On this site, we have brought together information of the First World War.
2014 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. In this "great seminal catastrophe" of the 20th century with its murderous, costly battles, almost 10 million soldiers died a gruesome death; a further 20 million were wounded and were physically or mentally scarred for life. Entire regions were devastated – broken up by shells, contaminated by poison gas. Names like Verdun, Ypres, Tannenberg or the Somme stand for a hitherto unprecedented level of mass slaughter, which makes a mockery of the propaganda of the time that told of a "hero's death".
The First World War changed the lives of the people, societies and states in Europe. The common memory of this collective nightmare, its causes and effects is, therefore, an indispensable part of the European integration process. In spite of differences in national cultures of remembrance, we have the fundamental conviction that we are, today, more than an artificially created community for solving current financial and economic problems.
The Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, therefore answered sceptics as follows in his commemorative address at the German Bundestag on the German National Day of Mourning in 2008:
„Anyone who doubts Europe, anyone who despairs of Europe should visit the war cemeteries! Nowhere is it possible to feel more vividly, more forcefully and more movingly what European conflict at its worst can achieve.“
Jean-Claude Juncker – The Prime Minister of Luxembourg