Monday 30 September 2002

War Against War!


With a war seemingly imminent it seems an appropriate time to remind everybody of just what war is all about; it's about death and destruction. But don't forget it's also about the people who get rich while others die, the ones who encourage it all in the first place and sell both sides the weapons.

Food for thought...

In 1924, the German anarchist and pacifist Ernst Friedrich published one of the great anti-war classics, War Against War!. Outraged by the slaughter of the Great War (now known as World War I), Friedrich gathered pictures of battlefield butchery and mutilated soldiers. Juxtaposed with propagandistic pictures of military "glory" and labeled with ironic, sarcastic captions, these photographs showed, and continue to show, the reality of war in all its sickening horror.

What's really amazing is the fact that this book was published around 80 years ago. These images are enough to shake even us jaded moderns, so imagine what it was like for people in the 1920s, decades before slasher flicks, Faces of Death videos, realistic war movies, and Websites like Rotten. The public had never seen photos like these. The emotional effect must've been overwhelming.

To Human Beings in all lands!
I, who am falsely called "German" instead of just simply "man". I call out to the icy regions of the North, I call out to Africa and to America, to Asia and to Europe.

To all regions that have ears to hear I call out but two words and these are

Man and Love

And even as the Australian weeps when he encounters pain, and laughs and makes merry when joy and happiness are granted him, even so dost thou weep, my brother Eskimo, and so, O African and O Chinese, weepest thou too and so weep I.

And as we all, all human beings, equally feel joy and pain, let us fight unitedly against the common monstrous enemy, War.

We shall unite in protesting against, in weeping over the accursed mass murders for which we all bear equal guilt. But let us also raise our eyes cheerfully to the red dawn of freedom and peace.

Note: These images are extremely graphic
"Papa" before and after war (2-page spread)
Young men before and after war (2-page spread)
After war: The Crown Prince and the injured soldier (2-page spread)
Dead soldier
Injured soldier (1)
Injured soldier (2)
Injured soldier (3)
Injured soldier (4)

Excerpts From "War Against War!"