November 9th: What’s In A Date?

Why November 9th? What’s in a date?

November 9th 1918
The Free Socialist Republic of Germany is proclaimed by Karl Liebknecht from the balcony of Berlin’s palace, with Rosa Luxemburg nodding her approval. Less than six weeks later, Rosa’s decapitated corpse is discovered at the bottom of Berlin’s Landwehr Canal.

November 9th 1923
The Beer Hall Coup in Munich marks the serious emergence of the Nazi Party.

November 9th 1926
Joseph Goebbels is elected regional Nazi party leader of Berlin by Hitler.

November 9th 1938
Crystal Night. Thousands of Jewish homes and stores are ransacked throughout Germany. The synagogues are destroyed, the tombstones uprooted and graves violated. Bonfires are made of precious books and delicate carvings.

November 9th 1939
A bomb explodes in Munich’s famous Hofbräuhaus, blowing off its roof and killing eight people. Having cut short his speech at the venue this night, Hitler is already in a limousine, heading for a train back to Berlin. Georg Elser is arrested close to the border with Switzerland. History could have been different.

November 9th 1969
Stern magazine publishes a glossy lead feature on Kommune 1 (K1) and its glamorous German ‘John and Yoko’ – Rainer Langhans and Uschi Obermayer. Uschi bares her breasts on the front cover. “We charge ten thousand marks a day for our services,” Rainer says. And a bomb is placed in the Jewish Synagogue in West Berlin by an unknown left-wing pro-Palestinian movement.

November 9th 1974
Holger Meins is the first member of the Red Army Faction (RAF) to die of hunger strike. The head of a six-foot man, swollen by beard, on the body of a five-year-old. Rudi Dutschke appears unexpectedly at Holger’s funeral, raising his fist to the sky. The struggle will continue, he shouts down at the coffin. By this time, Rosa Luxemburg’s name is proclaimed in six-foot-high aerosol red letters all along the brick walls of the US-built Berlin Free University.

November 9th, 1989
The Berlin Wall falls.

Whatever happens, this date will never make a holiday in Germany.

A special preview event for Red Army Faction Blues will take place at the Red Shed, Wakefield on 9 November 2011, from 7:30pm.

There will be the first UK screening of Rainer Langhans’ short film Revolution, which profiles the orignal members of Kommune 1 and includes archive footage from Berlin in 1967. Plus there will be live blues from Chris Martin.

The Red Shed has limited capacity. If you would like to attend the event, please book a place by contacting Route at

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