Schicksalstag

Not 9-11 but rather 11-9 is what Germans still call their Schicksalstag, although few really know the historical events which had happened so often on that particular date. While most people in the world commemorate today the 90th anniversary of the end of WWI with its 20 million military and civilian deaths, Germans like to recall the November Revolution when their belligerent Emperor Wilhelm II had finally been forced into exile. Five years later, in what is known as the Bierhaus putsch, in their coup d’état Hitler and Ludendorff failed for the time being of seizing power.

The most frightening date to commemorate Germany’s Schicksalstag is that in 1938, the infamous Reichskristallnacht. In the respective pogroms more than 1300 Jews were killed and the surviving got a taste of what will happen to them shortly thereafter. Lower Saxonia’s premier Christian Wulff recently complained that there is another pogrom atmosphere, this time towards well-paid business executives in the country. An incredible, in fact, monstrous faux pas.

Almost 20 years ago, the Berlin Wall fell, also on a 9th of November. For a short while, people enjoyed and celebrated what Bush senior and Gorbachev had negotiated. In the meantime, hangover feelings and disillusion have more or less replaced the enthusiasm of the Germans.

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4 Responses to Schicksalstag

  1. Thanks for a little taste of History!

  2. Pingback: President Obama’s U-turn « Freelance

  3. intlxpatr says:

    I had never seen it all drawn together like this before, Fahad. Thank you for a thoughtful – and thought provoking – post. 🙂

    • Fahad says:

      It’s both for the Germans: A date of shame and joy. What is commemorated this year is, of course, East Germany’s peaceful revolution.

      I was thinking these days of my many Iranian friends who weren’t that lucky this year in June and thereafter. For a moment it seemed that history would repeat. But it didn’t (or did it?).

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