Erich Ludendorff

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Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (born April 9, 1865 in Kruszewnia near Schwersenz , Posen Province , † December 20, 1937 in Munich ) was a German general and politician. During the First World War , as first quartermaster general and deputy of Paul von Hindenburg , the chief of the third Supreme Army Command (OHL), he had a decisive influence on German warfare and politics. He was largely responsible for the victory in the Tannenberg Battle as well as the failed German spring offensive in 1918 and was one of the fathers of the stab in the back legend . At the time of the Weimar Republic he was active in the völkisch movement , took part in the Kapp Putsch in 1920 and in the Hitler Putsch in 1923 , was a brief member of the Reichstag for the German Volkische Freedom Party and co-founder of the Tannenbergbund .

Erich Ludendorff


Lieutenant Erich Ludendorff in Wesel in 1882
Margarethe Ludendorff, first wife, 1915

Ludendorff was the son of the manor owner and reserve officer Wilhelm Ludendorff (1833-1905) and his wife Clara (1841-1914) in the 60-soul village of Kruszewnia near Schwersenz (today's Swarzędz , Poland ) in the then Prussian province of Posen born. His father came from a Pomeranian merchant family, whose family tree can be traced back to Erik XIV of Sweden , and - having become prosperous - had made use of the new Prussian law ( Reguliersedikt ), which also allowed non-nobles to purchase goods. Ludendorff's father fought as a cavalry officer in the German Wars of Unification (1866, 1870/1871) and chose Erich for the officer career. Later the father sold the manor and became a well-paid employee of an insurance company.

His mother came from the Prussian noble family von Tempelhoff , one of their great-grandfathers was the Prussian general Georg Friedrich von Tempelhoff . His younger brother was the astrophysicist Hans Ludendorff .

Ludendorff was first married to Margarethe Pernet born from 1908 to 1925. Schmidt (1875–1936), who brought four children into the marriage, including Heinz Pernet ; after the divorce she wrote her memoirs. In 1926 Ludendorff married Mathilde von Kemnitz, b. Spieß (1877–1966), a doctor to his first wife.

Ludendorff's sister Gertrud (1862-1940) was married to the judge Gustav Jahn , the first president of the Reichsfinanzhof .

Military career

After graduating from school, Ludendorff embarked on a career as a career officer in the Prussian army . After his training in the Plön Cadet Corps and the Hauptkadettenanstalt in Groß-Lichterfelde from 1877 to 1882, Erich Ludendorff came to Wesel in 1882 as a young lieutenant in the Infantry Regiment "Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig" (8th Westphalian) No. 57 in Wesel . In 1887 he was transferred to the sea ​​battalion of the Imperial Navy and served on the ships Niobe , Baden and Kaiser , among others . During this time he visited Scandinavia and the British Isles .

Erich Ludendorff as major after 1902

In 1890 Ludendorff was posted to Berlin for the three-year general staff training at the War Academy . During this time his interests were in Russia and the Russian language. After acquiring extensive language skills, he was given the opportunity to deepen it during a three-month special leave of absence in Saint Petersburg and Moscow . After his return he was appointed General Staff Officer. Within the 1st (Russian) Department of the General Staff , he worked as a consultant for the states of Eastern Europe and Asia with the exception of Russia. After the one-year probationary period, he was promoted to captain in March 1895 . In the spring of 1896, Ludendorff was then transferred to the General Staff of the IV Army Corps in Magdeburg as Second General Staff Officer (Ib) . In 1898 he became company commander in Infantry Regiment No. 61 (8th Pomeranian). In 1901 he was transferred as first general staff officer (Ia) to the staff of the 9th Division in Glogau . In the same year he was promoted to major and in 1902 transferred as Ia to the staff of the higher army corps in Posen .

In 1904, Ludendorff's favored reassignment as head of section to the deployment department (2nd division) of the Great General Staff took place. Here he was the head of the 1st (German) Section, which dealt with the issues of the German army, until 1906. During this time he was made familiar with the main features of the Schlieffen Plan . In 1906 he interrupted his work in the General Staff, as provided for in the career law at the time, to become a lecturer at the War Academy, where he taught tactics and war history. A significant part of the top military of the later Weimar Republic - including the later Chancellor, Kurt von Schleicher , who was shot during the Röhm murders - were pupils of Ludendorff. In April 1908 Ludendorff became head of the 2nd department in the General Staff, the largest and most important. One of his tasks was to prepare the deployment of the German army in the event of war. As an important assistant to the Chief of Staff Moltke , Ludendorff played a decisive role in the revision of the Schlieffen Plan, especially with regard to the so-called coup d'état on Liège . He also had a decisive effect on the adoption of the military bill of 1913, the largest army expansion in the German Empire up to that point. In 1908 Ludendorff was promoted to lieutenant colonel and in 1911 to colonel . He himself saw the fact that he was transferred from the General Staff to Düsseldorf in 1912 as a measure to remove the tireless admonisher who called for the preparation of the “inevitable” war. Indeed, his subsequent use in the troop service was a normal part of the career of a general staff officer. In 1912 he was transferred to Düsseldorf as commander of the Fusilier Regiment No. 39 . On April 22, 1914 Ludendorff was promoted to major general and appointed commander of the 85th Infantry Brigade in Strasbourg .

First World War

During the First World War, Ludendorff made a steep career. At first he quickly rose to higher positions in the field and staff, and in August 1914 he already formed a successful field duo with the later Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg . Together with this he formed from 1916 the head of the third Supreme Army Command. With the reorganization of the Great General Staff, he pursued the goal of establishing a military dictatorship. Later, following the ousting of Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg in 1917, he actually became the real ruler in the Reich. After the failure of the spring offensive of 1918 , on which all hopes for a German victory rested, Ludendorff gradually lost the influence he had exercised until then on the German warfare and was dismissed in October 1918 as a result of Germany's now clear defeat.

Western and Eastern Front

Right at the beginning of the war, Ludendorff was initially appointed senior quartermaster of the 2nd Army in accordance with his mobilization regulations . After the death of the commanding officer - - ad hoc acquired 14th Infantry Brigade on August 6, 1914, the heavily fortified in the first week of the war and three days after the attack of the German troops on neutral Belgium by Ludendorff conquered citadel in the city of Liège , neuralgic for the Schlieffen Plan , for which he was awarded the highest Prussian order Pour le Mérite as the second soldier in the World War . This important coup established Ludendorff's reputation as the hero of Liège .

On August 22, 1914, Ludendorff was surprisingly appointed Chief of Staff of the 8th Army in East Prussia. The eastern front of the empire had got into a difficult position against a superior Russian force: Russian troops stood up to 10 kilometers on East Prussian territory. Ludendorff seemed predestined for this task both because of his previous experience as a military observer in Russia and because of his successes on the Western Front. As chief of staff of the later Reich President Hindenburg, he was the strategic head of the victories in the Tannenberg Battle and the Masurian Battle against the Russian troops. After the battles for Lodz , Ludendorff was promoted to lieutenant general. During the following war years, Ludendorff continued to serve as chief of staff at Hindenburg, who had meanwhile risen to become General Field Marshal and Commander in Chief East (OB East). Due to the concentration of military forces on the western front ( Verdun ), the eastern front - where Ludendorff and Hindenburg also had to act in competition with the nominal imperial and royal command, but indirectly subordinate to the OHL itself, Army Group Mackensen - was subordinate. As a result, Ludendorff's work from 1915 was mainly the establishment of the military state of Upper East as a prime example of occupation-political “German work” in the East.

Ludendorff with his colleague Colonel Max Hoffmann , around 1915/16

Ludendorff's time on the Eastern Front was also influenced by the simmering conflict with the Chief of the General Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn . As early as the winter of 1914/15, Ludendorff, supported by his mentor Moltke, had succeeded in replacing Falkenhayn as Chief of the General Staff. At that time, however, still unsuccessful, because Falkenhayn defended himself by transferring Ludendorff to the newly established Southern Army and thus away from Hindenburg in January 1915 , but this was reversed after a short time on Hindenburg's intervention with Kaiser Wilhelm II . In the summer of 1915, opinions clashed again when Ludendorff, after successful operations against the Russian army in Poland, saw the opportunity for a potentially decisive forceps operation. Falkenhayn successfully resisted with regard to the western front and achieved a far-reaching circumcision of Upper East by creating an "Army Group Prince Leopold" under the direct control of the OHL from parts of the troops subordinate to it. The area under the administration of Upper East was also significantly reduced with the creation of the General Government of Warsaw . An opportunity to disempower Falkenhayn only came up again when his strategy of exhaustion in the battle of Verdun threatened to fail due to the Allied offensives in the summer of 1916. Under the pressure of the Brusilov offensive , Falkenhayn first had to agree to the appointment of Hindenburg as commander in chief of all German armed forces in the east. The final decisive factor was Romania's entry into the war at the end of August 1916, which took Falkenhayn by surprise and led to clear resignation.

Third Supreme Army Command

Propagandist representation of Hindenburg and Ludendorff ( Hugo Vogel )
Hindenburg and Ludendorff in the headquarters in Bad Kreuznach in 1917

After Erich von Falkenhayn's dismissal as Chief of the General Staff on August 29, 1916, which Ludendorff had run, he rose to General of the Infantry and Hindenburg's deputy, the real head of German warfare. That was an important step towards consolidating his desired position of power and the associated realignment of warfare. The General Staff was replaced by the Supreme Army Command. New appointments in individual management positions, changed structures and an even stronger concentration of power in the hands of Ludendorff were the result. While Hindenburg was responsible for public relations, Ludendorff was actually pulling the strings. As a special service position, the position of First Quartermaster General was specially created for him , in order to place him on a de facto equal footing with Hindenburg. As supposedly the only bearers of hope in the already muddled situation of the war, both had an almost unassailable position of power and exercised a de facto military dictatorship , next to which both the position of Kaiser Wilhelm II and that of Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg faded. Within the OHL, according to the historian Erich Eyck , Ludendorff increasingly assumed the role of the intellectual wire-puller due to his superior rhetorical skills compared to Hindenburg. Because of this position of power that they strived for, Hindenburg and Ludendorff were essentially responsible for all military decisions, although according to the constitution the Kaiser was actually the highest military commander and thus they were primarily responsible for the later military defeat of the German Reich.

In the 3rd Supreme Army Command, for example, the Quartermaster General led by Lieutenant General Wilhelm Hahndorff (1858-1935), the General Staff Departments - including the Foreign Armies Department from 1917 under Major Leopold von Rauch (1876-1955), the Intelligence Department under Colonel Walter Nicolai (1873–1947) - the Supreme Arms Authorities and the OHL branch offices with the Deputy General Staff of the Army under General Hugo von Freytag-Loringhoven (1855–1924) directly subordinate to Ludendorff. Since mid-1916, the Supreme Army Command also had a military position in the Foreign Office under Major Edwin von Stülpnagel (1876–1933), which was in tough competition with the " Central Agency for Foreign Service " created by Matthias Erzberger (1875–1921) in October 1914. at the Foreign Office. In this phase, Ludendorff was also significantly involved in the formulation and implementation of the so-called Hindenburg program . The " Auxiliary Service Act " of December 5, 1916, which was enforced by Hindenburg and himself, was intended primarily to use restrictive means to ensure the war economy as a whole, the war-oriented subsidization of industry, the obligation to work, prevent mass strikes and keep the workers in line.

When the Reich leadership discussed reacting to the British naval blockade with an unrestricted submarine war against Great Britain, Bethmann-Hollweg refused to wage a trade war beyond the price order because American ships would also be affected and the USA therefore in the War would break out. Ludendorff and Hindenburg, however, together with the admirals Reinhard Scheer and Henning von Holtzendorff, pushed through the submarine war against the explicit resistance of the Chancellor. As a result, as Bethmann Hollweg feared, the United States actually entered the war on the side of the Allies. Ludendorff had taken this entry into the war into account, but assumed that the war could be victoriously ended before the arrival of the then still militarily weak American army.

Ludendorff as "dictator"

The power of Ludendorff, the real boss of the Third OHL, had increased more and more since the end of 1916, while the “docile Hindenburg covered everything and served as a facade for Ludendorff's dictatorial manipulations”. The "silent dictatorship of the OHL" was also due to the weakness of Kaiser Wilhelm, who acted increasingly helpless in the last two years of the war, which strengthened the position of the OHL. An open dictatorship would have been disadvantageous for Ludendorff, he needed a chancellor as a “lightning rod”, as a “scapegoat” for the mistakes and inadequacies of German politics. Bethmann Hollweg's successors, Georg Michaelis and Georg von Hertling , deliberately considered themselves “only as Ludendorff's assistants on the home front”. The OHL under Ludendorff temporarily had total authority in all areas, among other things, it was responsible for the resignations of Bethmann Hollweg, War Minister Adolf Wild von Hohenborn , Admiral Chief of Staff Henning von Holtzendorff , Cabinet Chief Rudolf von Valentini , State Secretary Richard von Kühlmann and Chancellor Georg Michaelis (1857 –1936) responsible.

As early as the early summer of 1917, Ludendorff developed such a political activity that it almost seemed as if the OHL had set up its own Foreign Ministry and the Chief of Staff had unlimited time to deal with political questions.

If necessary, Bethmann Hollweg would have resigned herself to a status quo peace, because the “self-assertion” against the strongest possible coalition in Europe should be seen as a success. For Ludendorff, the status quo would have meant “that we would have lost the war”. Only "General Ludendorff could not deliver the peace in victory that the politician Ludendorff demanded". Since Germany's expansion into a " world power " was supposedly necessary for the coming war , for Ludendorff the return to the status quo ante bellum would have been a descent that would have led to political insignificance. With the aim of a significant increase in arms and ammunition production by 100 to 200 percent, Ludendorff achieved a reorganization of the German economy in 1917 by creating new central administrations - only formally located below the War Ministry. This policy found approval among numerous leading industrialists of the time, including Carl Duisberg ( Bayer AG ), Gustav Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach ( Friedrich Krupp AG ), Walther Rathenau ( AEG ), Hugo Stinnes ( RWE ). Ludendorff's most radical demands, including forced labor and the deportation of parts of the population from occupied territories, the compulsory engagement of workers from non-war industries (e.g. textile industry) in the arms industry, and the extensive compulsory obligation of women to do industrial work, did not, as such, meet in their objective, to the resistance of the Reich Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg, whose overthrow Ludendorff ultimately operated successfully.

In the east, Ludendorff was striving for very far - reaching war aims that went beyond what was finally achieved in the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty ; Ludendorff operated a separation of Estonia , Finland , Livonia and the Ukraine from the Russian Empire and wanted the army to advance to Saint Petersburg . The German population was to be settled in the areas to be ceded: "Here we are gaining the breeding grounds for people who are necessary for further struggles to the east," wrote Ludendorff in 1915. To destabilize the Russian government, he made it possible for a group of Russian revolutionaries, including Lenin , all in one Train to travel from Switzerland via Germany to Russia.

Propaganda efforts

In addition to questions of military strategy, Ludendorff was particularly interested in the role of propaganda in warfare, as he saw it implemented by the British Crewe House and the beginnings of which went back to the propagandistically cannibalized capture of the Belgian city of Liège by Ludendorff in 1914 (nationwide posters about the hero of Liège ). Impressed by the morale of the British soldiers, Ludendorff commissioned an intelligence study to find out why. The study found that English humor played a decisive role, which led Ludendorff to the bon mot “What is humor ?”. As a result, he tried, among other things, to raise the morale of the German troops by distributing a book on humor among the soldiers.

Ludendorff did not limit his propaganda efforts to the traditional media . He recognized the possibilities of film early on and therefore set up the Image and Film Office (Bufa) on January 13, 1917 , a forerunner organization of the UFA . Conductor was Hans von Haeften Maximilian (1870-1937). This authority should also make the film useful for psychological warfare in its own country . The plans of the General Staff and especially Ludendorff, however, went far beyond the establishment of the Bufa. He had a big film company in mind, controlled by the state and serving national interests. In this endeavor, Universum-Film AG (Ufa) was founded in Berlin on December 18, 1917, an amalgamation of private film companies, but half financed from Reich funds. The company had start-up capital of seven million marks, shares in it were held by the Reich Government, the War Ministry and the Deutsche Bank.

From victory in the east to failure in the west

In the spring offensive of 1918 , Ludendorff used the infiltration tactics first tried by Oskar von Hutier in 1917 , which - in conjunction with the modern methods recognized by Georg Bruchmüller for artillery at the end of 1916 - enabled a real breakthrough and major operational gains for the first time since the beginning of the trench warfare . and which completely surprised the Allied opponents. In doing so, local successes were deliberately used for quick front breakthroughs, regardless of threatened flanks. These successes were not enough for a decisive victory. Instead, the “all or nothing offensive of Hindenburg and Ludendorff in the spring of 1918 [...] ruined the German army and made an Allied victory possible that would otherwise have been delayed by at least a year and The offensives failed in spite of the tactical breakthroughs due to the lack of strategic reserves of the army, which was weakened in 1918 by its involvement in Eastern Europe as well as by war fatigue, hunger, lack of material and the Spanish flu .

On March 24, 1918 Ludendorff was awarded the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross because of his services as one of five officers of the First World War . He also received the most important orders of the federal states, such as the Grand Crosses of the Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order and the Saxon Military St. Heinrich Order . The newly built Rhine bridge between Remagen and Erpel was named Ludendorff Bridge on May 1, 1918 .

Descent from the inner circle of power

Ludendorff in his study in the main headquarters, 1918

In view of the Bulgarian request for an armistice and the breakthrough through the Siegfried position , which the British divisions had succeeded in, Ludendorff spoke on September 29, 1918 at a meeting of the army command with the Kaiser in Spa for an immediate offer of an armistice to US President Wilson and - for tactical reasons - for a parliamentarization of the government . The exact circumstances of this change of heart are still disputed today, especially whether it was an act of affect or a Machiavellian calculation by Ludendorff. It is undisputed that this decision was a turning point in the introduction of the republic and an admission of military defeat. Civilian, especially social democratic politicians should take responsibility for ending the war; this was the germ of the stab in the back legend .

When Maximilian von Baden took over government at the beginning of October 1918, Ludendorff's influence on German politics quickly waned; all subsequent differences with the Chancellor were decided in favor of the latter. Friedrich Graf von der Schulenburg used the fact that Ludendorff had de facto initiated the German request for an armistice to put him under pressure. On October 23, Wilson demanded in his third note the previously agreed withdrawal of the German armies from the occupied territories and the cessation of the submarine war, the internal restructuring of the German Reich and measures that should make a German resumption of fighting impossible . Ludendorff, who was striving for a ceasefire and "had not even thought about the political and military consequences of his sudden decision", was now faced with the demand for a German surrender, which he flatly refused. At this point he wanted to break off further negotiations and, in blatant contradiction to his previous steps, demanded a continuation of the "resistance with the utmost strength". The meanwhile incumbent government of Max von Baden did not support this course. On October 26, 1918, Ludendorff was - surprisingly - dismissed by the Kaiser in Bellevue Palace at the request of the Chancellor, but formally at his own request . Ludendorff had gone to Bellevue Palace with Hindenburg and had left the conference room after a dispute with the head of state. He waited in the anteroom for Hindenburg, assuming that he had also asked for resignation. When he came out without having been adopted, Ludendorff refused to go back to the General Staff building with the words: “I have nothing more to do with you”. According to the historian Manfred Nebelin , the event at Bellevue Palace marks the regaining of the primacy of politics over the military, which has been completely lost since the overthrow of Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg . At the beginning of the November Revolution, Ludendorff only planned to go to the military headquarters in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe , which, however, was not accepted by the "horrified" Minister of War Schëuch . After some wandering - u. a. he found shelter in the apartment of a friend of his adjutant in Berlin-Wilmersdorf - he fled under a false name (Ernst Lindström, so that he would not be betrayed by monograms with the initials E.L.) with a Finnish diplomatic passport via Copenhagen to Sweden . His wife tried in vain to stop him, fearing that he would be publicly degraded. Kurt Tucholsky criticized Ludendorff in 1920 as a failure and a bad, irresponsible leader. In his novel Gripsholm Castle , he mockingly recommended Ludendorff's favorite restaurant in Copenhagen to the readers.

Fight against the Weimar Republic

After Ludendorff's return to Germany in 1919, he played a leading role in the anti- republic and chauvinist circles of the völkisch movement. Among other things, he was involved in the founding of the National Association and took an active part in both the Kapp and the Hitler-Ludendorff putsch .

Hitler-Ludendorff Putsch and the aftermath

Ludendorff (center) with Gustav von Kahr (ticked), who later played a role in the suppression of the Hitler-Ludendorff putsch (1921)
Main accused in the Hitler-Ludendorff trial, April 1, 1924

It was through Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter that Ludendorff got to know Hitler, in whom he initially showed no further interest, since he was a former private in the rank of service far below him. But as early as 1920, a very cautious approach, but increasingly stronger political ties between Ludendorff and Adolf Hitler, can be seen here. On the night of November 9, 1923, Ludendorff took part in the Hitler putsch in Munich. At the time, Hitler viewed him as the leader of the radical right-wing forces. In the event of a successful coup, his plan provided for Ludendorff to lead the march on Berlin. The coup attempt failed, however; Ludendorff was acquitted in the following process, despite the serious incriminating material, due to his alleged services in the First World War. The relationship with Hitler, to imprisonment in Landsberg was convicted in early 1924 deteriorated rapidly, especially so because Hitler saw called himself the leader of the National Socialists. Ludendorff despised Hitler, whom he accused of "deserting" on November 9th. Strongly advocating anti-clerical views, he also distanced himself from Hitler because of his pragmatic course in relation to the Catholic Church . In return, Hitler accused Ludendorff of dividing the nationalist movement with its German faith .

In the meantime, Ludendorff, together with Gregor Strasser and Albrecht von Graefe, took over the leadership of the German National Freedom Party (DVFP), one of the nationalist splinter groups with an anti-Semitic leitmotif that wanted to inherit the NSDAP, which was temporarily banned after the Hitler coup.

From 1924 to 1928, Ludendorff sat as a member of the Reichstag for the NSDAP and DVFP list that came into being after the NSDAP was banned as the National Socialist Freedom Party . He had declared Albrecht von Graefe to be his confidante and chairman of the parliamentary group. For the Reichstag elections on March 29, 1925, he was nominated as the Völkische candidate for the election of Reich President . At this point in time, Hitler was not yet a German citizen and so could not run himself; the National Socialists, however, tacitly supported Ludendorff in the first ballot, in which he received only 1.1 percent of the vote. After Hitler, whose support he had expected, asked his supporters to vote for Hindenburg, Ludendorff did not run in the second ballot. Ludendorff's disgraceful result meant that from now on Hitler became the undisputed leader of the right-wing radicals in the Weimar Republic.

Conspiracy theories and cabalistic interpretation of history

After this disgraceful result, Ludendorff withdrew from party politics. The failure of his planned career as Reich President, however, he explained in conspiracy theory with the "work of supranational powers". This meant the Jesuit order , the "Rome Church", Freemasonry , the Communist International , the environment around the Tibetan Dalai Lama (he suspected Josef Stalin to be his representative in 1937 ) and, above all, World Jewry , which Ludendorff imagined would have joined together to humiliate and enslave Germany. Ultimately, their goal is world domination . To this end, they staged the assassination attempt in Sarajevo as early as 1914 , the Russian Revolution , the USA's entry into the war, the November Revolution and the Treaty of Versailles .

The Tannenbergbund, which pursues political goals, offered him a forum for these conspiracy theories . Originally, Ludendorff and Konstantin Hierl had co-founded this organization in 1925 as the umbrella organization of ethnic forces in order to collect smaller organizations, ethnic groups expelled from other conservative and right-wing national associations and remnants of the banned NSDAP. Under the influence of Ludendorff's second wife Mathilde, however, the union developed into an esoteric group in which anti-Christian ideas were increasingly represented and the philosophy of Mathilde Ludendorff was put in place of Christianity. In the later publications of the Tannenbergbund, Ludendorff not only constructed further conspiracy theories, but also suspected kabbalistic backgrounds in certain historical dates: Since the numbers 10 and 5 as kabbalistic numerical values ​​of the first two letters of the name of God JHWH are sacred to the Jews, the next world war must be that of them would start on May 1, 1932 or 1941, because the numbers 1932 and 1941 have 15 as a cross sum .

Ludendorff and his second wife usually did not associate their anti-Semitic attacks against alleged Jewish conspiracies with any direct political demands and never called for direct action against Jews. Rather, they said that if the German people turned to the Germanic “knowledge of God”, it would automatically be “renewed” as it were. According to Bettina Amm, in their writings they spread “so massive, frightening and threatening” accusations against Jews that the implicit logical conclusion from this was concrete anti-Semitic actions.

Parts of this conspiracy ideology found resonance among the German population. Ludendorff stylized himself as a national hero who, at least metaphorically, had been overthrown by a conspiracy between Jews and Freemasons. He remained an important symbolic figure for the nationalist movement, but also for hegemonic anti-Semitism. On the occasion of his 60th birthday in 1925, the Göttinger Tageblatt praised Ludendorff's fight against Judaism, for example.

Most of the nationalist forces, especially most of the National Socialists, who were otherwise not averse to conspiracy theories such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, did not fully share the ideas of their former comrade in arms. Alfred Rosenberg suspected that the former Quartermaster General had become psychotic . In 1937 Joseph Goebbels noted in his diary about Mathilde Ludendorff: “This woman is his evil spirit.” As early as February 5, 1927, a circular was sent to all NSDAP regional leaderships, which officially stated:

"Exc. Ludendorff is not a member of the NSDAP and therefore has no influence over it. The same is true of the exc. Defense associations close to Ludendorff and united in the Tannenbergbund. "

In the same year, at a public event in Regensburg, Hitler even suggested that Ludendorff was himself a member of a lodge .

National Socialism was not the only one in its rejection of Ludendorff's ideas within the Volkish movement. The regional bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg Heinrich Rendtorff and the leading Protestant theologians as well as some conservative journalists opposed Ludendorff's ideas in the nationally oriented magazine Glaube und Volk .

Because of these ideas there has been speculation about Ludendorff's mental health. In 1949, the German journalist Winfried Martini ridiculed Ludendorff's “ manic-depressive insanity”. Historian David Nicholls calls Ludendorff's views "bizarre and paranoid, even by Nazi standards". It reminds the American historian Barry A. Jackisch of the “paranoid style” that Richard Hofstadter diagnosed in American society: this is not an individual mental illness , but the habitualized tendency of a group, milieu or society, all adverse events to explain with the work of malicious conspirators. Ernst Piper puts Ludendorff's "paranoid conspiracy theories", which had met with a fatally wide echo because of his fame, in the vicinity of his "inability to mourn" in the sense that he was unable to lead to Germany's military defeat in the First World War confess. His biographer Manfred Nebelin also draws attention to the fact that Ludendorff is repeatedly “viewed as partially insane or even paranoid”, but ultimately “the preoccupation with his personality, which indeed poses a number of 'riddles', must essentially be reserved for psychology ”.

Last years and death

From 1927 Ludendorff began to see fascism and National Socialism as an executive part of the “supranational powers” ​​by which he saw Germany persecuted. His journalism was now directed against Hitler and the NSDAP, which he accused, for example, of wanting to betray the Germans to the Pope. The more damaging Ludendorff considered the policy of Reich President von Hindenburg, the more he regretted not having made it public earlier that Hindenburg himself had no part in the military achievements of the Duumvirate Hindenburg-Ludendorff in World War I. In 1927 Ludendorff resigned from the church.

Ludendorff and his wife attacked even after the seizure of power by the Nazis in 1933, the Nazi party and Hitler sharply. In their anti-Semitic belief in conspiracies, they even accused Hitler of doing too little against the alleged threat from world Jewry. As a result, the windows of Ludendorff bookstores were smashed by the National Socialists, events of the Ludendorff movement were blown up, supporters of the Tannenberg Association were mistreated. At the end of 1933 the Tannenbergbund with its affiliated organizations and the magazine Ludendorffs Volkswarte were banned. Only the magazine Am heiligen Quell Deutscher Kraft was allowed to continue to appear until 1939. Ludendorffs Verlag, which was run by Mathilde Ludendorff from 1931 until its last publication in 1940, also remained unchanged . Many telegrams from Ludendorff to Reich President Hindenburg from 1933 in which he expressed his indignation at the mistreatment of his supporters have been passed down. A letter from Ludendorff to Hindenburg dated February 1, 1933 is often quoted in which he is said to have prophesied that Hitler would "push our Reich into the abyss, bring our nation into incomprehensible misery"; future generations would "curse Hindenburg in your grave for doing that" (meaning the appointment of Hitler as Reich Chancellor). Such a prophecy cannot be proven in the traditional sources; it is considered a legend based only on memory errors in the 1953 memoir by Hans Frank .

After the prohibitions, Ludendorff adopted a more moderate tone. Since the National Socialists revered him as a hero of the world war and the "fighting time", the Ludendorffs remained personally undisturbed. After Hindenburg's death in 1934, they tried to reconcile with Ludendorff and establish him as a national figure of identification . At the same time, the Reichswehr leadership expressed a great interest in bringing him more into play as a counterweight to Hitler. Hitler's offer to appoint him General Field Marshal and to give him a manor as a present, Ludendorff brusquely refused because he did not want to get the title of field marshal from a private . Finally, on March 30, 1937, there was a discussion between Hitler and Ludendorff, which Ludendorff only entered into on the condition that the Bund für Deutsche Gottterwissen may work again in public. As a "German God Knowledge (L)", the federal government was approved by the state as a religious community on an equal footing with the Christian ones.

On 20 December 1937 Ludendorff died in Munich Josephinum Hospital of liver cancer . The National Socialist government honored him against his express will and that of his wife with a state act on December 22, 1937 in Munich, he was buried on the same day in the New Cemetery in Tutzing . His grave with a bronze bust of Ludwig Manzel is a listed building. In 1941, Ludendorff's descendants received an endowment of real estate worth 1,612,000 Reichsmarks. In 2010 his last house in Tutzing was also listed as a historical monument. The memorial there has the Ludendorff archive.

Influence on posterity

Although Ludendorff's 1935 pamphlet Der totale Krieg had provided one of the most enduring keywords of the National Socialist government ideology, Hitler's military strategy in total war deviated significantly from Ludendorff's considerations. Unlike Ludendorff, who, based on the stab in the back, wanted to give the military all control, Hitler viewed the war as a national and political one. As a result, the war became more cruel than Ludendorff's ideology or that of his intellectual antipode Carl von Clausewitz , whose work Ludendorff regarded as outdated.



Erich Ludendorff - My War Memories - Ernst Mittler and Son - Berlin 1919
  • My war memories 1914–1918 . ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1919 (digitized version) ; 9th revised edition ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1926 [also as an abridged popular edition: 2nd edition ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1936].
  • (Ed.): Documents of the Supreme Army Command on their activities in 1916/18. ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1920; 2nd revised and supplemented edition ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1921 (digitized version) ; 4th revised edition ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1922.
  • Warfare and Politics. ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1922 (digitized version) ; 3rd revised edition ES Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1923.
  • Destruction of Freemasonry by revealing its secrets. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1927 (digitized version) , 1940.
  • Incitement to war and genocide over the past 150 years. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1928, 1939 (digitized version) .
  • with Mathilde Ludendorff: The secret of the Jesuit power and its end. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1929, 1934 (digitized version) .
  • World war threatens on German soil. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1930 (digitized version) .
  • My military career. Sheets of memory of our proud army. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1933 (digitized version) .
  • A selection from the military writings. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1935.
  • The total war. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1935 (digitized version) .
  • with employees: Mathilde Ludendorff - her work and work. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1937.
  • On the way to the Feldherrnhalle. Memoirs of the time of November 9, 1923. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1937 (digitized version) .
  • with Mathilde Ludendorff: Die Judenmacht. Your essence and end. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1939 (digitized version) .
  • From general to world revolutionary and pioneer of the German people's creation.
    • Volume 1: My Memoirs from 1919–1925. 12-16 Tausend Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1941 (digitized version) .
    • Volume 2: Franz Freiherr Karg von Bebenburg (ed.): My memoirs from 1926–1933. 3rd edition Verlag Hohe Warte, Stuttgart 1951.
    • Volume 3: Franz Freiherr Karg von Bebenburg (ed.): My memories from 1933–1937. Verlag Hohe Warte, Stuttgart 1955.

Smaller publications, periodicals

  • How the World War 1914 was "made". Völkischer Verlag, Munich 1934 (digitized version) .
  • The revolution from above. The end of the war and the events of the armistice. Two lectures. Karl Rohm , Lorch 1926 (digitized version) .
  • Tied up worker. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1931 (digitized version) .
  • The escape route; Away with gold standard and stock market. Ludendorff bookstore, Hamburg 1931.
  • My fight goals. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1932 (digitized version) .
  • Shameful secrets of the high degrees. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1932 (digitized version) .
  • with Mathilde Ludendorff: Christmas in the light of race knowledge. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1933 (digitized version) .
  • The Marne drama. The Moltke-Hentsch case. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1934 (digitized version) .
  • The people's fate in Christian sculptures. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1934 (digitized version) .
  • "Tannenberg". On the 20th anniversary of the battle. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1934 (digitized version) .
  • The political background of November 9, 1923. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1934 (digitized version) .
  • "Whore war story" before the court of the world war. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1934.
  • German defense. Anti-Semitism versus Antigojism. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1934 (digitized version) .
  • About insubordination in war. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1935.
  • French forgery of my 1912 memorandum on the impending war. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1935 (digitized version) .
  • Confession of Jews: Destruction of the peoples through Christianity. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1936 (digitized version) .
  • with Mathilde Ludendorff: The great horror. The Bible is not God's Word. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1936 (digitized version) .
  • (Ed. & Author) Abgeblitzt! Answers to theologians stammering about "The great horror". Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1936 (digitized version) .
  • Tannenberg. Historical truth about the battle. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1939 (digitized version) .
  • General words. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1938–1940.
  • as publisher: Ludendorffs Volkswarte , weekly newspaper, published in Munich from 1929 until it was banned in 1933
  • At the holy spring of German power 1930 to 1939, Munich.

Contemporary writings by others on the person and work

  • Margarethe Ludendorff: When I was Ludendorff's wife. Three masks, Munich 1929.
  • Karl Tschuppik : Ludendorff. The tragedy of the professional. Hans Epstein, Vienna and Leipzig 1931.
  • Ludendorff and the impending world war. The National Socialist Problem. Two burning questions of the present. Rohm, Lorch 1931.
  • Kurt Fügner: General Ludendorff in the fire in front of Liège and at the Feldherrnhalle in Munich. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1933.
  • Mathilde Ludendorff and coworkers: Erich Ludendorff - His essence and creation. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1938.
  • On the 75th birthday of General Erich Ludendorff on the 9th Easter Moon 1940. Ludendorffs Verlag, Munich 1940.



Web links

Commons : Erich Ludendorff  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Johannes Fischart, ( Erich Dombrowski ): politicians and publicists. XXXVI: Erich Ludendorff . In: The world stage . November 7, 1918, p. 427.
  2. Margarete Ludendorff: When I was Ludendorff's wife. Edited by Walter Ziersch, Munich 1929.
  3. Friedrich Winterhager: Testimonials from German-speaking doctors a. a. Correction and additions. In: Würzburg medical history reports. 24, 2005, p. 552 f., Here: p. 552.
  4. Annika Spilker: Gender, Religion and Völkischer Nationalism. The doctor and anti-Semite Mathilde von Kemnitz-Ludendorff (1877–1966). Campus Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-593-39987-4 , p. 169.
  5. ^ Kai Britt Albrecht. Erich Ludendorff 1865-1937 . Living Museum Online , accessed April 14, 2014.
  6. Dieter Hoffmann: The Leap into the Dark or How the First World War was unleashed. Leipzig 2010, p. 71.
  7. Manfred Nebelin: Ludendorff - Dictator in the First World War , Siedler 2010, p. 99 f.
  8. ↑ When Ludendorff was dismissed on October 26, 1918 , Kaiser Wilhelm II gave the regiment the nickname "General Ludendorff".
  9. Holger H. Herwig: Tunes of Glory at the Twilight Stage: The Bad Homburg Crown Council and the Evolution of German Statecraft, 1917/1918 . In: German Studies Review. Volume 6, No. 3, 1983, pp. 475-494, here p. 479.
  10. ^ Manfred Nebelin: Ludendorff - dictator in the First World War. Siedler, Munich 2010, pp. 113–122.
  11. Herfried Münkler: The Great War. The world 1914–1918. 6th edition, Rowohlt, Berlin 2014, p. 343.
  12. ^ Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius : Land of War in the East. Conquest, colonization and military rule in the First World War. Hamburg 2002, pp. 33 ff., 71 ff.
  13. ^ Manfred Nebelin: Ludendorff - dictator in the First World War. Siedler, Munich 2010, pp. 173–216.
  14. Erich Eyck: The Generals and the Downfall of the German Monarchy 1917-1918. In: Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. Volume 5, No. 2, 1952, pp. 47-67, here: p. 48.
  15. Erich Eyck: The Generals and the Downfall of the German Monarchy 1917-1918. In: Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. Volume 5, No. 2, 1952, pp. 47-67, especially p. 49.
  16. ^ Hermann Cron: The Organization of the German Army in World War I , Berlin 1923, p. 12 ff.
  17. Joachim Schröder: The Emperor's U-Boats. The history of the German U-boat campaign against Britain in World War I . Bernard & Graefe, Bonn 2003, pp. 211-218. On the reasons for abandoning the second submarine offensive in May 1916.
  18. Joachim Schröder: The Emperor's U-Boats. The story of the German submarine war against Great Britain in World War I. Bernard & Graefe, Bonn 2003, pp. 257-312, here: pp. 296-312. Here are the reasons for Wilhelm II. Swinging in favor of unrestricted submarine warfare.
  19. ^ Klaus Epstein: The Development of German-Austrian War Aims in the Spring of 1917. In: Journal of Central European Affairs. Volume 17, 1957, pp. 24-47, here: p. 25; Gerhard Ritter: statecraft and war craft. The problem of "militarism" in Germany. Volume 3: The tragedy of statecraft. Bethmann Hollweg as war chancellor (1914–1917). Munich 1964, p. 253.
  20. ^ Martin Kitchen: The Silent Dictatorship. The politics of the German High Command under Hindenburg and Ludendorff, 1916–1918. London 1976, p. 272 ​​f.
  21. Sebastian Haffner : The seven deadly sins of the German Empire in the First World War. Bergisch Gladbach 1981, p. 106; Martin Kitchen: The Silent Dictatorship. The politics of the German High Command under Hindenburg and Ludendorff, 1916–1918. London 1976, pp. 272-275.
  22. ^ Gerhard Ritter: Staatskunst und Kriegshandwerk. The problem of "militarism" in Germany. Volume 3: The tragedy of statecraft. Bethmann Hollweg as war chancellor (1914–1917). Munich 1964, p. 527.
  23. Sebastian Haffner: The seven deadly sins of the German Empire in the First World War. Bergisch Gladbach 1981, p. 107.
  24. Andreas Hillgruber: Germany's role in the prehistory of the two world wars . Göttingen 1979, p. 60 f.
  25. Holger H. Herwig: Tunes of Glory at the Twilight Stage: The Bad Homburg Crown Council and the Evolution of German Statecraft, 1917/1918. In: German Studies Review. Volume 6, No. 3, 1983, pp. 475-494, here: p. 481.
  26. ^ Manfred Nebelin: Ludendorff. Dictator in World War I. Siedler, Berlin 2011, p. 194.
  27. ^ Eberhard Demm: Propaganda and Caricature in the First World War . In: Journal of Contemporary History. Volume 28, No. 1, 1993, pp. 163-192, especially pp. 165 and 185.
  28. ^ Campbell Stuart: Secrets of Crewe House - the story of a famous campaign . Hodder & Stoughton, London 1920 online .
  29. Harry Schein: What is film humor? In: The Quarterly of Film Radio and Television. Volume 11, No. 1, 1956, pp. 24-32, here: p. 25.
  30. ^ E. Leiser: Den tyska filmens politisering. In: tides. Volume 49, No. 4, 1957, pp. 227-331.
  31. Gerhard P. Groß: The dogma of mobility. Reflections on the genesis of German army tactics in the age of the world wars. In: Bruno Thoss, Hans-Erich Volkmann (Hrsg.): First World War - Second World War. A comparison. War - war experience - war experience in Germany. Paderborn 2002, pp. 143–166, here: p. 152.
  32. David Stevenson: 1914-1918. The First World War. Albatros-Verlag, Mannheim 2010, p. 471.
  33. Rudolf von Kramer and Otto Freiherr von Waldenfels: VIRTUTI PRO PATRIA - The Royal Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order, War Deeds and Book of Honor 1914–1918 , self-published by the Royal Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order, Munich 1966, p. 401.
  34. The Royal Saxon Military St. Heinrichs-Orden 1736–1918, an honorary sheet of the Saxon Army. Wilhelm and Bertha von Baensch Foundation, Dresden 1937, p. 71.
  35. ^ Sönke Neitzel : World War and Revolution. 1914–1918 / 19 . Berlin 2008, p. 150.
  36. ^ Robert Randle: The Domestic Origins of Peace . In: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Volume 392, 1970, pp. 76-85, here: p. 83; Klaus Epstein: Wrong Man in a Maelstrom: The Government of Max of Baden. In: The Review of Politics. Volume 26, No. 2, 1964, pp. 215-243, here: p. 225.
  37. ^ Michael Geyer: Insurrectionary Warfare: The German Debate about a Levée en Masse in October 1918 . In: The Journal of Modern History. Volume 73, No. 3, 2001, pp. 459-527, here: p. 465.
  38. ^ Klaus Epstein: Wrong Man in a Maelstrom: The Government of Max of Baden. In: The Review of Politics. Volume 26, No. 2, 1964, pp. 215-243, here: p. 225.
  39. ^ Robert Randle: The Domestic Origins of Peace . In: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Volume 392, 1970, pp. 76-85, here: p. 83.
  40. Reinhard Rürup: Problems of the German Revolution 1918-1919. In: Journal of Contemporary History. Volume 3, No. 4, 1968, pp. 109-135, here: p. 113 f.
  41. ^ Klaus Epstein: Wrong Man in a Maelstrom. The Government of Max of Baden. In: The Review of Politics. Volume 26, No. 2, 1964, pp. 215-243, here: p. 231.
  42. Wolfgang Förster: The general Ludendorff in misfortune. A study of his mental attitude in the final phase of the First World War . Wiesbaden 1952, p. 104.
  43. Wilhelm Deist: The warfare of the Central Powers. In: Gerhard Hirschfeld, Gerd Krumeich, Irina Renz (eds.): Encyclopedia First World War. Paderborn 2003, pp. 249-271, here: p. 285.
  44. ^ Preliminary negotiations for the armistice .
  45. ^ Klaus Epstein: Wrong Man in a Maelstrom: The Government of Max of Baden . In: The Review of Politics. Volume 26, No. 2, 1964, pp. 215-243, here: pp. 231 f.
  46. ^ A b Manfred Nebelin: Ludendorff. Dictator in World War I. Munich 2011, p. 500 f. The military comes after politics, only in war it is its pacemaker E. L.
  47. ^ Ludendorff 1920, in: Kurt Tucholsky: Glosses and Essays. Collected Writings .
  48. Rudolph Binion: Hitler Among the Germans . New York 1976, p. 115 f.
  49. ^ Peter D. Stachura : The Political Strategy of the Nazi Party, 1919-1933 . In: German Studies Review. Volume 3, No. 2, 1980, pp. 261-288, especially p. 267.
  50. ^ Wulf C. Schwarzwäller: Hitler's money . VMA-Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2001, p. 115.
  51. ^ Jeremy Noakes: Conflict and Development in the NSDAP 1924–1927 . In: Journal of Contemporary History. Volume 1, No. 4, 1966, pp. 3-36, here: p. 10.
  52. Kurt Meier: Cross and Swastika. The Protestant Church in the Third Reich. Munich 1992, p. 10 f.
  53. ^ Frederick L. Schuman: The Political Theory of German Fascism. In: The American Political Science Review. Volume 28, No. 2, 1934, pp. 210-232, here: p. 214.
  54. ^ Robert A. Pois: The Bourgeois Democrats of Weimar Germany . In: Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series. Volume 66, No. 4, 1976, pp. 1-117, especially p. 50.
  55. ^ Phillip Wegehaupt: Ludendorff, Erich. In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus . Volume 2: People De Gruyter Saur, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-598-44159-2 , p. 495 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  56. Armin Pfahl-Traughber : The anti-Semitic-anti-Masonic conspiracy myth in the Weimar Republic and in the Nazi state. Braumüller, Vienna 1993, ISBN 3-7003-1017-X , p. 65 ff.
  57. ^ Bettina Amm: Ludendorff movement. In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus. Hostility to Jews in the past and present. Volume 5: Organizations, Institutions, Movements. De Gruyter, Berlin 2012, p. 393 f. (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  58. ^ Michael Geyer : Insurrectionary Warfare. The German Debate about a Levée en Masse in October 1918. In: The Journal of Modern History. Volume 73, No. 3, 2001, pp. 459-527, here: p. 460.
  59. ^ David E. Rowe: "Jewish Mathematics" at Göttingen in the Era of Felix Klein. In: Isis. Volume 77, No. 3, 1986, pp. 422-449, here: p. 445.
  60. Ralf Georg Reuth (Ed.): Joseph Goebbels. Diaries 1925–1945. Volume 3, Piper, Munich / Zurich 1992, p. 1031.
  61. Albrecht Tyrell (ed.): Führer befiehl ... self-testimonies from the "fighting time" of the NSDAP. Düsseldorf 1969, p. 165.
  62. ^ Helmut Reinalter : Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (1865–1937). In: the same (ed.): Handbook of conspiracy theories. Salier Verlag, Leipzig 2018, p. 183.
  63. ^ Rita Thalmann : La bourgeoisie protestante et la République de Weimar. In: Le Mouvement social 136 (1986), pp. 103-123, here: p. 122 f.
  64. Quoted from Tom Wolf : The old house of Ludendorffs. In: Kay Sokolowsky and Jürgen Roth: Who is behind it? The 99 most important conspiracy theories. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 1998, p. 155.
  65. ^ "Bizarre and paranoid even by Nazi standards". David Nicholls: Adolf Hitler. A Biographical Companion. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara 2000, p. 157.
  66. Barry A. Jackisch: The Pan-German League and Radical Nationalist Politics in Interwar Germany 1918–1939 , Ashgate Farnham 2012, note 65.
  67. ^ Ernst Piper: Alfred Rosenberg. Hitler's chief ideologist. Karl Blessing, Munich 2005.
  68. ^ Manfred Nebelin: Ludendorff. Dictator in World War I. Siedler, Berlin 2011, p. 20.
  69. ^ Bettina Amm: The Ludendorff movement in National Socialism. Approach and attempted adjoining. In: Uwe Puschner, Clemens Vollhals (ed.): The ethnic-religious movement in National Socialism. Göttingen 2012, p. 129.
  70. ^ Wolfram Pyta : Hindenburg. Rule between Hohenzollern and Hitler. Siedler, Munich 2007, pp. 531-540.
  71. Annika Spilker: Gender, Religion and Völkischer Nationalism. The doctor and anti-Semite Mathilde von Kemnitz-Ludendorff (1877–1966). Campus Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2013, ISBN 978-3-593-39987-4 , p. 212.
  72. ^ Phillip Wegehaupt: Ludendorff, Erich. In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus. Vol. 2: People . De Gruyter Saur, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-598-44159-2 , p. 496. (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  73. ^ Bettina Amm: The Ludendorff movement in National Socialism. Approach and attempted adjoining. In: Uwe Puschner, Clemens Vollhals (ed.): The ethnic-religious movement in National Socialism. Göttingen 2012, p. 129.
  74. Henrik Eberle : Letters to Hitler. A people writes to its leader. Unknown documents from Moscow archives. Bastei Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 2007, ISBN 9783785723104 , pp. 188-194 .
  75. ^ Fritz Tobias : Ludendorff, Hindenburg and Hitler. The fantasy product of the Ludendorff letter. In: Uwe Backes , Eckhard Jesse and Rainer Zitelmann (eds.): The shadows of the past. Impulses for the historicization of National Socialism. Propylaen Verlag, Frankfurt am Main / Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-549-07407-7 , pp. 319-342; Lothar Gruchmann : Ludendorff's “prophetic” letter to Hindenburg from January / February 1933. A legend . In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte . Volume 47, October 1999 (PDF; 7 MB), pp. 559–562.
  76. ^ Bettina Amm: The Ludendorff movement in National Socialism. Approach and attempted adjoining. In: Uwe Puschner, Clemens Vollhals (ed.): The ethnic-religious movement in National Socialism. Göttingen 2012, p. 130.
  77. ^ Klaus-Jürgen Müller : Colonel General Ludwig Beck. A biography. Schöningh, Paderborn 2008, pp. 154-172.
  78. ^ Ludendorffs Verlag: The last way of the general Erich Ludendorff , Munich 1938, p. 8: The sick and death room in the Josephinum in Munich.
  79. Gerd R. Ueberschär , Winfried Vogel : Serving and earning. Hitler's gifts to his elites. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-596-14966-7 , p. 148.
  80. ^ Gerhard Summer: The Shrine of the Volkish General. Ludendorff villa in Tutzing. Süddeutsche Zeitung of June 18, 2010 , p. 43.
  81. a b P. M. Baldwin: Clausewitz in Nazi Germany . In: Journal of Contemporary History. Volume 16, No. 1, 1981, pp. 5-26, here: pp. 11 f.