Germany after World War I

The end of the war (1914-1918) came as a shock to many Germans. The Government had concealed casualties from the public, minimised the effect of the American intervention and exaggerated the extent of Germany’s resources, so that the news of Germany’s surrender was difficult to believe. Many Germans, feeling tricked and betrayed, tried to rationalise what had happened. Philip Gibbs (a war correspondent for Britain) noticed it:

‘I became aware of a myth which persisted in the minds of most Germans, and which nothing would alter. “Our armies, of course, were never defeated in the field,” I heard. “It was a stab in the back which betrayed them. Revolution from behind by communists and Jews…”‘

By 1919, when the peace conference assembled at Versailles, this legend, on which the Nazis were to flourish, had become intertwined with German policy. Germany was not going to forget the betrayal; the Fatherland would rise from shame.

– Philip Knightley in “The First Casualty” (1975) John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s