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Total WarAn Emotional History$
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Lucy Noakes, Claire Langhamer, and Claudia Siebrecht

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266663

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266663.001.0001

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Emotions in Times of War: Private and Public, Individual and Collective

Emotions in Times of War: Private and Public, Individual and Collective

(p.21) 2 Emotions in Times of War: Private and Public, Individual and Collective
Total War

Ute Frevert

British Academy

In private and public affairs the concepts of honour and shame were crucial from the outbreak and throughout the entire duration of the First World War. The roots of these concepts can be traced back to a highly gendered 19th-century aristocratic-bourgeois code of honour and duty, which in 1914 was translated into the willingness to sacrifice one’s own life and the life of beloved ones. While in the early days of the war propaganda focused on female (sexual) honour and the role of protective chivalrous males, humiliation and public shaming—of enemies, ‘cowards’, and POWs, for example—eventually became common practice in warfare and on the Home Front. Yet as the war and its hardships raged on, more and more people became sceptical of these attitudes. Finally, when the war ended, ‘honour’ maintained its importance, especially in negotiating and bearing the terms of armistice and peace.

Keywords:   honour, shame, humiliation, gender, propaganda, Home Front, war captivity, sacrifice

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