4 January – Today in German History

1428

  • Death of Friedrich I (also called Friedrich der Streitbare) in Altenburg, Germany. Friedrich became the Elector of Saxony in the Holy Roman Empire. He assisted the emperor, Sigismund, in a campaign against the Bohemian adherents of Jan Hus in 1420.

1913

  • Death of Alfred Graf von Schlieffen in Berlin, Germany. Schlieffen was the general who developed the Schlieffen Plan which was used in World War I to deal with a two-front war. The plan called for an initial massive attack on France with the assumption that Russia would mobilize sufficiently slowly to allow the completion of hostilities in the West before forces would be needed in the East. Schlieffen died the year before the outbreak of war. When the plan was actually used, Schlieffen had been replaced by Helmuth von Moltke, who made modifications of his own.

1933

  • In an attempt to gain power, Von Papen makes a deal with Hitler and is able to have him appointed chancellor. Von Papen believed he would be able to control Hitler and the Nazis.

1947

  • The first issue of the news magazine Der Spiegel is published. It had been started as a publication under the authority of the British occupation forces. In 1947 it was thought that the Germans could be trusted to publish a new magazine without British oversight. The name was then changed from Diese Woche to Der Spiegel. The publication has come out every week since then as a news magazine with a format similar to the American Time magazine.
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