Author: Steffen Haug

1 August 1914 – The First Page of Aby Warburg’s ‘Kriegs-Zibaldone’, his war journal

“On 1 August 1914, after all, the mobilisation was announced. Our Kaiser has proven himself so worthy that he could even lose the war without disgrace; what God may prevent.” Aby Warburg began his war journal of the years 1914–1918 with these words. He positions himself in line with the patriotism of the majority of his milieu of the bourgeoisie, supporting “our Kaiser”. In all the praise of the Kaiser, though, he underlines the uncertain outcome of the war, even the possibility of losing it— a notion present already in the very first sentence of this diary.

Marc Bloch: “Réflections d’un historien sur les fausses nouvelles de la guerre”

“Items of false news, in all the multiplicity of their forms – simple gossip, deceptions, legends – have filled the life of humanity. How are they born? From what elements do they take shape? How do they propagate themselves, gaining strength as they pass from mouth to mouth or writing to writing?” – In 1921, three years after the end of the First World War, the historian Marc Bloch posed these questions in his essay Reflections of an Historian on the False News of the War.

“Bilderfahrzeug” and “Bilder Omnibus” – a manuscript by Aby Warburg from 1906

In 1906 Aby Warburg writes about the inherent reproducibility and mobility of images in the early Renaissance, naming tapestries as a link between the fresco and the prints: „The adaptable tapestry stands between high art and printing, whose products, as a vehicle of images [Bilderfahrzeug], have usurped its position on the walls of the bourgeois home.”

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