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National Day of Mourning in Germany

Quick Facts

On the National Day of Mourning (Volkstrauertag) many Germans commemorate all victims of war and tyranny.

Local names

NameLanguage
VolkstrauertagGerman
National Day of MourningEnglish

National Day of Mourning 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

National Day of Mourning 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015
List of dates for other years

The National Day of Mourning (Volkstrauertag) is an occasion to remember all victims of war and tyranny. Like the Sunday of the Dead (Totensonntag), the National Day of Mourning is a “silent day” - this means that in some regions of Germany music or dance events are prohibited.

The National Day of Mourning is an occasion to remember all victims of war.

©iStockphoto.com/richardwatson

What do people do?

Every year on the National Day of Mourning there is a commemoration ceremony in the German parliament (Bundestag) where the President traditionally holds a speech and the members of parliament sing the soldier's song “Der gute Kamerad”. There are similar ceremonies at many memorial sites for the victims of the nazi regime.

Public life

The Volkstrauertag is a so-called “silent day” (stiller Tag). In some German states music or dance events are prohibited by law. Like on any other Sunday, offices, banks and schools are closed. Public transport usually runs on a normal Sunday schedule.

Background

The National Day of Mourning was established in 1922 and was initially dedicated to the victims of World War I. The nazis made it a national holiday and redefined it as an occasion to celebrate their heros and glorify war. In an effort to symbolize a clear break with the fascist ideology and the nazis' perversion of the holiday's initial aim, the Volkstrauertag was moved to the second Sunday of the church year after World War II. Today it is an occasion not only to mourn the dead but also to illustrate the tragedy of war and speak out for peace.

National Day of Mourning Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SunNov 181990National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 171991National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 151992National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 141993National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 131994National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 191995National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 171996National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 161997National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 151998National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 141999National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 192000National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 182001National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 172002National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 162003National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 142004National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 132005National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 192006National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 182007National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 162008National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 152009National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 142010National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 132011National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 182012National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 172013National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 162014National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 152015National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 132016National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 192017National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 182018National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 172019National Day of MourningSilent Day 
SunNov 152020National Day of MourningSilent Day 

Other holidays in November 2014 in Germany

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