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Best-selling Millennium trilogy author Stieg Larsson dies at 50

On this day in 2004, Swedish writer Stieg Larsson dies suddenly of a heart attack at age 50, only months after turning in the manuscripts for three crime thrillers—“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl who Played with Fire” and “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”—which would later become international best-sellers. Known collectively as the Millennium trilogy, the n... Read more >

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Sartre renounces communists

The French philosopher and author Jean-Paul Sartre–long an admirer of the Soviet Union–denounces both the USSR and its communist system following the brutal Soviet invasion of Hungary. Jean-Paul Sartre, born in Paris in 1905, was a leading exponent of existentialism, a philosophical movement that celebrates the freedom of individual human existence while mourning its inherent meaninglessnes... Read more >

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Nazis launch Kristallnacht

On this day in 1938, in an event that would foreshadow the Holocaust, German Nazis launch a campaign of terror against Jewish people and their homes and businesses in Germany and Austria. The violence, which continued through to 10 November and was later dubbed "Kristallnacht" (literally “Crystal Night”), or "Night of Broken Glass," after the countless smashed windows of Jewish-owned establ... Read more >

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Berlin Wall opened

East Germany opens its borders to West Germany. In the late 1980s, East German communist leader Erich Honecker resisted Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's liberal reforms, which he viewed as subversive. In the summer of 1989, Honecker’s hard-line regime was overwhelmed by the wave of democratization sweeping across Eastern Europe. Reform-minded East Germans staged massive demonstrations, and t... Read more >