last minute panic

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Gate closing panic colloquially describes a fear of missing something . In particular, it denotes the fear that goals that have not yet been achieved - especially in the partnership - may no longer be achieved, primarily for reasons of age, and that decisions may therefore be made hastily. The term midlife crisis is related to this . Similar fears can be characterized by pressure to act in society and politics. So who wrote Time Magazine during the Berlin Wall was built :

“Last week a curious and serious malady was affecting Communist East Germany and reaching almost epidemic proportions. The name of the disease was Torschlusspanik , which literally means 'fear of gate closing'. Everything East German leaders did to shut off the flow of refugees to the West seemed, instead, to spur it on. The day that Deputy Premier Willi Stoph announced new secret measures to halt the refugees — ostensibly at the urging of "delegations of workers" —1.532 East Germans beat it over the border and checked into the big Marienfelde refugee center in West Berlin. "

- Time of August 18, 1961

This phrase goes back to the Middle Ages , when the city ​​gates were closed at nightfall for safety reasons (“gate closure”). City dwellers who had not returned from their excursions by then were forced to spend the night in front of the city walls and were thus exposed to predators and wild animals or had to pay an entrance fee , as was the case in Hamburg until 1860.

Another explanation of the origin of this term can be found in an incident in Hamburg in 1808:

"Yesterday evening at the closing of the Hamburg gate, where several thousand people had been barred when the weather was fine, there was a commotion. The people threw stones at the Dutch military on duty, who first fired blindly, then fired sharply, killing some people and wounding several. "This probably resulted in a great mass panic."

Web links

Wiktionary: Torschlusspanik  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Olga Ejikhine: Taken literally: the phrasebook through the world of idioms. here online.
  2. Late last minute panic. In: Focus Online from October 16, 2009.
  3. World: Torschlusspanik Time from August 18, 1961.
  4. ^ See Augsburgische Ordinari Postzeitung, Nro. 105, Monday, May 2nd, Anno 1808, p. 3, as digitized version .