The German centenary of the First World War

Mombauer, Annika (2017). The German centenary of the First World War. War & Society, 36(4) pp. 276–288.



In the run up to the 2014 centenary of the First World War, the German public was gripped by a heated debate on the origins of the war. This article explores the nature of this controversy and its role in shaping national commemoration of the Great War. It also draws parallels between the commemorations of the fiftieth anniversary of the outbreak of the war in 1964 and those of 2014. Through a comparison of Germany’s national memories of the war with those in Britain and France, the article also reveals how different and sometimes conflicting national interpretations of the history of the First World War have affected centenary commemoration. Memories of the First World War are nation-specific, constructed and developed over time to suit a particular view of a country’s past. Moreover, they can be instrumental in influencing that country’s future development and relations with its neighbours.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions