Thursday, April 04, 2019

Dolchstoßlegende: Brexit and the stab-in-the-back myth

On Twitter today my friend Herbert Eppel taught me a new German word: Dolchstoßlegende.
Wikipedia explains:
The stab-in-the-back myth (German: Dolchstoßlegende ... literally "dagger stab myth") was the notion, widely believed and promulgated in right-wing circles in Germany after 1918, that the German Army did not lose World War I on the battlefield but was instead betrayed by the civilians on the home front, especially the republicans who overthrew the Hohenzollern monarchy in the German Revolution of 1918–19. 
Advocates denounced the German government leaders who signed the Armistice on November 11, 1918, as the "November Criminals" (German: November­verbrecher). 
When the Nazi Party 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 stabbed the nation in the back to seize power while betraying it.
Herbert suggested Dolchstoßlegende as a candidate for his growing list of German words used in English. And I think I know why.

If Brexit does take place it will be either under the terms of the deal negotiated by Theresa May, which offers a vastly inferior arrangement that we have enjoyed for decades, or there will be no deal and a consequent disaster.

Either way, the reality will be nothing like the golden age that the Brexiters have imagined - a blend of the new Jerusalem and Fifties Britain.

Who will they blame? Not themselves, that's for sure.

Instead it will all be the fault of the liberals, the Remoaners, Theresa May, the House of Lords, Jeremy Corbyn, the BBC, the Irish, the abolition of National Service, immigration, trendy teaching methods, decimal currency, the decline of proper wet fish shops, unelected Eurocrats, elected Eurocrats and Gary Lineker.

It sounds funny, but it won't be.


Frank Little said...

It will also be the fault of one-day cricket, homosexuals and the abandonment of the W formation in English football.

Herbert Eppel said...

Meanwhile, "Humor ist wenn man trotzdem lacht"