The November Nines


{ synagogue in Hannover }

(1) On Nov. 9th in 1938, more than 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and taken to concentration camps, roughly around 2,000–2,500 citizens were murdered ( incl. suicides ), over 1000 synagogues (and possibly as many as 2,000) were burned (95 in Vienna alone), and 7,500 Jewish stores and businesses were damaged or destroyed … and the pogroms that lasted 7 years were fully mobilized across Europe.

(2) On Nov. 9th, 1989, the DDR fell ( or in eng, GDR ) and Germany was on its way to reunification ( treaty signed August 31, 1990 ).


On Dec. 31, 1989, just 2 months into the process of removing the wall, David Hasselhoff sings ” Looking for Freedom ” – a cover of a 1970s German hit, Auf Der Strasse Nach Suden for New Year’s Eve celebrations.  ( from BBC article ). If you must watcha clip of the deliciously atrocious performance on ZDF.

XLterrestrials analysis: IF the flying object thrown from the audience below had been just an inch or 2 lower (at 1:50 ), the entire history of Knight Rider and Baywatch would have been… slightly different. ;)

And an awkward question arises, “Who + What orchestrates history ? And Who + What shapes the historical record ? “

More XLterrestrials analysis: In this episode/context, and with these juxtapositions, November 9th, 1989 might even seem like, among all the massive shifts that transpired, a pretty calculated PR strategy for a nation, a new Deutschland.

You see, the Ostblock was already experiencing seismic-scale troubles and perforated, leaking borders, and in many respects unable to buffer itself from the western operating systems and influences, predatory capitalism and market forces being the most obvious.

Many east citizens had already been exiting to the west through Hungary during that summer of 89, and the pressures within the occupied Soviet block were already on, changes were imminent and irreversible. Added: Poland was actually the first to crack with a Real revolution, the Solidarity movement, and in June 89 had its 1st first democratic parliamentary elections.

West Berliners were already hammering on and chipping away the wall for some days (or weeks? in Oct.? ), don’t remember exactly how and when that began. Rumors in the wind and the streets ? Or the resonances from the eastblock tremors.

So what occurred that the gates were opened on specifically Nov. 9th ?? What deals were made? ( Kohl und Erich Honecker, Germany, U.S and Russia ) Were border guards given new orders for that day ? This is not to say there was not also simultaneously a people’s movement, but it would appear that it was also  channeled into a major geo-political strategy/event.

No time to research all this now, but if we remember correctly there were stories from intellectuals ( like Heiner Mueller, i.e. ) that the east citizens were on the verge of their own revolution, and it got sold out.

Plus there have also been complex stories discussed about how West Germany had large investments in DDR banks, and could be manipulated ( and/or tanked ) by western power at any time. According to this version, it was far from being a closed communist economy ( which it would have perhaps needed to survive).

So Nov. 9th was a very special date, an historical moment enacted by political players, historical fissures, opportunities, brokered deals and citizens in motion. This second Nov. 9th goes on to play a major role in Germany’s new identity within Europe and the EU, which was officially formed by the Maastricht Treaty in 1993. And then the BRD quickly rose to become the dominant economic power of Europe within the next two decades.

History in the making, as they say.



(3) Nov. 9, 2014, an XLt friend, Rick Minnich documents the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Mauerfall. on Vimeo.

” Brings tears to my eyes, were you there when the wall came down ? ” an  anonymous post-modern history surfer asks (on social media, and without a full picture ) on Nov. 9, 2014.

We wondered if, instead of the Hoff, they would invite Bowie to sing his new ultra depressing smash hit …. Where (the f*ck) Are We Now ? … for all the east Berliners,  who now live somewhere near … Oberschöneweide? and Lichtenberg? and ? * …

* In sociologist Andrej Holm’s research ( author of Wir Bleiben Alle, eng: We’re All Staying ) on gentrification and the housing struggles, he’s pointed out that less than 10% of the residents of East Berlin’s most well-known and now increasingly affluent neighborhood – Prenzlauerberg – are the original DDR citizens who lived there before the Mauerfall. Where are they now ?! Not exactly what you might call a reunification celebration.

[ Note: We obviously don't have time to fully research all the factors and theories that brought about this historical rupture at this precise moment, and XLterrestrials are definitely not historians. But if you have some articles to share, please do. It's still a fascinating tale, that has some flavors of being well-scripted. ]


added: Meanwhile more fascinating pieces to read on the Mauerfall and Berlin culture from the non mass-mediated and grounds-eye-view :

The 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall by east-berlin born Trebor Scholz


Our Own Private Germany by Katie Krause and Ole Schulz

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