It may be questionable to state one day, one event as beginning of a war, though it had been the first of September nineteen-hundred-thirty-nine that the German troops invaded Poland, under false accusations. The date is taken as occasion to post a reminder, unfortunately seeing today again so many reasons in so many countries to be mobilised against moves towards violence and war. Many ways can be imagined, many wise things said – in length and in short slogans and paintings and demands – as already Kaethe Kollwitz’ lithography from 1924,
demanding ‘Never again War’.
There is one short passage in Zuckmeyer’s The Devils General, which brings it in an impressive way the point – not translating well from the German. It is part of the dispute between SS-group-leader Schmidt-Lausitz and general Harras, the latter shouting against the group-leader:
What did you just say? Fatherland [Vaterland]? You? What do you understand as fatherland? Hä? Just spell it!
V as Volksgerichtshof (People’s Court of Justice)! A as hanging! T as death! E as shooting! R as racial persecution! L as camp! Ausschwitz, Neuengamme, Dachau
You see, this is how fatherland is spelled today in Germany!
the original German version:
“Watt haben Sie da gesagt?” Vaterland?! Sie? Was versteh Sie den darunter?
“Hä? Buchstabieren Sie doch mal”
“V wie Volksgerichtshof! A wie Aufhängen! T wie Tod! E wie Erschießen! R wie Rassenverfolgung! L wie Lager! Ausschwitz, Neuengamme, Dachau
Sehen Sie, so buchstabiert man heute in Deutschland Vaterland!”
[For the short scene from the film see here].
Terms and letters, occasions …, all this may be different – but the underlying patterns never changed!
 Antikriegsplakat von Käthe Kollwitz für den Mitteldeutschen Jugendtag 1924 (Lithographie, 95,2 cm x 72,3 cm; Quelle: DHM) – http://www.zeithistorische-forschungen.de/1-2-2007/id%3D4397; 22/08/17