Death of Otto III, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in Viterbo, Italy (born in Germany in 980). As a child, Otto was crowned King of the Germans in Aachen in 983 following the death of his father, Otto II. In 996, he led his army to Rome to assist Pope John XV who was facing an insurrection by the forces of Crescentius. By the time Otto arrived, the Pope had died but Otto was able to use his influence to secure the election of his cousin, Bruno von Kärnten, who took the name Gregory V and became the first German pope. In 996 Gregory V crowned Otto III as the Holy Roman Emperor. After Otto had left, Crecentius challenged the papacy again installing an anti-pope. Once again Otto led his troops to Rome and in 998 executed Crecentius and secured Gregory V in the office of the pope. At this time, he determined to remain in Rome with the intention of ruling Europe as a theocracy with himself as the ruler and the pope only somewhat below him in power in the Christian Europe he planned.
Death of Otto III, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in Viterbo, Italy (born in Germany in 980). As a child, Otto was crowned King of the Germans in Aachen in 983 following the death of his father, Otto II. In 996 he led his army to Rome to assist Pope John XV who was facing an insurrection by the forces of Crescentius. By the time Otto arrived the Pope had died but Otto was able to use his influence to secure the election of his cousin, Bruno von Kärnten, who took the name Gregory V and became the first German pope. In 996 Gregory V crowned Otto III as the Holy Roman Emperor. After Otto had left Crecentius challenged the papacy again, installing an anti-pope. Once again Otto led his troops to Rome and in 998 executed Crecentius and secured Gregory V in the office of the pope. At this time he determined to remain in Rome with the intention of ruling Europe as a theocracy with himself as the ruler and the pope only somewhat below him in power in the Christian Europe he planned.
On January 23, 1920, the Dutch government refuses demands by the Allies for the extradition of Wilhelm II, the former Kaiser of Germany, who has been living in exile in the Netherlands since November 1918. By early November 1918, things were looking dismal for the Central Powers on all fronts of the Great War. The kaiser was at German army headquarters in the Belgian resort town of Spa when news reached him, in quick succession, of labor unrest in Berlin, a mutiny within the Imperial Navy and what looked like the beginnings of a full-fledged revolution in Germany. From every direction, it seemed, came calls for peace, reform and the removal of the kaiser. Wilhelm II was told that the German General Staff would make a unified, orderly march home to Germany when the war ended, but it would not defend him against his internal opponents. Faced with this lack of support, the kaiser agreed to abdicate his throne on November 9, 1918. Shortly after that, Wilhelm, the last of the powerful Hohenzollern monarchs, traveled from Spa to Holland, never to return to German soil. In January 1920, Wilhelm headed the list of so-called war criminals put together by the Allies and made public after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The Netherlands, under the young, strong-willed Queen Wilhelmina, refused to extradite him for prosecution and Wilhelm remained in Holland, where he settled in the municipality of Doorn. Personal tragedy struck when his son, Joachim, committed suicide later in 1920. Augusta, his wife and the mother of his seven children died barely a year later. In 1922, Wilhelm remarried and published his memoirs, proclaiming his innocence in the promotion of the Great War. Unlike Wilhelmina and the rest of the Dutch royal family, Wilhelm turned down Winston Churchill’s offer of asylum in Britain in 1940, as Hitler’s armies pushed through Holland, choosing instead to live under German occupation. He died the following year.
Charles A. Lindbergh, a United States national hero since his nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the Lend-Lease policy-and suggests that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Hitler.
Martin Luther is excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church.
The East German party, the SED, changes its name to the PDS. The SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany) was the name of the communist party of East Germany until 1990. In preparation for unification, the party, wishing to continue as a political party in the unified state, but realizing the negative implications of its identity with East Germany, changed its name to the PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism). The PDS has had seats in parliament after each election since the unification.
SS officials held the Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their final solution of Europe’s Jews. In July 1941, Hermann Goering, writing under instructions from Hitler, had ordered Reinhard Heydrich, SS General, and Heinrich Himmler’s number-two man, to submit ‘as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative, material, and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question.’ Heydrich met with Adolf Eichmann, chief of the Central Office of Jewish Emigration, and 15 other officials from various Nazi ministries and organizations at Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin. The agenda was simple and focused: to devise a plan that would render a final solution to the Jewish question in Europe. Various gruesome proposals were discussed, including mass sterilization and deportation to the island of Madagascar. Heydrich proposed simply transporting Jews from every corner of Europe to concentration camps in Poland and working them to death. Objections to this plan included the belief that this was simply too time-consuming. What about the strong ones who took longer to die? What about the millions of Jews who were already in Poland? Although the word extermination was never uttered during the meeting, the implication was clear: anyone who survived the egregious conditions of a work camp would be treated accordingly.
The British RAF dropped 2,300 tons of bombs on Berlin.
On the morning of January 19th, 1915 two German Zeppelin airships, the L3 and L4 took off from Fuhlsbüttel in Germany. Both airships carried 30 hours worth of fuel, 8 bombs, and 25 incendiary devices. They had been given permission by Kaiser Wilhelm II to attack military and industrial buildings. The Kaiser had forbidden an attack on London due to concern for the Royal family to whom he was related. The air war against Britain began in WWI as Zeppelin dirigibles started a bombing campaign against Britain. There would be 18 additional attacks in 1915.
The first election of the Weimar Republic. For the first time, women have the vote. It is also considered the first truly free and fair all-German election, as it was the first to be held after the scrapping of the old constituencies that grossly over-represented rural areas. The voting age was lowered to 20 from 25 in the last Reichstag election of 1912. Social Democratic Party (SPD) won the election.
In Bolivia, Gestapo SS-Hauptsturmführer Klaus Barbie was arrested.
Soviet troops liberate the Polish capital from German occupation. Warsaw was a battleground since the opening day of fighting in the European theater. Germany declared war by launching an air raid on September 1, 1939, and followed up with a siege that killed tens of thousands of Polish civilians and wreaked havoc on historic monuments. Deprived of electricity, water, and food, and with 25 percent of the city’s homes destroyed, Warsaw surrendered to the Germans on September 27. After Stalin mobilized 180 divisions against the Germans in Poland and East Prussia, Gen. Georgi Zhukov’s troops crossed the Vistula north and south of the Polish capital, liberating the city from Germans—and grabbing it for the USSR. By that time, Warsaw’s prewar population of approximately 1.3 million had been reduced to a mere 153,000.
Helmut Kohl is formally elected chancellor of united Germany by the Bundestag. He receives 378 yes votes, 257 no votes and 9 abstain.