better? What will be the horrendous consequences and can we survive them? Is there hope for a better world in years ahead? The probing documents in this book precede the 1914 war outbreak and terminate in 1920, giving the contemporary views of socialist, feminist, syndicalist, Communist and pacifist organizers of the times. This is not a didactic textbook chronology, but passionate probings at the core of a desperate debate."