World War One, poppy
Spotlight

WW1 Centennial

A hundred years ago, the Great War raged in Europe. The sequel to my emigrants’ story At home on the Rhine and in America, set in the Rhineland between 1914 and 1922, depicts the hardships […]

Sarajevo 1914
The Great War

Austria’s heir to the throne assassinated

[Austria-Hungary, 1914] In the East, the Balkans were a “powder keg” that could explode any time. After the great Balkan crisis, the Congress of Berlin 1878 had confirmed Serbia’s, Montenegro’s, Romania’s and Bulgaria’s independence from the […]

Herbestahal, border station between Germany and Belgium
The Great War

July Crisis

[Rhineland and Belgium, July 1914] Some days lay after the fatal shots in Sarajevo, Sophie was visiting family and friends at the Rhine, her daughter Lottie, her son-in-law Matthias, her grandchildren Kathi and Walter, and […]

Bonn 1914, mobilization
The Great War

Europe at war

[Germany, July/August 1914] During the last weeks, hectic diplomatic activity had been going on behind the scenes, and military leaders were secretly planning for a war. Declarations of war On July 23, Austria-Hungary sent an ultimatum […]

No Picture
The Great War

The Rhine steamer Aimée’s last tour

[Germany, August 1914]  A few days had passed since Kaiser Wilhelm’s war speech. Huge numbers of people were passing through the streets, waving the black-white-red flag of the Kaiserreich (Imperial Germany) and cheering the Kaiser […]

Brussels 1914
The Great War

Belgium 1914

[Rhineland and Belgium, summer and autumn 1914] Matthias had been away for a few weeks. Still, the Bonn newspapers were enthusiastic about the large number of volunteers. Hundreds and thousands went to the front to […]

Przemysl fortress, Eastern front, 1914
The Great War

Eastern Front 1914

[Germany and Austria-Hungary, late summer 1914] According to Germany’s war strategy, the bulk of the troops were marching through Belgium and Luxemburg against France. Confident that they could defeat France while Russia was still mobilizing its […]

Soup kitchen in the "Stübchen"
The Great War

Soup kitchen

[Rhineland, autumn 1914] Jacob looked around in his “Stübchen”. It had ceased to be a colonial goods shop already weeks ago. The shelves were empty and he had stored away his last cocoa stock for Christmas. […]

Wilson 1914
The Great War

USA 1914

[USA, 1914] U.S. neutrality When World War I erupted in Europe, President Woodrow Wilson pledged neutrality for the United States. “The United States must be neutral in fact as well as in name during these […]

Carpathian Mountains, 1915
The Great War

War year 1915

[Eastern Front, 1915] In 1914, the centre of gravity of the war had been on the Western Front, now it shifted to the Eastern. A gigantic Russian was besieging the mighty fortress Przemysl in Galicia. […]