War Against War

Germany 1924
Krieg dem Kriege (War against War) was an anti-war publication released in 1924 by a German pacifist, anti-fascist and anarchist Ernst Friedrich.

War against War consists of more than 180 photographs acquired by the author from German military and medical archives. This anti-war book uses the photograph to perform shock therapy on its readers. The album opens with pictures of toy soldiers, guns and tanks, and closes with pictures of military cemeteries. Between them, Friedrich placed photographs of ruins, manslaughter, massacred bodies, war devastation, ransacked churches and burnt houses. The captions provided in four languages (German, English, French and Dutch) underlined in a spooky and often ironic way the atrocity of wartime ideology.

The pride of the family (An “interesting” arranged photograph). The pride of the family: (The other side of the picture, a few weeks later). Source: Friedrich, E., Krieg dem Kriege, 1924.

Immediately after its release, the German authorities entered the album on the list of banned books. In some cities, the police attacked bookshops and destroyed all copies  of the publication. The public presentation of the photographs contained in Krieg dem Kriege was punishable by a fine. Despite this, the book enjoyed great popularity. As early as in 1930 it had ten editions in Germany and was translated into a dozen or so other languages, and the photographs contained in it were exhibited in a book opened by Friedrich in Berlin in 1925 in the Anti-War Museum. To this day, translations of the War against War have been published in almost 50 countries. In Poland, the album was first released in 2017 on the initiative of Oficyna Trojka. In addition, the Polish reprint has been supplemented with an afterword (by Andrzej Grzybowski and Maciej Łagodziński) and a foreword (by Zuzanna Sękowska, who was also responsible for the translation, editing and concept of the Polish edition). The composition was taken care of by Renata Motyka.