Container für Inhalte

8 | Ernst Friedrich: War to war

  • Ernst Friedrich: War to war, 1924

    (c) Kurt Tucholsky Literaturmuseum CC-BY-NC-SA

  • Verdun Cimetiere, postcard, 1920th

    (c) Kurt Tucholsky Literaturmuseum CC-BY-NC-SA

  • Audio guide for reading

    Audio guide for reading

    The War against War’ is a 1924 book by the German antimilitarist Ernst Friedrich. With the notion, that a picture says more than a thousand words, the book shows photos of injured people, executions and appalling mutilations. Exactly these pictures account for the immense publicity this book reached. It was translated into more than fifty languages, caused a worldwide sensation and even today reaches mass circulation. Tucholsky commented on the book:

    “Whoever sees this and does not shudder is not a human being. He is a patriot.”

    Tucholsky did not back away from radical statements about war, causing the military and nationalist circles to regard him with contempt and hate.

    “The modern battlefield is neither a field of honour nor a field of dishonour. It is the knacker’s yard of the business people, where sadists, rum-drunks, two-penny riffraff and innocents, innocents, innocents get murdered.”

    ‘The War against War’ is also the title of one of Tucholsky’s poems published shortly after the First World War in the magazine ‘Ulk’. He laments the military authority that commands simple soldiers to kill and gets away with its crimes. Remarkably, Tucholsky predicts the Second World War in the last stanza:

    “In another twenty years
    We will see new canoneers.”

    Voiced by Marianna Evenstein and Derrick Williams