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First World War Centenary

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First World War Centenary

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:16 pm

2014 marks 100 years since the start of the First World War. Within (the UK) government the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is leading plans to build a commemoration fitting of this significant milestone in world history.


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First World War centenary

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:19 pm

Participating countries


In Australia, the occasion is known as the Anzac Centenary. Committees planning the event include the National Commission on the Commemoration of the Anzac Centenary and the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board. The government has budgeted $83.5M for a seven-year programme which will include commemorative events in Australia and overseas; educational activities and resources; and refurbishments of galleries and war graves.


The centenary of World War I is to be marked by a program of exhibition, lectures and academic research focusing on the theme of Belgian involvement in the conflict and the occupation. The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Brussels will host an exhibition entitled "Expo 14–18: It's Our History" from 2014 to 2015.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The city of Sarajevo, which was during the First World War a capital of the Austrian province Bosnia and Herzegovina made plans to organize commemoration in the period 21–28 June 2014. The event is named "Sarajevo heart of Europe".

Republika Srpska

Filmmaker Emir Kusturica announced an initiative to hold a ceremony on 28 June 2014, in which a re-trial of Gavrilo Princip will be started. The motivation behind the initiative was that Austria-Hungary never ratified the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that a verdict of high treason therefore should be considered illegal. "It was a political murder, but definitely not high treason. If Princip was convicted of murder, it wouldn't have been possible to sentence him to lifetime imprisonment", Kusturica commented. Further, he will exhibit letters written by Oskar Potiorek, and argues that they prove that a war was planned long before the Sarajevo Assassination.

The cultural network "Golden Days" is planning a commemoration in September 2014, "1914, the Gateway to Modern Europe".

Denmark remained neutral during World War I and did not take part in the warfare. The biggest event from a Danish perspective is the renunification with Northern Schleswig (Sønderjylland) in 1920. After the Second War of Schleswig in 1864, Denmark was forced to cede Schleswig and Holstein to Prussia. In 1918, the Versailles powers offered to return the region of Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark. After the Schleswig Plebiscites Northern Schleswig (Sønderjylland) was recovered by Denmark in 1920. The reunion day (Genforeningsdag) is celebrated every 15 June on Valdemarsdag.


In France, the government will carry out a policy of national remembrance. An early start was made in 2011 with the opening of Le Musee de la Grande Guerre in Meaux on Armistice Day.

New Zealand

New Zealand government agencies and other organisations are working together on commemorations to mark the centenary, which is being identified as WW100. The commemorations are being led by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon. Christopher Finlayson. A WW100 Programme Office has been established by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the New Zealand Defence Force and the Department of Internal Affairs.

New Zealand's centenary commemorations will honour those who fought, but will also tell the stories of the people who remained at home. $17 million in lottery funding has been allocated by the Lottery Grants Board to commemorate the First World War Centenary.

The New Zealand Government’s key centenary projects include the development of a National War Memorial Park in Wellington, an education / interpretation centre at the National War Memorial, a series of new histories, and heritage trails in Gallipoli and along the Western Front.

A First World War Centenary Panel has been established, chaired by Brian Roche of New Zealand Post. The Panel's role is to advocate for the First World War Centenary, attract sponsorship or philanthropic support for centenary projects, coordinate with any equivalent bodies overseas, particularly Australia; and provide advice to the government on the centenary commemorations.


The County Government of Taita Taveta is hosting these Centenary commemorations. Through its Ministry of Community affairs, Tourism, Trade and Industry, the County Government is hosting these commemorations nationally, with a chain of events starting from August 16th, 2014 and these commemorations will be marked annually for the next 5 years. The County Government of Taita Taveta is home to some of the most important battlefields of the war in East Africa.In Taita Taveta County, the Germans occupied Taveta and built fortified outposts with an intention of blocking the British from using the Voi-Taveta Railway. Among the German outposts, was the Salaita Hil where a big battled was fought on 12 February 1916 after which the Germans retreated towards the Kenya -Tanzania boarder.The other fortified German outposts were the Lotima and Riata Hills where a major battle was fought between 12th and 16th March 1916. These three hills and the sites of Mile 27, the fortifications near Maktau, the Mwashoti encampment and Mbuyuni are the First World War Battlefields in East Africa. Other important landmarks which are synonymous with the Great War are the Voi, Maktau and Taveta Commonwealth graves. There is also a tale of a German woman sniper who was bitterly avenging the death of her husband, shooting the British soldiers from a point inside a hollow baobab tree. This baobab is to date the most shot at the tree during the First World War as evident from all the bullets marks from the British as they tried to take her out. This baobab is still standing and is a very important part of the pre independence history of the County. These commemorations will be held in conjunction with the Kenya national museum, the Commonwealth graves authority,the Kenya Wildlife Services and many other stakeholders.


Official Anzac Day commemorations will be held at Gallipoli Turkey on 25 April 2015 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the Imperial War Museum (IWM) is leading a national programme of commemorative events and is planning new galleries for the occasion ( In May 2010 the museum launched its First World War Centenary Partnership Programme. Partner organisations receive access to IWM collections objects and expertise, and to digital resources, branding and a collaborative extranet. By November 2011, 330 national and international organisations had become partners.[16] The museum will also open a new permanent First World War exhibition at its London branch, as part of a £35 million redevelopment of the building.

In November 2011 it was announced that Prime Minister David Cameron had appointed Andrew Murrison MP as his special representative for First World War centenary commemorations. On 11 October 2012, Cameron announced £50 million to fund national centenary commemorations. The anniversaries of Britain's declaration of war on Germany, the opening of the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Jutland, and the November 1918 Armistice will be marked by national commemorations. The redevelopment of the Imperial War Museum, where Cameron delivered his speech, will be supported by an additional £5 million. A further £5.3 million will fund visits to Western Front battlefields by pupils from English schools. The Heritage Lottery Fund will provide £15 million to community projects, led by young people, to conserve local heritage associated with the war. In addition the preservation of the former Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Caroline, which served at the Battle of Jutland, will be supported by a grant of up to a million pounds.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is providing funding to educational projects in fields such as local history, online access to museums and archives, youth heritage projects, family history, the preservation of war memorials, and the conservation of historic artefacts.

The BBC is planning a First World War centenary season of around 2,500 hours of television, radio and online programming over four years. The programming will include documentaries, drama, arts and music, commemorative programmes and programmes for children and schools.

On 14 January 2014 the National Archives released a first batch of digitised British Army war diaries. The same day, the National Archives, together with Imperial War Museums and Zooniverse launched 'Operation War Diary', a crowdsourcing project to tag data on each diary page.


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Re: First World War Centenary

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:19 pm

International organisations

The European Union

The European Union will mark the occasion with a special meeting of Prime Ministers or Presidents of the 28 EU members in Ieper (Ypres) which will include the national leaders standing together at the Menin Gate while the Last Post is being played.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU)

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU)is organising a concert in Sarajevo with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. It will take place in the library that has recently been renovated from the devastation of the 1990s wars of disintegration of Yugoslavia, and which is adjacent to the site of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, which triggered the war.


Europeana has three digital projects to commemorate the First World World across Europe. These will make a range of materials freely available on the web.

   Europeana Collections 1914–1918, which will make available 425,000 items from European libraries.
   Europeana 1914–1918, which digitizes and makes available stories and objects brought to collection days across Europe.
   EFG1418, the European Film Gateway collection of films and related documents from the war.


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On centenary of WWI assassination, the past still haunts Sarajevo

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:21 pm

VISEGRAD/SARAJEVO Bosnia (Reuters) - Two concerts in two Bosnian cities will mark the 100th anniversary on Saturday of the Sarajevo assassination that lit the fuse for World War One, in a divided country where the past still haunts the present.

The separate events speak volumes to Bosnia a century on, where perceptions of the Bosnian Serb who gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand have been warped by time and politics, and wounds are still raw from the bloody demise of Yugoslavia.

In the capital, where the heir to the Habsburg throne was shot from a Browning revolver on a summer's morning in 1914, the Vienna Philharmonic will play Haydn, Schubert, Brahms and Ravel in remembrance of the murder that triggered the march to war and turned out the lights on an age of European peace and progress.

To the east, in the Drina river town of Visegrad, Serbia's premiere orchestra will perform Vivaldi's summer concerto in tribute to Gavrilo Princip, to Serbs a hero whose act brought down the curtain on centuries of occupation over the Balkans.

Leaders of Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs have refused to join the Sarajevo events, saying Bosnia's Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats want to paint Princip as a nationalist terrorist and the Orthodox Serbs as guilty for the wars that opened and closed the 20th century.

Instead, they will unveil a mosaic of Princip and his collaborators in Visegrad, where actors will re-enact Ferdinand's murder and the trial of his 19-year-old assassin, who died in jail of tuberculosis months before World War One ended.

The assassination "began the liberation from serfdom and slavery", filmmaker Emir Kusturica, organiser of the Visegrad events, told Reuters. "I don't know why everyone would mark the day in the same place when they look on it so differently."

The row threatens to drown out those hoping to send a message of unity; Saturday's events in Sarajevo will close with an open-air musical bringing together 280 performers from across Europe, including Serbs, under the title "A Century of Peace after the Century of Wars".

"We would like to symbolically start a new century with an artistic act about peace and love," said director Haris Pasovic.

"We represent a younger generation," said Serbian drama student Uros Mladenovic. "These people are carried along by the same basic idea – the victory of peace and life over all the bad things that have happened."

Austrian President Heinz Fischer is expected to head a list of dignitaries mainly from around the region. Much of the commemoration is sponsored by France.

With the unity and prosperity of Europe tested by economic and social strife, leaders of the 28-member European Union meet on Thursday in Ypres, a city synonymous with the death and suffering of World War One.

Last edited by Admin on Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:21 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Re: First World War Centenary

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:21 pm


On Saturday, the Vienna Philharmonic will perform in Sarajevo's City Hall, where Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, attended a reception shortly before their murder.

The Austro-Hungarians attacked Serbia a month later and the Great Powers - already spoiling for a fight - piled in. More than 10 million soldiers died as empires crumbled and the map of Europe was redrawn.

Converted into the National Library in 1949, the neo-Moorish City Hall, known as Vijecnica, went up in flames in 1992 during a 43-month siege by Bosnian Serbs in the hills. Almost two million books were destroyed. A plaque denounces the "Serb criminals" responsible.

Painstakingly restored, the building was reopened in May and will host its first event on Saturday. But Serbs are sensitive to any perceived link between the wars of 1914-18 and 1992-95.

"I thought about going to Sarajevo," Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic told reporters. But, he said, "I was supposed to stand beside a plaque that speaks of the 'Serbian fascist aggressors'. Sorry, with all due respect, I cannot do that."

Many Bosniaks and Croats see the Austro-Hungarian occupation as a period of progress and Princip as a Serb nationalist driven by the same territorial ambitions as those behind the ethnic cleansing of the 1990s. Occupation was replaced after the Great War by domination from Belgrade under the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

After World War Two, under socialist Yugoslavia, Princip was officially revered as a liberation fighter for all the nations and faiths brought together under Josip Broz Tito.

But Yugoslavia's disintegration in the 1990s, spawning seven new states, shattered perceptions of the assassin.

Footprints in the pavement marking the spot from which he fired were dug up, with Sarajevans living under sniper fire and mortars fired by Bosnian Serbs trying to carve out an ethnically pure Serb statelet.

The war, fomented by Serbia and Croatia, killed 100,000 people, the large majority of them Bosniaks. Mass graves are still being unearthed.

Princip's family home in northwest Bosnia was razed, but rebuilt this year by Serbs who plan to open it as a museum. Serb-held East Sarajevo will unveil a statue of the assassin.

The peace deal that ended the 1992-95 war split Bosnia into two highly autonomous regions, divvying up power along ethnic lines in a system that critics say has only cemented divisions.

Political leaders play up differences, despite a greater apparent readiness among Bosnians to move on.

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who frequently threatens Serb secession, told reporters: "In suffering and in celebration, we've always been on different sides. It speaks to Bosnia's past, but also to its present."


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Europe marks WWI centenary in Belgium town

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:22 pm

EU leaders will gather in the Belgian town of Ypres on Thursday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the World War One.

The town was on the front line during the entire conflict and saw some of its worst trench warfare.


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World War I Centenary: 100 Legacies of the Great War

Post  Admin on Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:24 pm

The Wall Street Journal has selected 100 legacies from World War I that continue to shape our lives today.


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Re: First World War Centenary

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