Category Archives: Today in History

November 11 in German History

November 11, 1050

Birth of Holy Roman emperor Heinrich IV in Saxony. Heinrich became the German King in 1054 (at the age of 4) and the Holy Roman Emperor in 1084. His reign was marked by a heated struggle with Pope Gregory VII on the question of lay investiture. Heinrich was at one point excommunicated and forced to do penance at Canossa (1077).

November 11, 1914

The battle of Lodz begins in WWI. German forces attack the Russian armies. By November 25 Russian forces have halted the German advance but the Russian army has lost an estimated 100,000 troops and the planned Russian offensive has again been disrupted.

November 11, 1918

The armistice to end WWI is signed. On this date in a train car in Compiègne agreement is reached between German civilian negotiator Matthias Erzberger and a French representative Marshal Ferdinand Foch at 5:00 AM. Hostilities cease at 11:00 AM. The actual terms, largely written by Foch, included the cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of German troops to behind their own borders, the preservation of infrastructure, the exchange of prisoners, a promise of reparations, the disposition of German warships and submarines, and conditions for prolonging or terminating the armistice.


November 9 in German History

November 9, 1918

The resignation of Kaiser Wilhelm II as a consequence of the German loss in WWI. He flees to the Netherlands. A socialist government takes control.

November 9, 1918

In the face of the chaotic conditions in Germany and the threat of a leftist revolution, Philipp Scheidemann addresses a crowd from a balcony of the Reichstag and announces the formation of a republican form of government for Germany. In reality, he had no authorization to do so. Neither the government nor even his own party had agreed to such a decision. But once the announcement had been made, conditions were such that none were able to withdraw from the perception and the Weimar Republic came into existence.

November 9, 1923

Hitler stages a takeover march in Münich with 3,000 Nazis which is halted with gunfire by the police.

Kristallnacht or Reichskristallnacht, also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, Reichspogromnacht or simply Pogromnacht, and Novemberpogrome, was a pogrom against Jews throughout Nazi Germany on 9–10 November 1938, carried out by SA paramilitary forces and German civilians. Over 250 synagogues are desecrated, over 7,000 shops are destroyed, 91 Jews are murdered, 20,000 persons are arrested. The cynical term “Kristalnacht” refers to the shop windows which were broken.

November 9, 1940

Germany invades Norway and Denmark in World War II.

November 9, 1989

The border between East Germany and West Germany is opened. During the night of November 9 thousands of East Germans flood into West Berlin.

November 9, 1992

Helmut Kohl, Michail Gorbatschov and Ronald Reagan are made honorary citizens of Berlin for their contributions to German.


October 29, 1918

A mutiny of German sailors ends the naval sailors-mutiny portion of WWI. It was a major revolt by sailors of the German High Seas Fleet. The revolt triggered the German revolution which was to sweep aside the monarchy within a few days. It ultimately led to the end of the First World War and to the establishment of the Weimar Republic.