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Title: Veterans of the Great War in interbellum Czechoslovakia
Author: Luptak, Adam
ISNI:       0000 0004 5484 2756
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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In 1918, Czechoslovakia emerged in the final moments of the Great War as one of the successors to the Habsburgs. The conflict left the new republic with a complex legacy; its future citizens had fought during the war both on the side of the Central Powers and that of the Triple Entente. This thesis explores the interwar world of Czechoslovak veterans to understand how Czechoslovakia and its society dealt with the complicated memory and legacy of the Great War. The thesis explores the tension between the official state narrative, which celebrated a relatively small number of soldiers who had fought in the Allied units and became known in the republic as the legionaries, and the Austro-Hungarian past of the vast majority of the Czechoslovak veterans. Through several different topics, it analyses how the ex-servicemen perceived and portrayed their wartime service, how the state approached and treated them, and how these men participated in Czechoslovak society. In particular, the thesis focuses on disabled veterans, who, unlike their able-bodied counterparts, left behind a relatively large number of historical sources. The thesis shows the complicated and contested position of the Great War and its veterans in Czechoslovak society. After the end of the conflict, these men produced various narratives with which they explained their past military service. The Czechoslovak state and society did not treat all veterans equally; various factors influenced how they were perceived. During the interwar period, disabled ex-servicemen participated in numerous efforts and projects, both to support the Czechoslovak state and promote peace. Most of their organisations became politicised, but they largely avoided radicalisation. Amongst themselves, different groups of veterans gradually developed a degree of cooperation. Much of this quickly changed in 1938, however, as the new world war was about to begin.
Supervisor: Evans, Robert Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History