(image source: Klostermann)
The First World War represented the 'primordial experience' of the modern constitutional state with the state of emergency. Guided by the question of the legal responsibility of the state under such circumstances, this comparative study examines state liability law in Germany and France between 1914 and 1918. Categories of 'legitimate' and 'illegitimate' state action that were missing or even contradicted each other in pre-war international law were sanctioned by the peace treaties. Despite further turning points in the 20th century, the basic elements of today's international order can be traced back to decisions made in 1919. This applies in particular to the responsibility of states under international law, which is elaborated against the background of the liability law of both countries concerning destruction, expropriation and economic war measures.