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.
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||European Review of History|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2018|
- School of History - Associate Professor in Modern German History
Person: Academic, Teaching & Research