Gestures of regret or reconciliation were uncommon,
as both sides continued to invoke a pious rhetoric of 'sacrifice'
and 'duty' to justify their reasons for fighting in the first place.
Turkey's decision to permanently open the Gallipoli peninsula to
visitors from former enemy states was a rare exception.
In the first decade after the end of the First
World War, people generally remembered the conflict and its victims
in private circles. Widespread public discussion about the war did
not begin until the late 1920s, when Erich
Maria Remarque's All
Quiet on the Western Front, a bleak portrayal of the life
and death of a group of German soldiers, became a world-wide bestseller
and, subsequently, a popular Hollywood film.
Remarque's novel confirmed the arrival of a genre that represented
the First World War as a futile, bloody slaughter whose only heroes
were the ordinary soldiers cast into its midst. Although such 'mud
and blood literature' has deeply influenced modern perceptions of
the First World War, it aroused great opposition during the 1930s
among veterans' associations and the relatives of individuals killed
in the conflict.