Type: Review
Pages: 3 | Words: 841
Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Approximately 60 million people lost their lives as a direct result of the Cold war, fully two—thirds of them noncombatants. The war’s losers, the Axis states of Germany, Japan, and Italy, suffered more than 3 million civilian deaths; their conquerors, the Allies, suffered far more: at least 35 million civilian deaths. An astonishing 10 to 20%of the total populations of the Soviet Union, Poland, and Yugoslavia perished, between 4 and 6% of the total populations of Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Japan, and China. If the exact toll of this wrenching global conflagration continues to defy all efforts at statistical precision, the magnitude of the human losses it claimed surely remains as shockingly unfathomable two generations after World War II as it was in the conflict’s immediate aftermath. At war’s end, much of the European continent lay in ruins.

World War 1 which is also known as, The Great War and The War to End All Wars. World War 1 was a worldwide military clash that took place mostly in Europe. The French and British armed forces in 1914 marched into the German territory of Togoland in West Africa. Soon after that the German armed forces who were in the South West Africa assailed South Africa. The war brought a great deal of commotion and serious collisions for several areas and peoples of Africa.

The imperative reason for the ‘innovative’ imperialism was to achieve extra resources, which included both human and material, to proceed to the subsequent level of the world power in the public Darwinist global arena. The new-fangled protectorates were seen as an extra reservoir of manpower to seal the gap, in truth, the French elevated and employed quite a lot of men from West Africa and Algeria out of whom many battled in the channel while the other men provided labor and support position. There was a physically powerful, racialist antagonism from white South Africans in opposition to using Africans as fighters. As a result, a large number of Africans took part in the war in.

In fact, many of the largest cities of central and Eastern Europe suffered comparable levels of devastation; 90% of the buildings in Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Hamburg were gutted by Allied bombing, 70% of those in the centre of Vienna. In Warsaw, the Germans had destroyed, systematically, street by street, alley by alley, house by house. Nothing is left except a mockery of architecture. In France, fully one—fifth of the nation’s buildings were damaged or destroyed; in Greece, one—quarter. Even never—occupied Great Britain suffered extensive damage, principally from Nazi bombing, while losing an estimated one quarter of its total national wealth in the course of the conflict. Soviet losses were the most severe of all: at least 25 million dead, another 25 million rendered homeless, 6 million buildings destroyed, and much of the country’s industrial plant and productive farmland laid to waste. Across Europe, an estimated 50 million of the war’s survivors had been uprooted by the war; some 16 million of them euphemistically termed displaced persons by the victorious Allies.

It was devastation and issues such as these that prompted Benjamin Britten to compose War Requiem.

Benjamin Britten

The youngest of four siblings, Benjamin Britten was born in Suffolk, England to a dentist father. He started his education at a local school and than took classes for Piano and than viola from different teachers privately. In 1919 he started to compose. He met FrankBridge in 1927 who upon looking at his compositions took him as a student. In 1930 he took admission in Royal College of Music in London where he won several prizes for his composition. At a rehearsal in 1933 he met Peter Pears who became his lifelong friend professionally and personally.

From 1935 till the WW2, Benjamin Britten composed for BBC radio. At this point he met W.H. Auden who wrote many songs and scripts for which Benjamin Britten provided music. In 1939, Pears and Britten went to USA where they settled in New York with the family of Dr Mayer. His first opera was in 1940 where he worked with W.H. Auden which was based on characters from the American folk. In 1941 with the famous British poet, George Crabbe he did his first opera in Britain. The next year Serge Koussevitzky liked Benjamin Britten’s music and became interested and together they performed Sanifonia da Requiem.

During the 40s, Benjamin Britten worked on numerous compositions with the most brilliant being rejoice in the Lamb, Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, Hymn to St. Cecilia, Festival Te Deum, Serenade, and A Ceremony of Carols. In 50s, 60s and 70s, Benjamin Britten worked in many operas of which some were A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Billy Budd, Owen Wingrave, Death in Venice, ) Gloriana, Noye’s Fludde, The Turn of the Screw, The Prodigal Son, The Burning Fiery Furnace, The Little Sweep, Albert Herring, Curlew River and The Rape of Lucretia.

In March of 1965 Benjamin Britten was given the Order of Merit and was made Baron of Aldeburgh. In 1973 he went open heart surgery which left him incapacitated for his remaining life.

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