Wars, as all school children are taught, are very closely associated with dates. Wars can last six days, four months, five years or even 30. Sometimes it suffices to pair two dates with each other to make an instant association: 70/71 or 39/45. That's also true of World War I, whose centennial is being commemorated this summer. But is it really possible to reduce a historical analysis of World War I to the time between July 1914 and November 1918? It seems more accurate to say that, to a certain extent, the war could still be felt long after the armistice and that its effects could still be observed years and even decades later. SPIEGEL explored this phenomenon in a recent series, using World War I as the starting point for observing conditions today in a number of the world's regions. These included the role of the United States as a superpower and global police force, the ongoing failure of peace efforts in the Middle East and the as yet unresolved ethnic divisions in the Balkans last manifested in the Bosnian War. In 12 features, SPIEGEL reporters describe the effects of the primal catastrophe of the 20th century that are still present today.