Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Rumors

(703 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Rumors In all societies involved in the World War, social culture was influenced by “informal communication” media. In addition to military letters, trench newspapers, and unofficial leaflets and pamphlets, a large number of rumors supplied the lack of social information once censorship had caused the public media to lose credibility. In many place…

Stereotypes

(627 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Stereotypes Combatants developed their images of “us” and “them” along the lines of national stereotypes that echoed, to some degree, cultural impressions coined before the war. Frequently this involved the clearly pejorative, somewhat racist disparagement of the enemy. Occasionally this also involved the judgment implicit in their evolving typification of national characters, which sometimes was in effect along the fronts of the war and beyond. The oldest typification existed in the figure of Tommy Atkins, the typical British soldier. This idealization of the valorous, upright, and patriotic private soldier dates back to the Napoleonic wars, and was popularized during the 19th century. After 1894