The Dawning of the Revolution

  • Marius S. OstrowskiEmail author


“They have lied to us and betrayed us.” Those were the words that the Conservative party leader von Heydebrand is supposed to have called out in despair when his party colleague Graf Westarp—whom the acting Reich Chancellor von Payer had informed of the dire news about the collapse of the army in a quickly convened private conference, along with one representative of each of the other parties—delivered this to his party. With greater right than the recently dethroned king and his friends could and can the broad mass of the German people say this of itself. How it was systematically lied to and betrayed about the origin of the war and its course while it lasted, so it is still today. And it is precisely the party colleagues of Herr von Heydebrand who now put in the most unrestrained efforts in this campaign of lies [Lügenfeldzug]. Still the German people is fed the lie in pamphlets of all kinds that Germany was insidiously “forced” into war in 1914 by its malicious and envious enemies—some lie even more brazenly and claim that we were outright assaulted. Still they describe the war to it as if on the German side only victories were fought for and won, and at most occasionally troops who had pressed ahead too far were “pulled back” for strategic reasons. Not only in the Chronology of the War by Major-General Metzler, which appeared in 1915 with Reclam, is the great Battle of the Marne, which lasted for several days, and which belongs to the decisive battles of world history, completely concealed in this way; in the brochure by Geheimer Studienrat [Education Undersecretary] Jaenicke, World War, Revolution, Constitution, which appeared in November 1919, the uninformed German reader is also deceived by the following untrue turns of phrase about the fact of the tremendous defeat of the German Crown Prince’s army, which ended on 12 September 1914:

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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.All Souls CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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