The traumatic experience of World War I gave birth to a foundational narrative in Australia, the Anzac 'legend'. Anchored in the memory of the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, 'Anzac' was in many ways an articulation of what was seen as the distinctive qualities of Australian masculinity and society, however, it also had many resonances with the European cult of the fallen soldier: in particular, its identification with nationalism, it celebration of the volunteer tradition and its exaltation of camaraderie, known better in Australia as mateship. This chapter examines the development of the Anzac legend from these origins throughout the twentieth century, arguing that during the 'memory boom' of the past three decades the values of 'Anzac' were reshaped by the Australian State and other agents of memory to reflect the needs of a society radically different to that which fought World War I. Proving to be both dynamic and organic the Anzac 'legend' is now the dominant construction of Australian national identity, serving to legitimize Australian involvement in armed conflict and valorizing individuals willing to subordinate personal to collective interests.
|Title of host publication||Gefallenengedenken im globalen Vergleich|
|Editors||Manfred Hettling & Jorg Echternkamp|
|Place of Publication||Munich, Germany|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|