The Tannenberg myth in history and literature, 1914-1945

Vermeiren, Jan (2018) The Tannenberg myth in history and literature, 1914-1945. European Review of History, 25 (5). pp. 778-802. ISSN 1350-7486

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The Battle of Tannenberg in late August 1914 has been described as the ‘most powerful German myth’ of the First World War. This essay analyses the role of the battle in German collective memory up to the end of the Third Reich. During the war, the victory in East Prussia was celebrated widely and greatly contributed to the personality cult surrounding Paul von Hindenburg. After 1918, Tannenberg served right-wing circles as a political argument against the post-war order, evoked to underscore the notion of German victimhood against Slav ‘encirclement’, the ‘war guilt lie’ and the territorial provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. However, it never really captured the attention or imagination of writers and artists. Linked primarily to national-conservative groups and ideals, Tannenberg was also of no major significance in National Socialist propaganda.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Issue: Making Sense of Violence: Intellectuals, Writers, and Modern Warfare
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Institute for the Study of Ideas of Europe (ISIE)
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2018 14:30
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 23:48
DOI: 10.1080/13507486.2018.1497010

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