Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dolchstosslegende

"'The last thing that people would want to see is soldiers* being stabbed in the back by their own government and I know a lot of people think that's what's happening', Mr Abott told the Macquarie Radio Network this morning, a day after returning from a visit to Australian troops in Afghanistan." (Tony Abott accuses government of 'deep failure' to support charged soldiers, Joe Kelly, The Australian, 12/10/10)

Hm... stabbed in the back. Now where have we heard that before?

"The Stab-in-the-Back Legend (German: Dolchstosslegende) was a right-wing political legend of post-First World War Germany, which remained current until the eve of the Second World War. In attributing Imperial German loss of the war to the public's failure in answering their 'patriotic calling', and to the war effort-sabotage of the Socialists, the Bolsheviks, and the Jews, and not to the Reichsheer's inability to engage battle, it exonerated the military of their defeat... Historically, the Dolchstosslegende proved important to the political ascension of Adolf Hitler; as the Nazi Party grew, it maintained an original, true-believer base, embittered Great War veterans who believed the patriotic legend and its mythic interpretation of Germany's recent military history. The Dolchstosslegende ideologically encapsulates the justifications of Nazi Germany's persecution and murder of Jews, Communists, Socialists, intellectuals, bringing into line every dissident." (Stab-in-the-back legend, Wikipedia)

[*Three Australian commandos are to be prosecuted for manslaughter in relation to a raid on a house in Afghanistan in 2008, which resulted in the deaths of 6 civilians, including 5 children.]

4 comments:

Syd Walker said...

Ah, the "stab in the back". I laughed too when Abbott said that, not that it's really a funny subject, then or now... Next he'll be quoting Napoleon.

Regarding the orginal 'Dolchstosslegende', I wonder if you're familiar with the writings of a certain John Cornelius? Normally I wouldn't pay much notice to a pseuodonymous author, but exceptions are in order from time to time :-) He /she may well have good reasons for wanting anonymity.

I found his series of articles in WMREA on the subject of the Balfour Declaration rather persuasive. I'd be interested in your view. Here are a few URLs, with the dates of the articles in brackets, They are a real series; the author's hypothesis evolves over time, based on feedback and additional information:

http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/0897/9708018.html (1997)

http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/0998/9809057.html (1998)

http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/1099/9910057.html )1999)

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/November_2005/0511044.html (2005)

brian said...

'Three Australian commandos are to be prosecuted for manslaughter '

of course the original agressive invasion is the supreme war crime...so a 'manslaughter' charge is a bit weak.

brian said...

Stab in the back? Should a govt be defending a war crime, which is what this killing of civilians by invanig soldiers is?

MERC said...

Syd, Thanks for those references to Cornelius. Have just read his 2005 article, The Hidden History of the Balfour Declaration. Like you, I found it persuasive, realpolitik at its murkiest. Curiously, in the latest book on the subject, Jonathan Schneer's The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (which I've yet to read), there is no index reference to either the Zimmermann telegram or the US factor.