This picture shows Danish writer Georg Brandes celebrating his 75th birthday with, among others, Henrik Cavling, chief editor of Politiken, the outspoken daily newspaper in favour of the Danish policy of neutrality during the war.
Brandes was one of the most vitriolic war critics. In 1916 he published Verdenskrigen, The World War, in which he denounced the bloodthirsty joy of the fighting powers. All sides believed they fought for ‘the good cause’, while in Brandes’ words they were ‘butchering each other in the most gruesome manner’.
Brandes refused to take side with either the Central Powers or the Allies, to the great indignation of his old friend Georges Clémenceau, French Prime Minister 1906-1909 and 1917-1920. In a number of newspaper articles published after the war Brandes condemned the terms of peace in the Treaty of Versailles. In his opinion they would inevitably lead to German revanchism, a desire to get back what the country had lost as a result of the war.