First World War


This photograph from the archives of the League of Nations shows a soldier killed in World War I. The war raged for more than four years, from August 1914 to November 1918, and resulted in the deaths of more than nine million combatants. As many as seven million civilians also were killed in the war or died as a consequence of it. In the hope of ensuring that such a destructive conflict would never recur, U.S. president Woodrow Wilson and other leaders established, at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the League of Nations, which was to be the centerpiece of a postwar international order. The organization ultimately proved powerless, however, to prevent the outbreak of an even more destructive war in 1939. The League of Nations was formally dissolved in April 1946 with the founding, after World War II, of the United Nations. The archives of the League were transferred to the United Nations and are housed at the UN office in Geneva. They were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2010.

Last updated: November 14, 2017