Document Type

Honors Project


Project Advisor: Professor Ernesto Capello


This thesis compares English and German commemorative practices after the Great War. In England, commemoration strengthened national identity by giving value to communal suffering and creating an almost-mythical figure in the Unknown Warrior, an anonymous soldier buried in Westminster Abbey. In contrast, German commemoration met with political instability, hyperinflation, and the infamous “war guilt clause” of the Versailles Treaty, which rejected a national mode of commemoration. Despite these differences, both countries constructed a new “language of loss” physically (through memorials) and metaphorically (through war literature), forever shaping their respective national identities and collective memories.



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