The year 1914 brought about an incisive change in their private and professional lives of many intellectuals. Formerly international intellectual and artist circles collapsed, many intellectuals entered the war, voluntarily or not, and many of them failed to return.
Intellectuals were used extensively for war propaganda, writing manifestos and appeals. The groups did not form a unified front, and there were disagreements amongst their members. Even those intellectuals who had originally welcomed the war became disillusioned and negative in the face of the butchery and death on the battlefields.