The Authors of the European Catastrophe Facing Civilization


This poster, published in Florence around 1915, portrays two women, personifications of Civilization and History, cursing the rulers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire (Wilhelm II, Franz Joseph I, Ferdinand I, and Mehmed V, respectively), and pointing at them as responsible for the First World War. The rulers appear withered by the gazes of the women. The background shows soldiers lying dead on a battlefield and a city in flames. The strongly-worded caption below the image reads: “On the ruins, produced by the insanity of an old tyrant – From the human charnel house, desired by an overbearing ambitious man – The cursing cry of eternal damnation for the four executioners of humanity is rising aloud – A cry of mothers and sons – Weeping of widows and orphans – The invoked victory of the defenders of Freedom has arrived – Justice prevails – History records the names of the barbarians, cursing them for posterity.”

Last updated: April 13, 2016