Verfasst von: nickwimmer | 3. Januar 2014

„The European continent was at peace on the morning of Sunday 28 June 1914, when ….

…Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie Chotek arrived at Sarajevo railway station. Thirty-seven days later, it was at war. The conflict that began that summer mobilized 65 million troops, claimed three empires, 20 million military and civilian deaths, and 21 million wounded“. Das sind die ersten drei Sätze der Einleitung des australischen Historikers CHRISTOPHER CLARK zu seinem Buch „THE SLEEPWALKERS – How Europe went to war in 1914“ (First published in Great Britain in 2012 by Allen Lane). „This book is concerned less with w h y the war happened than with h o w it came about“. (Also, dieses Buch beschäftigt sich weniger damit, warum dieser Krieg geschah, als vielmehr, wie es zu diesem Krieg kam.)“Questions of why and how“, erklärt Clark weiter, „are logically inseparable, but they lead us in different directions. The question of how invites us to look closely at the sequences of interactions that produced certain outcomes. By contrast, the question of why invites us to go in search of remote and categorical causes: imperialism, nationalism, armaments, alliances, high finance, ideas of national honour, the mechanics of mobilization. The why approach brings a certain analytical clarity, but it also has a distorting effect, because it creates the illusion of a steadily building causal pressure; the factors pile up on top of each other pushing down on the events; political actors become mere executors of forces long established and beyond their control…“
Habe heute Clarks Buch in die Hand bekommen und zu lesen begonnen. Hochinteressant…
Auf der allerersten Seite seines Buches erinnert Christopher Clark an seinen Großonkel James Joseph O’Brien, Viehzüchter in Tallwood Station im Norden von New South Wales, der sich am 12 Mai 1916 bei der Australian Imperial Force bewarb, „after training for two months at the Sydney showgrounds, Private O’Brien was assigned to the 35th Battalion of the 3rd Division of the AIF and embarked on the SS Benalla for England, where he received further training. On around 18 August 1917, he joined his unit in France, in time to take part in the battles of the Third Ypres campaign…“ Christopher Clark erinnert sich an ein Gespräch mit seinem Großonkel, als der bereits ein alter Mann („he was reticent on the subject of his war experience“) war und er,der Neunjährige, ihn fragte,“…whether the men who fought in the war were scared or keen to get into the fight. He replied that some were scared and some were keen. Did the keen ones fight better than the scared ones, I asked. ‚No‘, said Jim, ‚it was the keen ones who shat themselves first.‘ I was deeply impressed by this reply and puzzled over it – especially the word ‚first‘ – for some time“.
Kann sich jemand vorstellen, so etwas in einem Buch eines Historikers hierzulande zu lesen?

WELTENBRAND ein Stück über Giftgas, den Ersten Weltkrieg und danach von TOBIAS GINSBURG und DAPHNE EBNER, Voraufführung am Montag 6.Januar 19:30 Uhr, Premiere (UA) am Donnerstag 9.Januar 19:30 Uhr.


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