am neunte November

So many important events happened in Germany on November 9 it makes me wonder whether some date-obsessed person like me is in charge of their history.

It all started with the Revolutions of 1848, when a guy named Robert Blum was executed for trying to establish a democratic government. Thirty years later, on November 9, the Weimar Republic succeeded.

Then Hitler came along, and it almost seems like he sat down with a calendar to plan:

  • The November 9 “Beer Hall Putsch,” in 1923, when he tried to overthrow the Republic;
  • The founding of the SS, on November 9 two years later;
  • Kristallnacht, November 9, 1932

The Berlin Wall wasn’t really supposed to fall twenty years ago today. On November 9, the Politburo decided they’d open it up on November 17, but they didn’t tell their poor spokesman that. So there he was, facing the press on November 9, and someone asked “When?”

And the weight of history must have come to his rescue: “Effective immediately,” he replied, and so it all began.

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