Music and Sorrow
The main purpose of home front propaganda was to boost morale of mobilized soldiers and ensure loyalty of the civilians. From late July to early August 1914, like many other European cities, Lviv saw demonstrations in support of the war. Lvivites joyfully welcomed recruits to the accompaniment of military marching music and treated them with sweets and cigarettes. Escorts of Russian POWs aroused interest rather than hostility, restoring people's faith in the sweeping victory of Austria-Hungary in the war.
The situation changed when Russian troops occupied Lviv on September 3, 1914. Wherever occupation authorities could not secure the support of the population, they would forcibly impose it. Residents of Lviv were forced to decorate their homes with Russian flags on the dates important for the tsar’s family and the imperial ideology. The hardest days of the Russian occupation were in March 1915, when after a long siege of Przemyśl, Russian troops took the fortress and sent thousands of Austro-Hungarian army POWs, many of whom were soldiers of Lviv regiments. Tired, hungry and sick, they were being escorted to Kyiv and their relatives and friends were not given the opportunity to talk to them.
The return of Austrian troops to the city on June 22, 1915, brought no expected relief to people, and therefore propaganda sought a way to restore the confidence of citizens in the authorities. The city held charity and entertainment events, which aimed at distracting people from military difficulties and promoting sense of pride in the country. However, with each new wave of mobilization, the enthusiasm the population over the war was exhausting. During major military campaigns in Galicia the sounds of guns were heard in the city, people lived in constant anxiety for their life and lives of their loved ones.