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IU Northwest News

Notes of Distinction: January 2015


Friday Jan 09, 2015


Jean Poulard

Jean Poulard, Professor of Political Science, pictured above, has recognized the centennial of the beginning of World War I by establishing an exhibit in one of the display windows in the lobby of the John W. Anderson Library Conference Center.

The display is indeed about the first year of that horrible conflict. It Includes lots of pictures and four maps, these showing the pre-war plans of the belligerents (Germany and France) and the beginning and end of the first battle of the Marne (September 1914), during which the French managed to stop their retreat and push back the Germans across the Marne River to north of the Aisne River where the front solidified itself for the next four years.

Because the Germans occupied the heights above the cathedral city of Reims, that city was practically destroyed and the cathedral was heavily damaged. The exhibit includes pictures of that terrible destruction.

The display shows the differences between the uniforms of the French soldiers and those of the Germans and contains an artifact, a genuine German Picklehaube of that time. A few books about the war are also featured.

Professor Poulard has always had a particular interest in World War I for several reasons. First, his father and two uncles fought in the war.  His father and older brother fought in the war from day one until the end.  The younger of the three brothers was unfortunately killed on November 6, 1914, in Eastern France near the German border.  His picture and military record are included in the display.

Second, Professor Poulard was born in a village on the Marne River, through which the Germans passed in August and September 1914.  And around that village, the memory of the consequences of the conflict is omnipresent with monuments to the war dead, inscribed with long and numerous columns of names, and military cemeteries with thousands of graves.

The display will remain in place until sometime in January 2015.  Other displays will follow about the different years of World War II.

Professor Poulard wants to thank Professor Christopher Young for his suggestions and support.  

-          Contributed by Jean Poulard

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