Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The First Nazi Erich Ludendorff, The Man Who Made Hitler Possible by Will Brownnell and Denise Drace-Brownnell (2015)

Erich Ludendorff (1865 to 1937) was, along with Hindenburg, leader of the German Army during World War I (1914 to 1918).  Will Brownell and Denise Drace-Brownnell in The First Nazi Erich Ludendorff, The Man Who Made Hitler Possible have two very interesting points to make.  

This is the basic thesis of this book:

"A case can be made that the legends in which Ludendorff played a major and blooddrenched role would kill millions of Jews and Christians and would butcher European civilization for years to come. Indeed, they would cripple Europe for the better part of the twentieth century.".

Ludendorff could not accept blame for the defeat of the Germans. He had to find some else he could blame for this.  He came up with a lie which, told over and over, became a terrible force for evil.  He claimed Germany had been "stabbed in the back" by the Jews.  They detail how this lie became widely accepted in German society and was seized upon by Hitler as part of the reason for the holocaust.  Ludendorff also kept the German army fighting long after it as obvious they could not win costing millions of lives on both sides.  

In an interesting personal note, I was taught in school long ago that W W Two was made inevitable because Germany could not pay the reparations the Allies levied on them at the end of the war.  In fact they could have paid them.  This is a lie still taught by people who believe it true.  

"The American financier Bernard Baruch was clear that they could be paid and indeed that they were not as awful as the colossal indemnities Ludendorff had demanded at Brest. But the Germans ignored Baruch, and some grumbled that the great man was a Jew and therefore unreliable. So after Ludendorff demanded the armistice, he called it a crime. From the Kaiser down, a huge segment of German society agreed with Ludendorff’s version of events. Eventually this view became nearly universal in Germany and Austria."

Walter Ratheenau, a veteran of World War One and the German finance minister was a man of great brilliance.  He was Jewish and once he publicly  stated that Germany could pay the reputations and rebuild society he, as Jew, was labeled a tool of international cabal of Jewish bankers and was assassinated. 

Ludendorff insisted over and over that the Jews back stabbed Germany and caused them to lose the war.  I think this remark below is true

"Ludendorff’s stab-in-the-back legend did not just mean that generals like Ludendorff were blameless. It also meant that men like Ludendorff were to be followed. It also meant that the leaders of the new republic, like Rathenau, were evil and should be killed. It was no great leap from this lie to the conclusion that all Jews should exterminated". 

I think anyone interested in German History, outside of experts, will enjoy and learn from this book.

The structure of the German military leadership and the path that lead to Germany's defeat are well explained.  Ludendorff is not intrinsically an interesting person, he has no friends, no hobbies or interests.  Even Hitler did not really like hm even though he seized on his big lie.

Mel u



WILL BROWNELL is a scholar with both military and academic experience. Militarily, he has served as a translator and interpreter for the US Army and State Department. He was educated at Exeter, Cornell, Columbia, plus the Universities of Madrid and Paris. An expert in European military history, he is author of So Close to Greatness, the biography of Ambassador William C. Bullitt, the first U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

DENISE DRACE-BROWNELL is a technologist, inventor, and international business executive. She has negotiated complex, high profile multi-state and global agreements. She was educated at Columbia and Rutgers, plus the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in New York.

They are the authors of:

The First Nazi: Erich Ludendorff, the Man Who Made Hitler Possible

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