Category Archives: Today in History

October 2, 1847

Birth of Paul von Hindenburg in Posen, Germany (now in Poland). Von Hindenburg had been a general and became the president of the Weimar Republic(Germany from the end of WWI to the rise of Hitler). Hindenburg became president in 1925 upon the death of the first president of the Republic, Friedrich Ebert. In 1933 he appointed Hitler chancellor, thinking that the man and his party could be controlled and thus be useful. Hindenburg died in office in 1934.


October 1, 1959

A new East German (DDR) flag is introduced. It features a hammer and a compass surrounded by a ring of rye. The hammer represented the workers in the factories. The compass represented the intelligentsia, and the ring of rye – the farmers. The display of the national emblem was for some years regarded as unconstitutional in West Germany and West Berlin and was prevented by the police. Only in 1969 did the West German government of Willy Brandt reverse this policy in what was known as Ostpolitik.


September 30, 1946

Former German Reichsmarschall and Commander of the Luftwaffe Hermann Göring – a.k.a. “The Bad Nazi” – during cross examination at his trial for war crimes in Room 600 at the Palace of Justice during the International Military Tribunal (IMT), Nuremberg, Germany, 15 March 1946.

At the Nürnberg War Crimes Trials, von Ribbentrop and Goering are sentenced to death.


September 30, 1949

After 15 months and more than 250,000 flights, the Berlin Airlift officially comes to an end. The airlift was one of the greatest logistical feats in modern history and was one of the crucial events of the early Cold War. On September 30, 1949, the last plane–an American C-54–landed in Berlin and unloaded over two tons of coal. Even though the Soviet blockade officially ended in May 1949, it took several more months for the West Berlin economy to recover and the necessary stockpiles of food, medicine, and fuel to be replenished. The airlift had totaled over 277,000 flights.


September 29-30, 1938

Munich Accord giving Germany the Sudetenland (Chamberlain: “Peace in our times.”) In 1938 amid growing concern about Adolf Hitler’s aims, the British prime minister, Nevil Chamberlain traveled to Munich to try to make a deal with Hitler. It was there on the 29th and 30th of September, 1938 that Hitler and Chamberlain signed the Munich Accord. Chamberlain returned to London with the paper announcing that he had secured “Peace in our time” with the compromises made at Munich. Hitler viewed it as a green light to take over Czechoslovakia and prepare for his next conquest.