A Fateful Date: November 9 Marks Highs and Lows in German History

By Christopher Lawton

November 9 is a key date in Germany's chequered 20th century history. It isn't just the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall. On this day in 1938, Nazi Germany launched a pogrom against its Jewish population in which more than 1,300 people died. SPIEGEL ONLINE looks at three events that occurred on this fateful date before 1989.

Broken windows of a Jewish shop on the morning after a Nazi pogrom on Nov 9, 1938. Zoom
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Broken windows of a Jewish shop on the morning after a Nazi pogrom on Nov 9, 1938.

Berlin is staging a massive public festival on Monday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, the event that heralded the end of communism in Europe and the unification of Germany.

But November 9 is also the 71st anniversary of Reichskristallnacht, a nationwide Nazi pogrom against Jews in 1938. Two other historical events fell on that date in 1918 and 1923 respectively -- the German Revolution that removed the monarchy, and a failed coup attempt by Adolf Hitler in 1923 known as the Beer Hall Putsch.

SPIEGEL ONLINE has taken a closer look at these three events.

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