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Others (The Lost Generation #AtoZChallenge)

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It was a World War because it directly or indirectly affected nations and populations worldwide. Though less obvious than those of the Second World War, the Great War’s repercussions were felt by people across the globe. 

When we think about the Great War, it seems almost a given that it was mostly a European war, one fought by the major European countries. This is both true and untrue. 
Yes, the battlefields were in Europe, and the main armies involved in the conflict were those of the most powerful European nations of the time. But other countries across the globe were pulled into the conflict: from America to Australia, to the many colonies of all the major players ranging from Africa to Asia, the Great War – and its aftermath – pulled in nations and ethnic groups from all over the world. 

Here is only a small part of many specific experiences of that time.

United States

Although entering the war late compared to many other nations, the United States was hit hard by the Great War, especially in terms of social changes. 

Many minorities joined the war effort, especially Native Americans and, most notably, African Americans. They were usually employed in segregated battalions, but in Europe, they experienced a life devoid of the barriers they were accustomed to. 

This had a huge impact on these groups because, once back home, they were less inclined to accept segregation. Many ex-soldiers got involved with activism. Many found their way back to Europe and, like the American Lost Generation, settled down mostly in Paris, London, and Berlin. 


The position of Jews during the Great War is quite unique. There were Jews in all the combatant countries. United by their faith, they were nonetheless divided by nationality. In fact, the Great War was a special opportunity for them to show that even adhering to their culture and faith, they could still be loyal to their nation. Young Jews joined the armies of their respective nations in disproportionate numbers in comparison to non-Jewish youths of the same age. 

Contrary to The African Americans in the US Army, Jews were not segregated. They were integrated into whatever battalion they were assigned to, and through the war, a form of deeper integration occurred. It was not going to last long, but it did happen. 

East Europe and the Near East

Pinterest pin. The title reads, "The Lost Generation—Others." The black-and-white picture shows a crowd of people seated as if in waiting. They are all very close together. Probably a group of newly arrived at Ellis Island in the 1920s.

The situation in Eastern Europe, both during and after the war, was peculiar and different from that on the Western front. 
The Eastern front was always more mobile, and therefore, the number of dead tended to be higher. 
In that area, which included the East European and the Near East nations, the collapse of the multi-national Habsburg, Ottoman and Romanov empires created an extensive arc of post-war violence.

The First World War and its aftermath saw a huge rise in the use of violence to settle ethnic ‘problems’ that had existed for decades, if not longer. A huge number of people were forced away from their homes (whether it was the Armenians, the Eastern Jews, or the White Russians). In particular, the fall of the Russian Empire created a massive flux of refugees that, added to the dislodgement of many Jews from their Eastern European countries, moved an unprecedented number of people across Europe and towards North America. 

For the first time, the world became aware of the refugee, their plight and the consequential problems that arose. 

In all colonised countries, the upheaval of the Great War created agitation and rebellion since the war exposed the colonisers’ vulnerability. In Asia (particularly India) and North Africa, riots and rebellions arose.
The war had, in any case, moved people from across the world towards the battlefields of WWI: Chinese, Indians, New Zealanders (including Mahori), and Africans. The war brought together people who had never had the opportunity to come in contact before. 

For the Lost Generation – particularly for the artists who expressed that generation – it was the opportunity to see that humanity is the same everywhere and to open up to cultures, experiences and lifestyles they would have probably never known otherwise. 

Others (The Lost Generation #AtoZChallenge) – #Diversity in the 1920s was impacted by the Great War which brought together people from around the globe #WWI #history Share on X

Horizontal banner for the book "The Great War". On the left-hand side is the photo of a group of soldiers standing in a WWI trench. A Yellow button reads, "Go to Shop". On the right-hand side is a picture of a stake of two books, of which only the spine is visible, and the cover of a book standing upright, with the same group of soldiers standing in the trench. The stake of books stands against an olive green background. A big title in yellow reads "The Great War", and a smaller text reads "The updated ebook".

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