November 9 in German history

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9 November has been the date of several important events in German history. The term Schicksalstag (Fateful day) has been occasionally used by historians and journalists since shortly after World War II, but its current widespread use started with the events of 1989 when virtually all German media picked up the term.

There are five notable events in German history that are connected to 9 November: the execution of Robert Blum in 1848, the end of the monarchies in 1918, the Hitler putsch attempt in 1923, the Nazi antisemitic pogromes in 1938 and the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.

The execution of Robert Blum by Austrian troops has been presented in a number of various depictions.
Berlin, 9 November 1918, Philipp Scheidemann proclaims the Republic.
  • 1923: The failed Beer Hall Putsch, from 8 to 9 November, marks an early emergence and provisional downfall of the Nazi Party as an important player on Germany's political landscape. Without sufficient preparation Hitler simply declared himself leader in Munich, Bavaria. Hitler's march through Munich was stopped by Bavarian police who opened fire. Sixteen nationalists and four policemen were killed. Only after 1930 would Hitler gain significant voter support, a process that would culminate in the Nazis' electoral victory of 1933.
Burning synagogue in Eisenach, 9 November 1938
  • 1938: In what is today known as Kristallnacht (or The Night of Broken Glass), from 9 to 10 November, synagogues and Jewish property were burned and destroyed on a large scale. More than 400 Jews were killed or driven into suicide. The event demonstrated that the antisemitic stance of the Nazi regime was not so 'moderate' as it had appeared partially in earlier years. After 10 November ca. 30,000 Jewish people were arrested, hundreds of them died in concentration camps or died afterwards.
  • 1989: The fall of the Berlin Wall ended German separation and started a series of events that ultimately led to German reunification and the Fall of Communism in eastern Europe. November 9 was considered as the date for German Unity Day, but as it was also the anniversary of Kristallnacht, this date was considered inappropriate as a national holiday. The date of the formal reunification of Germany, 3 October 1990, therefore, was chosen as the date for this German national holiday instead[1] (more precisely, June 17 1953 - workers and people insurrection in GDR - was replaced by 3 October due this function).


  1. ^ Kosmidou, Eleftheria Rania (2012). European Civil War Films: Memory, Conflict, and Nostalgia. pp. 9-10. ISBN 1136250646


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