Legend of the backstabbers
Translation of “Dolchstoßlegende” by Otto Stransky, a song deriding a propaganda myth German nationalists used to “excuse” the German defeat in World War I by blaming it on a conspiracy of “Jews and socialists” who “stabbed” the German imperial army “from behind.”
Cowardly these animals squealed
The generals who lost the war
After failing on the battlefield
Swore by Baldur and Odin and Thor
“Not French guns defeated us – but our own kind.
Stabbed by the fatherland – from behind!”
Say where was this lecherous band
Who roared for war’s metallic bath?
With orgies at Central Command
They never fled from bullets and gas.
Battling hares in the forest, they had in mind
Invited by Wilhelm – to guard his behind!
A time without medals came to pass
When for the fatherland it was well
To slay the leaders of the working class
Daggers flashed, and dead bodies fell
Who did not hear cunning lies of the kind:
Shot while attempting escape – from behind.
One day we will see different times
When the murderers will no longer laugh
And receive the bill for their crimes
Whether they beg to soften our wrath:
No honest guns for this cretinous kind
Just a rope and a kick – from behind.