Ego-Documents and Official History: Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria's Diary and the Battle for the Memory of the First World War, 1914-39
- To be confirmed
- Arts and Law
The battle for the memory of the First World War began early and has been hard fought ever since.
This paper explores one particular small-scale but hard-fought skirmish within that larger battle: the struggle for history between the official historians of the Reichsarchiv, based in Potsdam, and one of Germany's senior wartime generals: Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria. This paper seeks: to demonstrate how historic feuds and institutional politics intersected with contemporary concerns in the 1920s and 1930s to construct a historical narrative; to interrogate some common conceptions and possible misconceptions about the status and utility of ego-documents left by soldiers; and to suggest that traditional views of agency in the First World War may require further revision.