19 January – Today in German History

1915

  • 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.

1919

  • 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.

1983

  • In Bolivia, Gestapo SS-Hauptsturmführer Klaus Barbie was arrested.
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