The Year 2016
Dates and anniversaries

Significant dates and anniversaries in 2016;
Significant dates and anniversaries in 2016; | Photo (detail): © Fotolia

From a traveling circus on a diplomatic mission to the Battle of Verdun – significant dates and anniversaries in 2016.

Beginning of 2016 – Demystifying: critically annotated edition of Adolf Hitler’s „Mein Kampf“

On 31 December 2015, 70 years after the death of Adolf Hitler, expires the copyright on his book Mein Kampf. This is the occasion for the Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ) in Munich to present a critically annotated edition of Hitler’s work at the beginning of 2016. At its core there are many questions, such as “What intentions did Hitler pursue with the book?” “What consequences did his announcements have?” Given the considerable symbolic significance of the book, the demystification of Mein Kampf is a contribution to historical and political education.

14.01.2016 – Building trust: opening of the German OSCE chairmanship

In 2016 Germany assumes for the first time the annually changing presidency of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE is a permanent conference of states on peacekeeping. It was created on 1 August 1975 by the Helsinki Final Act and has 57 participating states. In a speech to the German Bundestag in 2015, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the control of conventional arms and the building of trust as the central tasks of the German presidential tenure.

24.1.2016 – Diplomatic traveling Circus: 100th anniversary of German-Afghan Friendship Treaty

In 1915 a small group of German diplomats and officers, disguised as a traveling circus, set off on behalf of the German emperor for Afghanistan. They crossed the Balkans, made their way to Bagdad and traversed the Dasht-e Kavir salt desert. On 26 September 1915 the embassy arrived in Kabul, with the intention of persuading Afghanistan’s ruler, Emir Habibullah, to enter the war on the side of the Central Powers. In this they failed, but from the diplomatic contact emerged on 24 January 1916 the first German-Afghan Friendship Treaty.

21.02.2016 – The hell of war: 100th anniversary of the Battle of Verdun

The Battle of Verdun is still regarded today as a symbol of the First World War. Verdun was one of the best fortified sites in France. As a result, the town became the object of a fierce battle. It lasted 300 days, from February to December 1916. Approximately 300,000 French and German soldiers were killed and 400,000 wounded.

15.03.2016 – Turning Point: 25th anniversary of the instrument of ratification of the Two Plus Four Agreement

With the signing of the Two Plus Four Agreement in September 1990, the Foreign Ministers of the Federal Republic of Germany, the GDR and the four occupying powers, the United States, Soviet Union, France and Great Britain, sealed the end of the division of Germany. The agreement also ended the confrontation between the East Bloc and the West. It represents a turning point in the creation of a new blueprint for peace in Europe. After the deposit of the last instrument of ratification by the Soviet Union, the agreement came into force on 15 March 1991.

17.06.2016 – Process of reconciliation: 25th anniversary of the German-Polish Treaty of Good Neighbourship

On 17 June 1991 in Bonn the German-Polish Treaty of Good Neighbourship was signed by the then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the Polish Prime Minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki and his Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski. The treaty supplements the German Polish Border Treaty negotiated in the autumn of 1990, which was one of the pre-conditions of the Allies for German reunification.

11.09.2016 – From Jena to the entire world: 200th anniversary of the birth of Carl Zeiss

Carl Friedrich Zeiss was born in 1816 in Weimar. In 1894 in Jena, the German mechanic opened a small workshop for precision machines and optics. He thus laid the foundation for today’s global technology group Zeiss. His work shaped the reputation of the city of Jena as an international centre for optics and photonics, with globally operating companies and renowned research institutes.

31.10.2016 – New Luther Bible: Opening of the 500th commemorative year of the Reformation

On 31.10.2016 the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) will inaugurate the commemorative year for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with a ceremony in Berlin. Just in time for the start of the anniversary, a revision of the Luther Bible will be presented, the original of which goes back to 1521-1545 and the reformer Martin Luther and his collaborators. The new edition will replace the current one as the authoritative Bible text of the EKD, last revised in 1984.

14.11.2016 – Universal Genius: 300th anniversary of the death of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

The German mathematician, physicist and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is considered as Germany’s last universal genius and exerted a strong influence on the subsequent Enlightenment, classical German philosophy, German Idealism and classical German literature. 2016 is the 300th anniversary of his death. The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Society, founded in Hanover in 1966, is also celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016. And the most recent institution associated with Leibniz celebrating an anniversary in 2016 is the ten-year-old Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University of Hanover.

11.12.2016 – 75th anniversary of the declaration of war between Germany and the United States

The German declaration of war against the United States on 11.12.1941 followed the Japanese surprise attack on the American fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 1941, which took the lives of more than 2,000 American soldiers. The United States emerged out of the victorious war as a superpower.