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Making of the Modern World (HI153): War, Violence and Modernity

The Modern Records Centre holds nationally important collections for the study of political, social and economic history. Just a small selection of documents relevant to the 'War, Violence and Modernity' section of the course 'Making of the Modern World' are shown below, organised into two sections - Faces of War and Civil Violence and Terror.

How to find out more about the documents:

Click on the reference codes of the documents to go to their descriptions in our on-line catalogues. This can help you to put the documents in context and find similar items.

Where to find more sources:

Documents relevant to 'War, Violence and Modernity' are included in our digital collections on First World War 100: conflict and commemoration, The Russian Revolution and Britain, 1917-1928, Trabajadores: The Spanish Civil War through the eyes of organised labour, and From Easter Rising to Civil War: Ireland, 1916-1922, as well as the module resources for Anti-fascism, Resistance and Liberation in Western Europe (HI392), War and Economy in the 20th Century (EC224), History of Germany (HI290), History of France (HI172) and Britain in the Twentieth Century (HI149).

Try using our 'ready-made' catalogue searches and online catalogue to find other sources.

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War, Violence and Modernity: Faces of War

'Patriotism Ltd: An exposure of the war machine', 1933

'Patriotism Ltd: An exposure of the war machine', 1933

Pamphlet attacking the arms industry, published by the Union of Democratic Control. It includes chapters on the re-arming of Germany, gun-running in Central Europe, and technological improvements to weaponry.

[Included in the papers of Victor Gollancz, document reference: MSS.157/5/MIS/5]

'Empire Air-Day 1934 Souvenir'

'Empire Air-Day 1934 Souvenir'

Leaflet attacking the Air League of the British Empire and military aviation, issued by the Union of Democratic Control.

[Included in the records of the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians; document reference: MSS.78/5/14/159]

An appeal for funds from the International African Friends of Ethiopia, 1935An appeal for funds from the International African Friends of Ethiopia, 1935

An appeal for funds from the International African Friends of Ethiopia, 1935

The Council of the IAFE aimed to send "men and women of African race or of African descent" to offer military or civil aid following the invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) by Mussolini's Italy. Members of the Council included the future President of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, and C.L.R. James, West Indian socialist and writer.

[Included in a file on 'Abyssinia: Italian dispute', in the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/963/2]

Illustrations showing how to deal with an incendiary bomb in the home, January 1939

Illustrations showing how to deal with an incendiary bomb in the home, January 1939

Reproduced from 'ARP: A concise, fully illustrated and practical guide for the householder and air-raid warden' by S. Evelyn Thomas.

[Included in the records of the Union of Post Office Workers; document reference: MSS.148/UCW/6/13/13/3]

Press statement issued by the Committee for the Abolition of Night Bombing, 1941

Press statement issued by the Committee for the Abolition of Night Bombing, 1941

The Committee opposed aerial bombardment by night on moral grounds, arguing that night-bombing is "the most indiscriminate form of such attack" and will cause most suffering to the civilian population.

[Included in the records of the Union of Post Office Workers; document reference: MSS.148/UCW/6/13/13/9]

'Tanya: The story of a Soviet heroine', 1942

'Tanya: The story of a Soviet heroine', 1942

One of a series of pamphlets on 'Women at war' issued by the Communist Party of Great Britain. This example tells the story of a Russian guerrilla fighter executed by German soldiers.

[Included in the records of Richard Albert Etheridge, trade unionist and Communist; document reference: MSS.202/CP/101/8]

 

Pamphlet issued by the Anglo-American Committee for a Jewish Army, c1942

Pamphlet issued by the Anglo-American Committee for a Jewish Army, c1942

It asks that a separate Jewish army should be formed to fight alongside the other Allied forces: "Jews demand the right to fight under their own banner as Jews in the Jewish Army, in Jewish air squadrons, and as Jewish Commandos and guerillas. ... They are the brothers and sisters of the millions tortured and massacred by Hitler and his satellites".

[Included in a file on the "Jewish problem", part of the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/805/1b]

Extract from opinion poll on the expectations of German prisoners of war about the Anglo-American occupation of Germany, February 1945

Extract from opinion poll on the expectations of German prisoners of war about the Anglo-American occupation of Germany, February 1945

The poll was carried out by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Psychological Warfare Division in December 1944 and January 1945. The answers reproduced here relate to expectations about the behaviour of the occupying troops towards the civilian population.

[Included in the papers of Richard Crossman MP; document reference: MSS.154/3/PW/1/158-162]

Extracts from interrogation of Prisoner of War Karbinsky by Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Psychological Warfare Division, 24 March 1945Extracts from interrogation of Prisoner of War Karbinsky by Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Psychological Warfare Division, 24 March 1945

Extracts from interrogation of Prisoner of War Karbinsky by Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Psychological Warfare Division, 24 March 1945

The interrogation report relates to Karbinsky's period of service at Hitler's headquarters between February and November 1944, and includes information about the location of and procedures at the HQ, and his opinion of Hitler and other leading Nazis.

The extracts reproduced here include background information about Karbinsky and part of his eyewitness account of von Stauffenberg's attempt to assassinate Hitler.

[Included in the papers of Richard Crossman MP; document reference: MSS.154/3/PW/1/118-123]

Translation of leaflet dropped over Germany by Allied forces towards the end of the Second World War

Translation of leaflet dropped over Germany by Allied forces towards the end of the Second World War

One of several examples included in 'The Psychological Warfare Division Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force: An account of its operations in the Western European Campaign, 1944-1945', published in October 1945.

[Included in the papers of Richard Crossman MP; document reference: MSS.154/3/PW/2]

Civil Defence Handbook: 'Advising the Householder on Protection against Nuclear Attack', 1963

Civil Defence Handbook: 'Advising the Householder on Protection against Nuclear Attack', 1963

The illustrated booklet contains government advice on what to do to prepare against a nuclear attack and how to behave once the warning has been sounded.

[From the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/3659]

Leaflet advertising the short film 'The Threatening Sky', c1967

Leaflet advertising the short film 'The Threatening Sky', c1967

The film was a documentary about the Vietnam War. The narration by Lindsay Anderson "records the impressions made by this unique opportunity of seeing the war in Vietnam from the other side".

[Included in a file on a visit to Vietnam and Cambodia on behalf of the International War Crimes Tribunal, from the papers of Lawrence Daly; document reference: MSS.302/4/3]

'"The Green Berets" The truth about this film', undated

'"The Green Berets" The truth about this film', undated

Circular published by International Socialism, Northampton. It attacks the portrayal of the Vietnam War in the 1968 John Wayne film 'The Green Berets'.

[From the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1346]

'More War! MidEast explodes again and starts big one!', 1974

'More War! MidEast explodes again and starts big one!', 1974

Leaflet from 'Children of God', Dallas, Texas. The text suggests that the "oil war" and tension in the Middle East will lead to a nuclear apocalypse ("perhaps God will let them destroy themselves as they deserve, so the meek Third World can inherit the Earth!") followed by the setting up of "Christ's Kingdom" on earth.

[From the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/70]

'Women's Peace Initiative: War in the Gulf. Effects in Leamington' (1991)

'Women's Peace Initiative: War in the Gulf. Effects in Leamington' (1991)

Leaflet published by the Committee to Stop War in the Gulf. Its concerns include a possible increase in race hatred due to "the media hype of 'terrorist attack'".

[From the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/2175/2]

 

War, Violence and Modernity: Civil Violence and Terror

Evidence submitted by the Chinese Christian Union for National Salvation, included in the report of the Commission for the Investigation of the Shakee Massacre, Canton, China, 1925

Evidence submitted by the Chinese Christian Union for National Salvation, included in the report of the Commission for the Investigation of the Shakee Massacre, Canton, China, 1925

Chinese protestors were fired on from Shameen, the area of Canton under Anglo-French control, probably by British sailors and volunteers. 52 were killed and 117 were wounded. The dead were part of a parade organised to protest against the killing of Chinese students by British policemen in Shanghai.

[Included in the records of Thomas Mann, trade union leader and socialist; document reference: MSS.334/5/MIS/12]

'The case of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Centre', 1936

'The case of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Centre', 1936

Report of court proceedings published by the People's Commissariat of Justice of the USSR. A series of former leading Communists were accused by Stalin of "counter-revolutionary activities", assassination and "white-guard, terroristic underground activities", and convicted in show-trials. All 16 defendants in this case were sentenced to be shot. A statement made by Leon Trotsky in response to the trial (he and his son were found guilty in their absence) is included in the resources for Making of the Modern World (HI153): Ideologies and States.

[Included in the records of the National Union of Railwaymen; document reference: MSS.127/NU/5/5/8/35]

'Madrid. The "Military" Atrocities of the Rebels: A Record of Massacre, Murder, Mutilation', 1937

'Madrid. The "Military" Atrocities of the Rebels: A Record of Massacre, Murder, Mutilation', 1937

Labour Party leaflet which outlines atrocities perpetrated by General Franco's forces during the Spanish Civil War, particularly on civilians.

[Included in a file on the Spanish Civil War, part of the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292/946/18b]

'The War in Spain: A Weekly Summary': 'The Bombers and the Pirates', 12 February 1938

'The War in Spain: A Weekly Summary': 'The Bombers and the Pirates', 12 February 1938

Pro-Government news sheet printed in London. The front page condemns Franco's use of air raids against civilians and the supply of submarines to the rebels by Italy. The author comments that "it is curious how the progress of war degenerates steadily with the march of science and the progress of civilization".

[One of a series of publications on the Spanish Civil War from the papers of Henry Sara, Trotskyist; document reference MSS.15/3/8/256/3]

Description of Buchenwald concentration camp, 1939

Description of Buchenwald concentration camp, 1939

Nine page report on Buchenwald and the treatment of Jews by the SS, written by a former inmate (released after six weeks).

The report was anonymised for the sake of the writer and sent to Arthur Young by Sir Alexander Lawrence.

[Included in the papers of Arthur Young; document reference: MSS.242/X/MI/1/15-17. The file also includes a report on the camp at Sachsenhausen]

Other reports on the conditions in concentration camps are included in the papers of Richard Crossman MP (Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachenhausen in 1945), document reference: MSS.154/3/PW/1/1-211; and the International Transport Workers' Federation, document references: MSS.159/3/C/a/26 and MSS.159/3/C/a/82.

'Information about the destruction of Polish and Slovakian Jewries as supplied by the children who arrived in Palestine from Hungary', 1943

'Information about the destruction of Polish and Slovakian Jewries as supplied by the children who arrived in Palestine from Hungary', 1943

Eight page description of the persecution of Jews in Eastern Europe.

[Included in the papers of Victor Gollancz, publisher; document reference: MSS.157/3/JE/1/8]

French resistance news sheet 'Libération', 30 October 1943

French resistance news sheet 'Libération', 30 October 1943

The front page, headlined ""Terrorism" and national insurrection", includes an article on the Vichy government's regular announcements of "new measures of repression against "terrorism"" (acts perpetrated by the resistance).

[Included in the records of the International Transport Workers' Federation, document reference: MSS.159/3/C/A/143]

Declaration made by the Cuban Revolutionary Government regarding the hijacking of aircraft, 1972

Declaration made by the Cuban Revolutionary Government regarding the hijacking of aircraft, 1972

The statement was issued after a hijacked United States aircraft had been flown to Havana. The Cuban government condemned the recent wave of hijackings and blamed the Americans for having "invented and encouraged the hijacking of planes in full flight".

[From a file on 'Civil aviation - aircraft attacks and hi-jacking', included in the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292D/658.96/2]

'The Terror - and the Tears. The facts about IRA brutality and the sufferings of victims', circa 1972

'The Terror - and the Tears. The facts about IRA brutality and the sufferings of victims', circa 1972

Front page of a booklet published by the Northern Ireland Government. It contains photographs relating to attacks on soldiers and civilians by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

[From a file on Ireland, included in the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292D/941.5/3]

Statement made by a Belfast protestor, aged 17, regarding his treatment by British soldiers, 4 August 1972

Statement made by a Belfast protestor, aged 17, regarding his treatment by British soldiers, 4 August 1972

This is one of a series of statements regarding alleged torture or mistreatment of individual Catholics by the British army in Northern Ireland. They were issued by the Association for Legal Justice, which argued that "institutional violence by the State, in actual cases and in repressive laws practised against the minority community is a major cause of the present unrest".

[From a file on Ireland, included in the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292D/941.5/4]

'Troops Out', journal of the Troops Out Movement, 1976

'Troops Out', journal of the Troops Out Movement, 1976

The Troops Out Movement was a pro-Republican organisation opposed to the British military presence and administration in Northern Ireland.

[From the 'Miscellaneous series' of records; document reference: MSS.21/1538/119]

'The 'PLO' is responsible for this', 1982

'The 'PLO' is responsible for this', 1982

Attack on the practises of the Palestine Liberation Organization during the Lebanese Civil War. Issued by the Britain Israel Public Affairs Committee.

[From a file on 'Middle East: crisis', included in the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292D/956/511/2]

'The Massacre of the Century: What do you know about the camps of Sabra and Chatila', 1983'The Massacre of the Century: What do you know about the camps of Sabra and Chatila', 1983

'The Massacre of the Century: What do you know about the camps of Sabra and Chatila', 1983

Pages from a booklet distributed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) regarding the 1982 massacre of Palestinian refugees by Christian Phalangist troops during the civil war in Lebanon. The killings resulted in an international outcry against Israel, whose forces were accused of aiding or abetting the Phalangists.

[From a file on 'Palestine / Israel', included in the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292D/956.9/4]

'The Khmer Rouge must not return', 1990

'The Khmer Rouge must not return', 1990

Poster produced by the Britain Vietnam Association "for our campaign to remove the Khmer Rouge and Allies from the United Nations seat of Cambodia". The Khmer Rouge came into power in Cambodia during the 1970s, capturing the capital Phnom Penh in 1975. It is estimated that around a fifth of the country's population died during the regime's administration.

[From a file on Vietnam, included in the records of the Trades Union Congress; document reference: MSS.292D/959.4/5]