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First World War Centenary

The Peace Palace Library will commemorate the First World War Centenary with a series of blogs and items on the website. The Library’s collection on the Great War is focused on aspects of international law: the laws of war, the Paris Peace Conference, the peace treaties of 1919-1920, the war reparations and the politics of its memory. For that purpose, an extensive Research Guide on the topic has been prepared as a starting point for research in the Library. Please, check our Research Guides menu.

  • Silent Night: the Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914

    “That the Guns may Fall Silent at Least upon the Night the Angels Sang”

    December 23, 2015

    Only five months after the outbreak of the Great War in Europe, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies. Late on Christmas Eve 1914, men of the British Expeditionary Force heard Germans troops in the trenches opposite them singing carols and patriotic songs and saw lanterns and small fir trees along their trenches. Messages began to be shouted between the trenches.

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  • Commemorative Lecture: 'Organizing for Peace: Bertha von Suttner, Dr. Aletta Jacobs and the International Congress of Women at The Hague', June 16, 2015, Peace Palace, The Hague

    Commemorative Lecture: ‘Organizing for Peace: Bertha von Suttner, Dr. Aletta Jacobs and the International Congress of Women at The Hague’, June 16, 2015, Peace Palace

    June 3, 2015

    The lecture will focus on the work, life and legacy of Dr. Aletta Jacobs and Bertha von Suttner and the many women they inspired and who helped to make the International Congress of Women in 1915 a reality. Read more, here.

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  • Paardenmarkt: A Toxic Legacy of the Great War

    May 29, 2015

    Countries that in the past have chosen to take the easy way out by disposing their chemical warfare material by ocean dumping are now realizing the unpleasant fact that this material, although out of sight, is not out of mind because it presents threats to public health and the environment. Here, the example of one of the largest World War I ammunition dump sites in Europe, the Paardenmarkt, a narrow submerged sand-bank called off the coast of Belgium.

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  • First World War Centenary: War Poetry and Music

    December 22, 2014

    On Tuesday November 25, as part of the commemoration activities regarding the First World War, an evening of war poetry and music took place in the Small Courtroom of the Peace Palace. The First World War has had devastating effects worldwide; at the same, no other war has caused so many poets, soldiers in the trenches, men and women at the home front to voice their thoughts and feelings in poetry.

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  • Lecture: There is Only War - Neutrals Reflect on the First World War, Tuesday, 2 December, 17:15 h.

    Lecture: There is Only War – Neutrals Reflect on the First World War, Tuesday, 2 December, 17:15 h.

    November 27, 2014

    It should not surprise us that war is never only about the actors waging it. Most non-belligerents in the First World War came into the war with clear expectations of what their neutrality meant and what their country’s international obligations were. Those expectations had been shaped by a century of precedent within an environment that enhanced and protected the rights of neutrals. This Peace Palace Library lecture by Maartje Abbenhuis starts at 17:15. Doors open at 17 h. Entrance fee € 4. Visit of the exhibition this day possible until 17 h.

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  • The Great War in Posters: Communication Instrument and Work of Art

    The Great War in Posters: Communication Instrument and Work of Art

    November 27, 2014

    World War I Poster Exhibition: 14 November 2014 – 12 January 2015, Peace Palace, Main Hall. World War I meant an important new role for the poster: propaganda. The posters produced during the war were part of the largest military campaign ever. They were used raising money for the war, get young men to enlist, provoking enemy states but also to support the wounded soldiers. The main intention was to bring the public closer to the war.

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  • Europeana 1914-1918 Collection Day

    Europeana 1914-1918 Collection Day

    November 27, 2014

    On Saturday November 15, ten enthusiastic colleagues from the Carnegie Foundation/Peace Palace Library volunteered to work on the Europeana 1914-1918 Project and gathered early in the morning to prepare for this day. The project enables anyone, private citizens or institutions, with memorabilia relating to the First World War to attend these collections days and share objects, letters or other documents about this interesting period in Europe’s history.

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  • Joan of Arc Saved France

    Joan of Arc Saved France

    November 21, 2014

    This poster by Haskell Coffin (1878-1941), was commissioned by the United States Treasury Department as part of the campaign to raise money for the First World War by having civilians buy war savings stamps.

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  • Keep 'em going!

    Keep ‘em going!

    November 20, 2014

    American propaganda poster: German Emperor Wilhelm II being hunted by a US locomotive.

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  • Come on Boys!

    Come on Boys!

    November 19, 2014

    United States National Guard recruitment poster. Marching soldiers. Some soldiers are making an inviting gesture. From our WOI Image collection.
    Come on Boys!

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