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November Thanks – 11

Britain celebrated Remembrance Day, and I wrote on my Russian Telegram channel about it. November 11th was first marked in 1919 by the decree of King George V. Since then, and especially after the World War Two, people remembered those that fought and died in other conflicts. In fact, in one of the ceremonies I watched they even remembered the soldiers who died in the Boer War. The day that began with commemoration of the victims of the First World War has evolved into an occasion to remember all soldiers of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

In Russia, we also remember the tragedy of World War One, but we do it on August 1st, the day the war started. In recent years, we have largely come to see this event as a personal tragedy of the Russian state and its people. Following the successes at the front in 1916, it was probably assumed that Russia won the war; however, the events of 1917, with its two revolutions and deposition of monarchy, annihilated every achievement of the Russian army. The separate peace treaty between the Bolshevist government and Berlin effectively left Germany to struggle alone on the Western front. Russia, in turn, was engulfed by the Civil War.

It is hard to feel gratitude for such events, but as I said in an earlier post, it is these events that ultimately teach us the most valuable lessons. And so I’m grateful for this experience that my country had once undergone that now supports its domestic unity.

Manchester Cenotaph (@Julia Shuvalova)

The Causes And the Course of the World War One (1914-1918)

As I taught History this year and had to occasionally revise different topics, I rediscovered SlideShare as a place to find some spectacular presentations on History topics. Admittedly, some are lame, but if you search well enough you may be granted with a few that are just very, very informative.

Russia is going to mark the beginning of the WW1 for the first time in all these years. Lenin concluding a separate peace with Germany at Brest-Litovsk and thesubsequent victory of the Bolsheviks meant that for the next 70-odd years the Great War was called “imperialist” (not that it was not true, in fact) and never “celebrated”. I doubt Russian part in it was studied well because it was the Tsarist Russia’s war effort.

Not wanting to jump on the bandwagon on the year of the centenniary but obviously wanting to participate in some way, the country has joined the “we remember the Great War” movement in 2013. I posted photos from the memorial World War One park in Moscow in June, and most recently MSN Russia posted a collection of colour photos produced at the frontlines of the First World War by the French cameramen of Albert Kahn’s studio.

So, just in case you were forgetting why the conflict had started in the first place, who were the participants, etc., here is a very detailed presentation by Dan Ewert I found on SlideShare. There are over 180 slides packed to the brim with facts, figures, and photos. Overall, it is a great resource, especially if you are high school student or teacher reading this.

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