Back-stabbing and its origins

By Joe Millis
May 19, 2011

Someone from the cowardly far right referred to Obama's excellent speech as "stabbing Israel in the back". Apart from the fact that Obama basically gave Israel all the political and diplomatic backing that Israel could ever wish for in that speech -- which appears to have been rejected by Haniyeh and Netanyahu, quelle surprise -- back-stabbing as a term has an interesting origin

The stab-in-the-back legend - or Dolchstoßlegende in German -- is the notion, widely believed in right-wing circles in Germany after 1918, that the German Army did not lose World War I but was instead betrayed by the civilians on the home front, especially the republicans who overthrew the monarchy. Advocates denounced the German government leaders who signed the Armistice on November 11, 1918, as the "November Criminals".
When the Nazis came to power in 1933 they made the legend an integral part of their official history of the 1920s, portraying the Weimar Republic as the work of the "November criminals" who used the stab in the back to seize power while betraying the nation. The Nazi propaganda depicted Weimar as "a morass of corruption, degeneracy, national humiliation, ruthless persecution of the honest 'national opposition' - fourteen years of rule by Jews, Marxists and 'cultural Bolsheviks', who had at last been swept away by the National Socialist movement under Adolf Hitler and the victory of the 'national revolution' of 1933."


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