Vojnová socializácia mužov v armáde, v zajatí a v légiách (1914 - 1921)

Wartime Socialisation of Men in the Army, in the Captivity and in the Legions (1914 – 1921)

The paper dealing with the fates of men mobilised to fight on the battlefields of the Great War treats them from the aspect of creating new, specific social relations, nets and communities. Having deprived them of their families, relatives and local communities the warfare also caused that many of those who survived were separated from their dearest and nearest not only during the War but also during the years immediately following the conflict.
Although these men were cut off from their usual interpersonal relationships, their sociability and need of belonging with a social group did not cease to exist in them. The loss of traditional environment did not inevitably mean an absence of qualitatively analogical relations. The further fates of the soldiers, prisoners of wars and legionaries were marked by new social alternatives with functions similar to the family: they represented an informal sphere of interpersonal communication and cooperation, solidarity and mutual protection, a sphere of spontaneous and close relations. They played an important role in forming strategies of survival in a new social reality.
The paper is divided into three parts each linked with the considerable changes that the men mobilised for war could have experienced in their lives between their departure for war and their return to ordinary civilian life. It first points out the basic features of their social adaptation to life (a) in the army and (b) in Russian captivity, which, of course, concerns only some of them. A greater attention is then paid (c) to the social environment and genesis of specific social relations in the Czechoslovak legions in Russia and the impact of this process upon the Slovaks kept in captivity or in the legions.
In many respects, the legions (the Czechoslovak ones) represented the final stage of a process denoted by the author as "war socialisation". Its important factor was the spontaneous creation of informal social relationships and nets. To a great extent, they contributed to the formation of life strategies enabling these men to face everyday challenges in a new social reality. The process of new socialisation in the environment of the legions was supported by the existence of a specific alternative community based on close (though rather fictitious) kin relations stimulated by organisational and ideological factors.