To understand World War I, says Karl Kraus expert Katharina Prager, you should have seen or read the play "The Last Days of Mankind." To understand how Europe and then the world slid into this war, one should listen to the historians - nevertheless, today we are perplexed by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which brought war to Europe once again, barely 100 years after the First World War.

In his film essay, Wolfgang Ritzberger looks at the frightening parallels between the time before the outbreak of the First World War and the Russia-Ukraine conflict of the present day.

Historians and military experts agree: history does not repeat itself, but it follows the same patterns. Just as in 1914 no one could have guessed that in a few years Austria-Hungary, i.e. the Danube Monarchy, and the German Empire would cease to exist, today the question arises: Are we once again on the brink of a global conflict?

Scenes from the play The Last Days of Mankind, filmed at performances in the Wiener Neustädter Serbenhalle, illustrate how much the patterns of the past are repeating themselves today.