Remembering my father: From the Bavarian workers rising of 1918 to resisting the rise of the Nazis

Studio 1

Resisting War Poster
My talk will draw on my father’s remarkable life in Germany up till 1933. I will use it to illustrate how the Nazis first built on the defeat of the 1918/19 Bavarian workers (and sailors) uprising, a consequence of the war, by the viciously anti-Communist Freikorps. My father, having observed the early Nazis and more aware than many on the left of how dangerous they were, was later deeply involved in the almost forgotten resistance to the Nazis pre-1933. He was active in a number of […]

How to stop a war: The German servicemen’s revolt of 1918

Studio 1

Resisting War Poster
The German revolution of 1918-20 and its violent suppression is a little known event in the British popular memory. Where it is described the narrative typically commences with the mutiny of sailors from the German High Seas fleet over the first few days of November 1918. However, the numerous actions against the continuation of the war by hundreds of thousands of German soldiers on the western front during the preceding summer, have only been recently exposed by the work of historian Nick […]

Making a stand: German opposition to World War One

Studio 1

Resisting War Poster
During and after the First World War, ‘German’ and ‘Germany’ became bywords for militarism and a hundred years later commemoration of the First World War centenary can sometimes give the impression that the war was accepted without opposition in Germany, and that the First World War was fought without any dissenting German voices. This talk will look beyond German militarism at the various forms of anti-war resistance practiced by German citizens, including those conscripted into the German […]

Introduction: Why we are holding these talks on November 11th

Studio 1

Resisting War Poster
On November 11th, Armistice Day, we traditionally mourn the British and allied dead. In fact, the war was a tragedy for all the peoples who took part and we should mourn all those who died. There were people on both sides who opposed the war at the time and said it was a waste of human life and resources. These talks recount the little-known histories of some of those Germans who opposed war between 1914 and 1933. In Britain, remembrance ceremonies are accompanied by military parades which […]

Film showing: Westfront 1918

Resisting War Poster
Vastfronten 1918 Dir: Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 1930, 97 mins, Cert: PG As part of a series of events looking at World War 1 from a German perspective, we are very pleased to provide a rare chance to see what has been acclaimed as ‘one of the greatest anti-war films’. Made in 1930 by the acclaimed German director Georg Pabst, this sub-titled version is screened thanks to the support of the Goethe-Institut. The screening will be introduced by Humberto Perez-Blanco, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at […]

‘Refusing To Kill’

Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors

From Saturday September 9th, the Remembering The Real World War 1 group are presenting an exhibition ‘Refusing To Kill – Bristol’s World War 1 Conscientious Objectors‘ in Bristol Cathedral on College Green. The exhibition will run until early January. Over 350 men from the Bristol area refused to fight in World War 1. They claimed the status of conscientious objector for moral, religious or political reasons. Some agreed to take non-military roles. Others spent much of the war in prison, often […]

Life Gallery, Level 1: Dorothy and Archibald

A tragic tale of World War One victims

 A performative reading of the tragic tale of Private Archibald Knee and Dorothy Beard who died together in 1916: a mutual suicide of two victims of the First World War. Stuart Butler and Rachel Simpson will give readings from Dorothy and Archibald, a folding publication, with illustrations, produced to commemorate two tragic deaths. Designed and illustrated by Katie Johnston, an RCA graduate from Nailsworth, near Stroud, this collaborative book features texts by Stuart and Alice Butler, on the […]

Life Gallery, Level 1: ‘Taking a Holiday’ puppet show

By Otherstory

A story of struggle during the First World War - full of intrigue, escapes, comradeship...and bikes. Recommended for adults and older children. Three showings at: 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm in the Life Gallery, Level 1. Otherstory is a collective of puppeteers, artists and activists based in Bristol. They aim to tell stories that are playful and political, radical and magical.

Studio 1: John Maclean and The War After The War

This talk places John Maclean's pamphlet The War After The War in its broader international and political context. Exploring connections (and differences) between the various international socialists fighting against World War One. These include James Connolly, Eugene Debs and Lenin. In the context of Brexit, Scotland's independence referendum and Trump, with political events increasingly viewed through the prism of nationalism at home and abroad we ask what now for Maclean's working class […]

Studio 1: Refusing to fight

Conscientious Decision-Making & Martyrs or Rebels? Another side of Britain’s 1914-18 war resisters

Conscientious Decision-Making [Lois Bibbings] This talk gives a brief insight into what First World War conscientious objectors to military service meant when they talked about 'conscience' or the reasoning behind their decision and how their beliefs or thinking impacted upon the course of action they took during conscription. It does so by telling stories about a few of those who objected. Martyrs or Rebels? Another side of Britain’s 1914-18 war resisters [Cyril Pearce] Our view of Britain’s […]

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