Commemorating the World War I Centenary

With the centenary of Gavrilo Princip’s assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo coming up this June 28, one would think World War I will be much more in the news soon–at least in the US and Britain. (Here’s how Washington DC plans to celebrate, if you’re interested.)

I’ve been keeping an eye out for possible commemoration events to maybe attend while in Europe this summer, but have mostly come across apathy and an urge to forget among Germans. Something that’s perfectly understandable when I think about it. (Here’s a dispatch from Berlin about why Germans no longer celebrate the history of belligerence the way other countries do; and an article on tensions between Britain and Germany over centenary celebrations. Lots of good reading out there now.) That being said, it looks like there will be a fair amount of events in Europe, particularly in Bosnia, Belgium, and France. Centenary News has the lowdown and is keeping a running itinerary.

Of course, while in-person events and the unveiling of monuments is interesting, what’s coming out on the web now is more compelling, at least to a more historical, less political perspective.

The Atlantic has launched a ten-part photo archive from Alan Taylor called World War I in Photos. It’s awesome. Definitely recommended. The depth of the selections is striking. I particularly like how the images are pulled from the different sides. It seems like most of the stuff I’ve seen before has been very American-centric and jingoistic, although this isn’t always the case, the History Channel aside.

Interesting stuff.

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