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The German Nine-eleven

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As the subtitles indicates, in German (as in most European languages) the day precedes the month in dates. Therefore "9.11." is the 9th of November in Germany.


And as it happens, this "nine eleven" date is of special importance for Germany:

  • On the 9th of November 1918, the German emperor Wilhelm II resigned, Germany became a republic. The later development, especially the unfair treaty of Versailles, made many Germans think things had been better in the monarchy than in the democracy.
  • On the 9th of November 1923 the then unknown Adolf Hitler tried to repeat Mussolinis fames march to Rome in Germany. The day before, 8th of November, some leading Bavarian politicians were forced to join, but they soon departed, and the march was stopped by the machine-guns of the police a few hundred meters after it had started. Hitler was arrested and got a long-term sentence, but he was released about one year after.
  • On the 9th of November 1938, when the Nazis celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 1923 "tragedy" and remembering the "martyrs" that died there, a Secretary of the German Embassy in Paris, vom Rath, died. He had been attacked by a Jew who was embittered that his relatives was forced to leave Germany without any possessions to take with.
    The Nazis, using a familiar tactic, blamed "The Jews" for it, and organized a Progrom: the meetings on that days were used to spread the parole, and during the night every Synagogue in Germany was attacked most were burned down), together with many Jewish shops. Hundreds of Jews were killed. The Jews were forced to pay 1 Billion Reichsmark, that is several billion Euros in today's currency. On the 12th of November, an act of government was issued that forbid Jews to sell any goods to "Aryans".
  • While the first three dates are related by a logical chain of cause and effect, the last one seems unrelated tho the other. On the 9th of November 1989 the reform government of communist east Germany (GDR) resolved to allow their citiztens to cross the border to the West. This was published in a press conference by a leading party member who did this without any authorization and could not tell any details. The news was spread by west German media and soon many citizens came and demanded to cross the border, because "it has been opened by the government". Anybody knows what happened then ...

In 1990, some people proposed the 9th of November to be the national holiday of reunited Germany, but the then Chancellor decided to take a date that was not related to the holocaust. We celebrate the day of the final reunifacation, 3rd of October 1990. The 9th of November is still a date to remember what happened 1938 and 1989.

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