The Curse Of January 30 — Could It Be The Worst Day In History?

Published January 30, 2016
Updated January 11, 2018

January 30 in Germany: Hitler Becomes Chancellor, A Stalingrad Surrender, And The Worst Naval Disaster In History

January 30 Wilhelm Gustloff

The Wilhelm Gustloff before being torpedoed. Image Source: Wikipedia

Germany has had an eventful series of January 30ths, all of them terrible. January 30, 1933, was the day Adolf Hitler was sworn in as chancellor. Six years later, during a January 30 address to the Reichstag, he threatened “annihilation of the Jewish race.” He never quite managed it, partly because of the events on the Eastern Front where, on January 30, 1943, Field Marshall Paulus surrendered the Sixth Army at Stalingrad.

That same day, British bombers staged their first daylight raid on Berlin. Two years later, on January 30, 1945, the MV Wilhelm Gustloff, a hospital ship carrying German civilians fleeing the Red Army’s advance, was torpedoed in the Baltic Sea. As many as 9,400 people died in the incident, which remains the bloodiest naval disaster in history.

January 30 1948, 1958, 1956 and 2006: The World Loses Its Good Guys

January 30 Gandhi Body

Gandhi’s body after being assassinated. Image Source: Wikipedia

If January 30 is bad for Nazis, it’s nasty for history’s good guys, too. Gandhi was assassinated by a pedestrian suicide bomber on January 30, 1948, just a few hours before Orville Wright quietly died at home (fellow aviation pioneer Ernst Heinkel died 10 years later – on January 30, 1958). Martin Luther King’s home was bombed in retaliation for the bus boycott on January 30 in 1956, while King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, died on the 50th anniversary of the bombing in 2006.

Richard Stockton
Richard Stockton is a freelance science and technology writer from Sacramento, California.
Nickolaus Hines
Nickolaus Hines graduated with a Bachelor's in journalism from Auburn University, and his writing has appeared in Men's Journal, Inverse, and VinePair.
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Stockton, Richard. "The Curse Of January 30 — Could It Be The Worst Day In History?.", January 30, 2016, Accessed May 29, 2024.