Program Details

The Great War: World War I

Stephen Berk
History / Other

Course Description

World War I (1914 – 1918) was, at the time, the most destructive and devastating conflict in world history. With over 35 countries involved and more than 18 million deaths, it was a struggle so terrible and so appalling that many took to calling it, “The War to End All Wars.” Yet, not only did World War I lead to more worldwide conflicts, it also ushered in a new and sinister brand of warfare that saw death from the air, death from chemical warfare and death from the most destructive weapons ever. Ultimately, World War I ended with an armistice that produced the Treaty of Versailles, a treaty that would, not too many years later, lead directly to the rise of totalitarian regimes like Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy and give birth to another worldwide conflict costing millions more lives. 


  1. Did They Stumble into War and Salvation at the Marne?
  2. Gallipoli, Jutland and Flanders Field.
  3. The Butcher's Bill, Verdun and the Somme.
  4. An Inglorious End: How the End of the Great War Paved the Way for World War II.

About the Instructor

  • Stephen Berk, PhD, is a Professor of History at Union College in Schenectady, New York, where he holds the Henry and Sally Schaffer Chair in Holocaust and Jewish Studies. He is the author of Year of Crisis, Year of Hope: Russian Jewry and the Pogroms of 1881-1882. Berk has written articles on Russian and Jewish history, anti-Semitism, and the Middle East. In 2010, Berk was designated an Israel Hero for his defense and advocacy of the State of Israel by JERNY, the Jewish Educational Resources of New York. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Citizen Laureate Award from the University of Albany Foundation.  

Upcoming programs presented by Stephen Berk.

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