Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube.
Nam quae Mars aliis, dat tibi diva Venus.
(Let others wage wars; you, happy Austria, wed.
For what Mars gives to others is given to you by the divine Venus.)
Roth was a major Austrian journalist and novelist. He grew up in the east Galician town of Brody, moved to Vienna after finishing school and began studying German in 1914. In May 1916, he volunteered for military service. He served in Galicia, where he was probably allocated to the Press Service up to the end of the war. Even during the war and in the years after, Roth worked for a number of newspapers in Austria and Germany to make his living, before emigrating to France in 1933. A central element of his work as a novelist is the collapse of Austria-Hungary.
Violence was a universal social phenomenon during the First World War. Soldiers, civilians, men, women, children and old persons were all confronted by it in one form or another. The way it was experienced differed. It was practised and suffered, it had mental and physical manifestations, it took place at a structural and an individual level, and it was felt directly and indirectly.