- Sorry, I'm the person who most recently patrolled the edit by the BoN. I'm not surprised the Nazis would take a quote and present it out of context -is it possible this quote is completely fabricated? --TheLateGatsby (talk) 12:51, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
However, the allies stalled this offensive, and the German High Command realized that the Spring Offensive was their last throw of the die; the German Army no longer had the reserves or supplies left to stage further offensives, and they were faced with a slow, grinding eventual withdrawal and then eventually total defeat. Erich Ludendorff and Paul Von Hindenburg, Germany's chief generals, realised that if the army and the monarchy surrendered to the allies, they could be facing a similar situation as to what happened in Russia, with the old order being blamed and then violently overthrown by radical forces. Therefore the generals planned a secret 'revolution from above'. This involved the abolition of the German Hohenzollern monarchy and its client provincial monarchies and their replacement with a civilian government that would surrender to the allies. This way the army could escape with it's reputation intact and the blame for the capitulation placed on the succeeding republic. A quote from Ludendorff at the time generally shows both their plan, and the seeds of the 'stab in the back' theory beginning to emerge:
"I have asked His Excellency to now bring those circles to power which we have to thank for coming so far. We will therefore now bring those gentlemen into the ministries. They can now make the peace which has to be made. They can eat the broth which they have prepared for us!"The German Kaizer reluctantly agreed to their plan, believing that it would spare a later violent revolution. On the home front though, German losses had been significantly underreported and gains exaggerrated, and with the German Army still in France and having recently made the Spring Offensive, it made the German surrender seem like it had come from nowhere to those on the home front.
- Ludendorff's role in Germany's surrender is discussed in sections II and III in this article. I'll look for this "broth" quote.--TheLateGatsby (talk) 13:05, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
- Much of this is accurate on the face of it--the German High Command knew that they no longer had the means by which to pursue the war, especially after the fall of the Balkans. And Ebert acknowledged the need for Wilhelm to abdicate to avoid a bloody revolution. I don't really know about the idea that the general staff trying to save the army's reputation. JubalHarshaw (talk) 13:12, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
Siegfried stabbed in the back
In the then widely known myth of the Nibelungs (popularised by Wagner), the hero Siegfried is stabbed in the back by a traitor (though with a spear) in the only weakspot he had (which was unknown to the enemy) (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/18/ba/fe/18bafe18dca17dd852b9a9ed83c17a7e.jpg). Since Siegfried symbolises Germany in contemporary cartoons (http://gotraco.nl/images/slides/interbellum/tnDia217.jpg), This perhaps helped to establish the idea in Germany. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 03:06, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
- Interesting; perhaps. There must be sources that explore this. If you can source this, it deserves a mention in a relevant article. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 03:14, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
- I don't think the BoN is entirely correct about this. The main reason for my view is that in German the stab-in-the-back legend is actually called the "dagger-stab-legend" ("Dolchstoßlegende"), whereas Siegfried (as also depicted in the link) is stabbed with a spear. Also, Wagner's four operas were largely based on Norse epics so while the motif was Germanic, it was not explicitly German. However, I grant that in popular memory, the Wagner connection seems to be a thing according to Wikipedia and its German version connects it to a passage in Hindenburg's 1920 memoirs where he made the connection explicit by mentioning Hagen's stabbing of Siegfried in Götterdämmerung, although I think that the Achilles heel-like stuff bit mentioned by the BoN is not Wagnerian.
- I'd suggest that the Dolchstoßlegende also draws on supplementary imagery taken not from Wagner, but from an actual historical person and event: The murder of the Germanic tribal leader Arminius, the victor at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, by his fellow Germanic tribesmen for getting too powerful (at least in Tacitus' Roman view; note how this fate clearly mirrors that of Caesar). There was a vogue for Arminius (Hermann in German) in the 19th and early 20th century with the most visible legacy being the Hermannsdenkmal (the "Arminius Memorial", constructed 1838-1875) in North Rhine-Westphalia. Arminius also had several advantages as a symbol: For the liberal (note: not to be confused with the current US use of the term) forces, he could symbolise struggle for freedom and against oppression, while more conservative forces could focus on the fact that Arminius had struggled against Latin foreigners (parallel: The French at the time of the Denkmal) and every nationalist could focus on his unification of disparate Germanic tribes to foster the defeat of the Roman legions at the Teutoburg Forest as a precursor of the 1864-'70 German unification that created Imperial Germany. But hey, this is WP:OR aka my personal perspective ;-) ScepticWombat (talk) 06:46, 19 June 2016 (UTC)