Thursday, November 09, 2006
9 November 1989 was the day the Berlin Wall fell and the whole rickety illusion of Communist Europe just came apart at all seams. This popularised the term shicksalstag (day of fate) in Germany..
A kind of cleansing for the previous odious associations of the date - 9 November 1938 being the occasion of the 'November Pogrom' in Germany, otherwise know sometimes controversially as "Reichskristallnacht" (Reich Crystall Night).
The Nazi choice of this date was probably made easier by the coincidence (?) that 9 November 1918 was the date when the Kaiser abdicated, (or to be more accurate his abdication was announced before he had agreed to abdicate) and the proclamation of the Weimar Republic, clearing the way for the Armstice on 11 November. This was of course a central part of the Dolchstosslegende (Stab In The Back Legend) that helped fuel the Nazi movement.
And 9 November 1923 was the occasion of the Beer-Hall Putsch, Hitlers' farcical failed attempt to seize power that got him leisure time in prison to write Mein Kampf.
Elsewhere 9 November 1799 was better known in France at the relevant time as 18 Brumaire de l'An VIII under the Revoultionary Calendar - the date of Napoleon's Coup d'Etat against the Directoire Government.
So as we write the date is its proper format 9-11 (9 November) has quite a bite to it, as distinct from the US version where 9-11 means September 9th...