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Des sources pour une Plus Grande Guerre

Damien Accoulon
Julia Ribeiro Thomaz
Aude-Marie Lalanne Berdouticq

Partie III. Des sources textuelles : sortir du commun, retrouver l’ordinaire

SOS (Save Our Souls)!

Apocalyptic representation and the normalization of violence in the memory of the Portuguese soldiers of the First World War

Sílvia Correia

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The “Danse Macabre” became the protagonist of a great catastrophe1. The natural progression of generations was suspended – more than 10 million men perished, most of them young – and with them, the possibility of keeping the narrative thread of life intact. The First World War profoundly affected politics, society and, above all, those who fought in it. It was not only a conflict of total breadth and depth2, but also a deeply intimate experience.

The First Republic, which ushered Portugal to war in 1917, mobilized more than ten thousand men, of which nearly seven thousand lost their lives3. The human loss, however, went far beyond the dead. In spite of the fact that no fighting occurred in metropolitan territory, the absence of consensus regarding intervention in the European front and the political instability did not facilitate the process of rebuilding the nation by capitalizing on the war effort. The First World War’s politics of memory during and after the conflict ...


Professor at the History Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) since 2013. She presented her PhD dissertation entitled The politics of memory of the First World War in Portugal, 1918-1933, in 2011, at the NOVA University of Lisbon (Portugal), and in 2015 had it published as a book in Portugal and Brazil. Her ongoing research project is titled Representation and Limit: Memories of the Portuguese Experience in World War I.

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