Dolchstosslegende

   In December 1918 Friedrich Ebert,* Germany's provisional Chancellor, greeted the returning German soldiers: "As you return unconquered from the field of battle, I salute you." Although the army had carefully fabricated the fiction since 1916 that German reversals were owed to civilian incompetence, Ebert's naïve statement provided the first serious component of a legend that Germany's military col-lapse had not preceded the revolution but was caused by it. First developed in a June 1919 pamphlet by Colonel Max Bauer, the notion gained wide publicity when it was asserted as part of Hindenburg's* 18 November 1919 testimony before the National Assembly's* Committee of Investigation; the Republic's future President observed that an "English general has said with justice, 'the German army was stabbed in the back.' " His remark ensued from a prior exchange between Karl Helfferich* and Oskar Cohn.* On 15 November the former Imperial State Secretary of the Interior refused to respond to a question put to him by Cohn, a committee member, on grounds that Cohn had accepted money from the Bolsheviks in order to organize the revolution while the army was engaged in its life-and-death struggle.
   Although it is wrong to suggest that discontent on the home front had no effect on battlefield morale, it was well known that the Supreme Command had demanded an armistice* six weeks before the November Revolution.* Yet, fol-lowing the committee's deliberations, the myth spread that the army had not been defeated in the field. Sensing that defeatism at home had caused Germany's collapse, many concluded that the revolution was the work of traitors. The Dolchstosslegende, attached as it was to the name of Hindenburg, became a cornerstone of rightist propaganda; those officers and men who embraced it never forgave the revolutionaries for their "betrayal of the fighting troops." The myth became a special albatross for Matthias Erzberger* and Friedrich Ebert,* resulting in the murder of the former and the early death of the latter. A so-called Dolchstoss Trial, held in Munich in November 1925, did little to clear the late Ebert's name.
   REFERENCES:Bonn, Wandering Scholar; Eyck, History of the Weimar Republic, vol. 1; Taddey, Lexikon; John Williamson, Karl Helfferich.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dolchstosslegende — Die Dolchstoßlegende war eine von führenden Vertretern der deutschen Obersten Heeresleitung (OHL) initiierte Verschwörungstheorie, die die Schuld an der militärischen Niederlage des Deutschen Reiches im Ersten Weltkrieg vor allem auf die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dolchstoßlegende — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Ilustración en una postal austriaca (1919). La leyenda de la puñalada por la espalda (Dolchstoßlegende/Dolchstosslegende en alemán) hace referencia a un mito social y a la teoría popular de persecución y propagand …   Wikipedia Español

  • Nazism — National Socialism redirects here. For other ideologies and groups called National Socialism, see National Socialism (disambiguation). Nazi redirects here. For the Sumerian deity, see Nazi (god) …   Wikipedia

  • Nazismo — Serie Nazismo Organizaciones Nazis NSDAP · Sturmabteilung Schutzstaffel Waffen SS Juventudes Hitlerianas Lebensborn Volksstur …   Wikipedia Español

  • Revolución de Noviembre — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda La revolución de noviembre de 1918 llevó, hacia el final de la Primera Guerra Mundial, al cambio desde la monarquía del Reich Alemán a una república pluralista, parlamentaria y democrática. La revolución comenzó con… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cohn, Oskar — (1869 1934)    jurist and politician; while he was serving on the Committee of Investigation into Germany s defeat, his unlucky queries helped propagate the Dolchstosslegende.* Born in Guttentag, he earned a doc torate in jurisprudence and… …   Historical dictionary of Weimar Republik

  • World War I reparations — refers to the payments and transfers of property and equipment that the German country was forced to make under the Treaty of Versailles (1919) following its defeat during World War I.Article 231 of the Treaty (the war guilt clause) declared… …   Wikipedia

  • Weimar Republic — German Reich Deutsches Reich ← …   Wikipedia

  • Nibelungenlied — The Nibelungenlied, translated as The Song of the Nibelungs, is an epic poem in Middle High German. The story tells of dragon slayer Siegfried at the court of the Burgundians, how he was murdered, and of his wife Kriemhild s revenge. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Vietnam Syndrome — is a term used in the United States, in public political rhetoric and political analysis, to describe the perceived impact of the domestic controversy over the Vietnam War on US foreign policy after the end of that war in 1975. Since the early… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.