After World War I, the world’s rhythm and expression changed definitively. Optimistic turn-of-the-century notions that an era of humanity and scientific/technical miracles was nigh quickly dissipated. Millions of people who had always been bound to their family hearth marched onto battlefields according to the will of fate and their ruler, and experienced things that at home no one could have imagined. They left as soldiers of the Austrian army and returned to a new republic in the uniforms of the monarchy’s defeated army, others as defectors or prisoners in the Legionnaires’ uniforms of heroes of the new age. They left behind their stories, unique diaries, reminiscences, letters, and photographs ... In the senseless flow of war, a diary is a link between being and non-being. A memory is the desire to forget. Heroism is betrayal. And betrayal is heroism. Thus begins the twentieth century: a century of great wars and absurdity.
Current generations of Europeans look at war as a remote phenomenon with time-worn edges. Mainly the (show) reality of the “War on Terror” of the 2000s and the media image of the “realism” of geographically remote military conflicts have watered down the image of war as a horrible civilizational defect, and have replaced it with a lukewarm myth of “something abstract”. Today, the word “war” is pronounced with an almost frivolous tone, and yet its threat is not something so entirely unimaginable even within our own geopolitical space (as is otherwise illustrated by the current case of Russia and Ukraine).