European Union Day (Common day of celebration by the members chosen as the first day of peace at the end of WWII).
May 9, 1688
Death of Friedrich Wilhelm in Potsdam, Germany. Friedrich Wilhelm was the elector of Brandenburg in the Holy Roman Empire. A member of the Hohenzollern family, he rebuilt the family holdings after the devastation of the Thirty Years’ War and established control over Prussia. He built a strong and efficient army and established a strong economic infrastructure in his territories. His son, Friedrich I, thus had a strong basis from which to start his rule.
May 9, 1805
Death of Friedrich Schiller in Weimar, Germany. Schiller was one of the greatest German writers of all times. His writing started in the “Sturm und Drang” style and developed into the Classical style. Works by Schiller include, Die Räuber, Wallenstein (a series of three plays), Maria Stuart, Don Carlos, and Wilhelm Tell. A poem which he wrote, An die Freude , became an immortal classic through is use as the text to the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Schiller was a close friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and worked with him in Weimar.
May 9, 1879
Blessed Maria Theresia Gerhardinger died on this date. She was born in Regensburg, Germany in 1797. She became a teacher and taught in Regensburg until 1833. With the encouragement of the bishop she founded the order of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (Arme Schulschwester Unserer Lieben Frau). The order was dedicated to the education of girls. Gerhardinger was the director of the order until her death in 1879. In 1843 the mother house was moved to Munich with a donation of property by King Ludwig I. The order spread quickly through Europe and in 1847 was brought also to the U.S.A. The order then spread also to South America and Asia. Today there are over 5,000 members in the order. The headquarters is now in Rome. Maria Theresia Gerhardinger was beatified in 1985 by Pope John Paul II.
May 9, 1921
Birth of Sophie Scholl in Forchtenberg, Germany. Sophia Magdalena Scholl (9 May 1921 – 22 February 1943) was a German student and anti-Nazi political activist, active within the White Rose non-violent resistance group in Nazi Germany. She was convicted of high treason after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich (LMU) with her brother Hans. As a result, they were both executed by guillotine. Since the 1970s, Scholl has been extensively commemorated for her anti-Nazi resistance work. She was the daughter of the liberal politician Robert Scholl, an ardent critic of the Nazis.
May 9, 1945
Karl Frank, the Nazi administrator in Czechoslovakia surrendered to the U. S. army near Pilsen, Czechoslovakia. He was tried and executed in Prague in 1946.
May 9, 1950
French minister Schuman offers economic cooperation with Germany in the area of coal and steel.
May 9, 1955
West Germany is taken into NATO.
May 9, 2002
The city of Aachen presents its Charlemagne (Karl) prize to the Euro. The prize is accepted by the president of the European Bank, Wim Duisenberg.
Back to Today in German History Calendar