Violence and Trauma

Experiencing the two World Wars

Authored by: Ville Kivimäki

The Routledge Companion to Cultural History in the Western World

Print publication date:  September  2020
Online publication date:  September  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138649460
eBook ISBN: 9781003080206
Adobe ISBN:


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The chapter focuses on the cultural history of martial violence in Europe in the age of the two World Wars. During the First World War, ‘shell shock’ became a catchword for the mental consequences of industrialized massacre. The chapter explores the question of war neurosis and its legacy. The problem of mentally surviving violence has remained a key impetus for cultural historical approaches to the Great War. The chapter analyses the different ramifications and cultural meanings of violence and concludes by discussing genocidal war, the Holocaust and the catastrophes of the Eastern Front in the Second World War.

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