Češi a „válečné nadšení“ na prahu Velké války
The Czechs and “War Enthusiasm” on the Doorstep of the Great War
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The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 was accompanied by mass enthusiasm. This wave of enthusiasm (Kriegsbegeisterung) was particularly high in Austro-Hungary. In the regions where the German population was significantly large crowds thronged the streets singing patriotic songs such as “Wacht am Rhein”, “Heil Dir im Siegeskranz”, “The Radecky Marsch”, “Prince Eugene Marsch”. They also arranged tributes in front of monuments, state buildings and military headquarters. Despite the fact that the operation to mobilise the Czech military went smoothly the German public noticed the lack of enthusiasm amidst the Czech soldiers and consequently the Czechs were seen as indifferent and even hostile. There was an attempt to promote demonstrations in Prague as an expression of Czech-German reconciliation. However as these were organised by the German minority in Prague the Czechs continued in their lack of fervour and viewed the war as a German one rather than Czech.
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