Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (sometimes given incorrectly as von Ludendorff) (9 April 1865 – 20 December 1937) was a German military officer, victor of Liège, and, with Paul von Hindenburg, one of the victors of the battle of Tannenberg. From August 1916 his appointment as Generalquartiermeister made him joint head (with von Hindenburg) of Germany's war effort. From this point on he ran Germany's war effort in World War I until his resignation in October 1918.
After 1928, Ludendorff went into retirement, having fallen out with the Nazi party. He no longer approved of Hitler and began to regard him as just another manipulative politician, and perhaps worse. In his later years, Ludendorff went into a relative seclusion with his second wife, Mathilde von Kemnitz (1874–1966), writing several books and leading the Tannenbergbund. He concluded that the world's problems were the result of Christians (especially of the Jesuits and Catholicism), Jews, and Freemasons. Together with Mathilde, he founded the "Bund für Gotteserkenntnis" (Society for the Knowledge of God), a small and rather obscure esoterical society of Theists that survives to this day.
In an attempt to regain Ludendorff's favour, Hitler paid Ludendorff an unannounced visit in 1935 and offered to make him a Field Marshal. Infuriated, Ludendorff angrily replied, "a Field Marshal is born, not made". When Ludendorff died in Tutzing in 1937, he was given – against his explicit wishes, a state funeral attended by Hitler, who declined to speak. He was buried in the Neuer Friedhof in Tutzing.