This film is part of Free

Remember the Lusitania

Remembrance is used to fuel anti-German feeling in London on the first anniversary of the sinking of RMS Lusitania.

Non-Fiction 1916 2 mins Silent


The first anniversary of the Lusitania's tragic sinking, like the 100th, is an obvious and proper moment for remembering the 1198 lost lives. The propaganda value of the incident for Britain and its allies in WWI is well-known. Yet some of the banners of the British Empire Union seen here - which move from patriotism to xenophobia - reveal the dangers of using tragedy to fuel hate.

Founded as the 'Anti-German Union' in April 1915, the British Empire Union, as it was renamed in 1916, organised many demonstrations and lobbied for the internment of all-naturalised British-Germans throughout WWI. In the post-war period they continued to spout such hatred, often under the banner "Once a German - Always a German", before the growth of socialism became a bigger target.