The paper is focused on the comparison of discourses formed in the literary texts which depict motifs of war at the beginning of 20th and 21st centuries. Images associated both with First and Second World War emphasize the shock of the changing world and lend literary credence to the texts. However, this goal is achieved by different means in the early 20th and the early 21st centuries. In expressionist novels and short stories metaphors of infection are used to describe the decline and the fall of the world of the early 20th century. Compared to that, the literary texts created in the early 21st century do not use metaphors because the experience of the Holocaust presented in the texts is viewed as a non-assimilable event and therefore it should not be translated into metaphors. In addition to the suffering of the Holocaust, the image of the infection in the literary texts of the beginning of the 21st century is only an accompanying description of the events of the Second World War.