Germany and the Central Powers in the World War, 1914- 1918

Excerpt

Professor Walther Hubatsch enjoys a position of respect and importance in the new, post-war generation of German historians. His publications range from late medieval to very modern history, particularly in respect to Prussian and Scandinavian developments. Modern naval history and the massive world conflicts of our century are subjects of his recent attention. This brief survey of the Central Powers during the First World War is Professor Hubatsch's first English publication. American historians extend their welcome to him in this endeavor.

We ought to encourage historians of other lands and cultures to share their studies and conclusions with us. Knowledge arrived at singly, or only in one context of nation or interpretation, is likely to remain a sterile product. Students of history especially need the stimulation that arises from understanding views and conclusions of another society or tradition than their own. An exchange of views with scholars from other lands can produce some of the most fruitful experience in an historian's career. Observing the basic premises of scholarship, ie., careful exploration of relevant factual evidence and mutual respect for conclusions reached by honorable intellectual search, we stand to lose only two highly expendable qualities--our ignorance and our prejudice.

In this general survey, based on his contribution to a handbook on German history widely used in his country by advanced students and teachers, Professor Hubatsch gives us an indication of the way Germans are likely to consider major aspects of their history in the Twentieth Century. Much of the information relating to military units and their commanders, to major campaigns and localities of battle may appear tedious to us. Yet, the involvement of so many German families with this relatively recent past and the compactness of European geography (with which many Germans will be intimately familiar) make such facts much more meaningful to them than to us. And this is not a question of militaristic thinking; it relates intimately to their sense of the sweep of their history.

American readers may find other aspects of this overview somehow out-dated or over-emphasized. There precisely lies the value of a chronicle from the other shore. For example, we are likely to consider the fate of the Hohenzollern dynasty significant in terms of subsequent German history, but are likely to ignore the story of wartime Hapsburg-

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Lawrence, KS
Publication year:
  • 1963

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