#KU_WWI #BlankCheck Mini Reenactment

In the #KU_WWI Twitter Project‘s #BlankCheck mini reenactment, @GenHotzendorf  tweets about war with Serbia 25 different times. These tweets represent the 25 official requests made by Count Franz Xaver Josef Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf, Chief of the General Staff of the armed forces of the Austro-Hungarian army, for a preventative war against Serbia between January 1, 2013 and June 1, 2014.

Check out the #Blank Check mini reenactment here: https://storify.com/KU_WWI/ku-wwi-blankcheck

In 1906, Archduke Franz Ferdinand strongly advocated for General Hötzendorf’s promotion to Chief of the General Staff of the Austro-Hungarian army, and for this reason public opinion often assumed the two shared militaristic views. But the reality was that General Hötzendorf’s obsession with a preventative war against Serbia was a major source of tension between the two. In General Hötzendorf’s mind, a war with Serbia and/or Russia was vital for the protection of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. From Archduke Ferdinand’s perspective, the very idea was lunacy and would lead to immeasurable, unforeseen European destruction.

The tweet responses made by @ArchdukeFranzi in the #BlankCheck mini reenactment are direct quotes Archduke Franz Ferdinand made to various contemporaries about General Hötzendorf’s advocacy for war (see Greg King and Sue Woolman’s The Assassination of the Archduke, pg 158-162).

Public commentary made by @KingofCevapi Dmitrije Stefanovic, a fictional baker in Sarajevo, reflects the tone of public opinion as leaders hashed out the ideas and views that would eventually lead to the first world war.

Historical narratives about World War I often focus on assigning blame. Who was responsible for the death of 15 million people? Some historians accuse Germany and its issuance of a “blank check” for war. Even more point the accusatory historical finger at Serbia and its support of the assassins who shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But the #KU_WWI Twitter Project wonders…when it comes to such utter devastation, can one person, country, event, or decision every be singularly responsible? The #BlankCheck mini reenactment is representative of the idea that many were to blame — aggressive nationalist groups existed throughout Europe as did the political leaders who supported and opposed them, and this was just one of many reasons that led to such a war.

#KU_WWI project staff chose Twitter as the forum for a WWI related reenactment because of the shared belief that whatever their political views, and whatever the consequences of their actions — those involved in the creation of this war were just people, each with their own unique narrative, perspective and voice. To learn more about General Hötzendorf and his very human love affair, check out this recent article by Franz-Stefan Gady in The National Interest: The Scandalous Love Affair that Started World War I




5 thoughts on “#KU_WWI #BlankCheck Mini Reenactment

  1. Pingback: No Twitter? No problem! Anyone can follow #KU_WWI | KU WWI

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  3. Pingback: #KU_WWI #Sarajevo Tweetenactment | KU WWI

  4. Pingback: #KU_WWI #TheWorldReacts Tweetenactment | KU WWI

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