Повторение 1914 года?

КЕМБРИДЖ. В этом году исполняется сто лет событию, изменившему современную историю. Первая мировая война убила около 20 миллионов человек и сильно проредила целое поколение европейской молодежи. Она также коренным образом изменила миропорядок в Европе и за ее пределами.

Первая мировая война уничтожила не только жизни людей, но и три империи в Европе – Германскую, Австро-венгерскую и Российскую, а с падением Османской власти и четвертую империю на своей окраине. До первой мировой войны глобальный баланс сил был сосредоточен в Европе; после нее США и Япония превратились в великие державы. Эта война также спровоцировала большевистский переворот 1917 года, подготовила почву для фашизма, а также активизировала и усилила идеологические битвы, терзавшие двадцатый век.

Как может случиться такая катастрофа? Вскоре после начала войны, когда канцлера Германии Теобальда фон Бетман-Гольвега попросили объяснить, что произошло, он ответил: «О, если бы я только знал!». Возможно, с целью освободиться от ответственности он стал рассматривать войну как неизбежность. Подобно этому министр иностранных дел Великобритании сэр Эдвард Грей утверждал, что «начал думать, что ни один человек не смог бы ее предотвратить».

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