I am reading Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts: love, terror, and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin. I love is books because they are so rich with facts and interesting tidbits. Well, I found the following on my own (thanks for the inspiration, Mr. Larson!).
Just as Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany, a young Soviet Comunist by the name of Marinus can der Lubbe set fire to the(Germany’s parliament). This occurred on February 27, 1933. He and four other Communists were arrested on charges of arson, necessitating a trial. Hitler saw this as the perfect opportunity to make a stand against Communism and used the goings-on to endorse his efforts. (Some think that the arson was actually set up by the Nazi Party in an attempt to frame the young Communists, thereby giving Germany a reason to ban Communism.)
At the trial, van der Lubbe was the only one convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed January 10, 1934. One look at his headstone piqued my curiosity…why are there three dates on his headstone? Take a look…
The numbers are his date of birth, his date of death, and in the middle, the date the fire was set at Reichstag. How fascinating that whomever buried him chose to add that date to his headstone, the date that surely set in motion his untimely date of death.
According to The Guardian van der Lubbe was pardoned in 2007. According to the article, a 1998 German law “allowed pardons for people convicted of crimes under the Nazis, based on the concept that Nazi law ‘went against the basic ideas of justice'”. Fascinating.
I love history.
Are there any other significant historical figures who have three dates on their headstones?