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November 9: Fateful Date in German History

German postage stamp

If there is a day in the calendar that should be a national memorial day, it is November 9. In the 20th century, four events that made history happened on this date. Coincidence?

1918: End of World War II. Chancellor Max von Baden announces the resignation of Emperor Wilhelm II. Proclamation of the German Republic. Communist revolution.

1923: Hitler-Ludendorff-Putsch, the first, luckily unsuccessful attempt of the Nazis to seize power found a quick and bloody end in Munich.

1938: Pogrom Night, aka Crystal Night, although the latter name is not in use any more. All over Germany the Nazi mob destroyed synagogues and Jewish property and attacked Jewish people. The name Kristallnacht derives from the glass of broken shop windows in the streets. This was the beginning of a new, more severe stage in the persecution of Jews.

1989: During a press conference in East Berlin, SED Politbüro member Günter Schabowski announced the lifting of travel restrictions, in other words, the opening of the DDR’s borders for the country’s citizens. Later it turned out that he had messed up, but the movement was unstoppable. Masses of people immediately took the chance to visit the West. It was simply unbelievable.

German postage stamp

Posted by Kathrin_E 01:14 Archived in Germany Tagged history germany holidays

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