During the Great War both sides agreed on the special power of music to create a mythologized national community of destiny and to strengthen the fighting spirit of the masses. From the German perspective this war was one between western civilization characterized by capitalism and industrialization on the one hand and German high culture representing traditional values and the homo hierarchicus on the other. In the first part of this paper I outline this ideological and social background of musical life. In the second part I explore the attitudes of Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg toward the Great War and their participation in the clash of civilizations. Finally I suggest a prophetic reading of some compositions of the Second Viennese School, particularly of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 and Alban Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6. Because of their deconstructive and subversive nature these pieces can be read as prophetic not only of the Great War, but also of the further historical catastrophes of the twentieth century.