Herbestal, at the border between Germany and Belgium
The Great War

July Crisis

[Rhineland and Belgium, July 1914] A few days lay behind the deadly shots of Sarajevo. Countess Sophie and Count Andras Csabany were deeply affected and very worried.

Mobilization. Bonn
The Great War

Europe at war

Diplomacy fails, within a week, Europe is at war. Matthias is drawn.

Steamer Aimée, Rhine and Königswinter
The Great War

The Rhine steamer Aimée’s last tour

[Germany, August 1914]  Mobilization was underway. Enthusiasm for the war swept away all other emotions, suspicion was growing, thus even friends and acquaintances became enemies. In patriotic exuberance, countless people paraded through the streets, waving […]

German troops in Brussels, 1914
The Great War

War Year 1914

German troops invade Belgium. At home, people organize aid programs.

Soup kitchen in the Limbach Stübchen
The Great War

Soup kitchen

[Rhineland, 1914/15] Nobody was prepared for a long war. Jakob still heard the victorious shouts “at Christmas we will be back here”. But since the turn of the Marne in early September 1914, one had […]

War year 1915, poison gas
The Great War

War year 1915

[1915] In 1914, the center of gravity of the war had been on the Western Front, now it shifted to the Eastern. A gigantic Russian army was besieging the mighty fortress Przemysl in Galicia. By […]

War year 1916, trenches
The Great War


[Rhineland and France, 1916] Bad news came from everywhere. The war propaganda confidently predicted victory, but Lottie had stopped believing that a long time ago.

Vienna 1916
The Great War

Austria-Hungary 1916

The Habsburg monarchy is decaying. Shortly after the emperor Count Csabany dies.

Remember Belgium, war propaganda
The Great War

“Halt the Hun” War Propaganda

[USA, 1917/18] Horrified, Lorenz Bergmann’s granddaughter Chiara looked at the Liberty Bonds she was about to buy. It showed a creature with a Pickelhaube, thus obviously a German.

Hindenburg, Kaiser William II, Ludendorff
The Great War

No chance for peace

[Germany, summer 1917] The war was already in the third year, and there was no prospect of peace. In vain Pope Benedict XV had repeatedly urged peace negotiations.

War year 1918, tanks
The Great War

War Year 1918

The Great War had been raging for three years now. Trenches, machine guns, air reconnaissance, barbed wire and modern artillery had helped bring the battle lines of World War I to a stalemate.

The Great War

Spanish Flu

A devastating pandemic hits enemies and friends alike. Emil and Lena Bergmann.

Kaiser Charles I of Austria-Hungary
The Great War

Austria-Hungary 1918

[Austria-Hungary, November 1918] Already in the last days of the war, the Czechs, Galicians, Poles, Slovenes and Croats had broken away from Austria-Hungary. In Transylvania, Romania had taken power.