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Der Weltkrieg als »soziale Arbeitsgemeinschaft«. Eine Innenansicht bildungsbürgerlicher Kriegsdeutungen 1914–1918
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Der Weltkrieg als »soziale Arbeitsgemeinschaft«. Eine Innenansicht bildungsbürgerlicher Kriegsdeutungen 1914–1918

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
The article looks at the position adopted by members of the liberal, well-educated bourgeoisie in... mehr
Der Weltkrieg als »soziale Arbeitsgemeinschaft«. Eine Innenansicht bildungsbürgerlicher Kriegsdeutungen 1914–1918
The article looks at the position adopted by members of the liberal, well-educated bourgeoisie in Germany regarding the social implications of World War I. It portrays a group of students and protestant theologians – adherents to the idea of the urban settlement movement – on their way into war. Their ambition to bridge the gap between the social classes, stemming from the situation present in Wilhelmine Berlin, was transferred on to the battlefield. In this context, they evoked a cross-class community within the troops as a solidarity community of leaders and masses. Thus, this group represented a new model of bourgeois leadership that may be characterized as “integrative leadership,” based on a claim of authenticity derived from close contact with the working class. By rejecting older corporative and elitist concepts, they aimed to redefine their own social position in post-war society in order to perpetuate their leading role.