Duchy of Schleswig

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The Duchy of Schleswig until 1864
Coat of arms of Schleswig ( Schleswig Löwen )

The Duchy of Schleswig ( Danish Hertugdømmet Slesvig ) developed from around 1200 and existed until 1864. It essentially comprised what is now North Schleswig ( Denmark ) and South Schleswig (the north of the German state Schleswig-Holstein ). The capital was the city of Schleswig , the most important settlement Flensburg . The forerunner of the duchy was the Jarltum Süderjutland (Sønderjylland) in the early Middle Ages . The rule over the duchy was controversial and contested over the centuries.

Before 1864, Schleswig was part of the multi-ethnic Danish state together with the Duchy of Holstein . Unlike Holstein, Schleswig, as a Danish imperial and royal fief, did not belong to the Roman-German Empire or the German Confederation . The border between Schleswig and Holstein was marked by the rivers Eider and Levensau . In the 19th century, Schleswig was linguistically influenced by mixed German-Danish-North Frisian languages, although the Danish and Frisian languages ​​used to extend further south, but have increasingly been replaced by German since the early modern period.

After the German-Danish War in 1864, Austria and Prussia ruled Schleswig and Holstein together. From the Gastein Convention of 1865, Prussia administered Schleswig. After the German War in 1866, Schleswig became part of the new Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein , with the provincial government having its seat in the city of Schleswig until 1917 . After a referendum in 1920, the former duchy was divided into what is now Danish north and German south Schleswig. North Schleswig is now part of the Syddanmark region created in 2007, while South Schleswig is part of the State of Schleswig-Holstein, which was founded in 1946 .


The area of ​​the historic Duchy of Schleswig comprised around 9200 km². It was in Jutland . In the south, Eider and Levensau were the border with Dithmarschen and Holstein ; the islands of Alsen , Helgoland , Ærø and Fehmarn belonged to the duchy. The border to northern Jutland was formed by the Kongeå River (Königsau in German), which flows roughly from Kolding on the Baltic Sea to the west and flows south of Esbjerg into the North Sea. In the west was the North Sea , in the east the Baltic Sea .

The area of ​​the duchy within the borders of 1864 today includes on the German side the part of Schleswig , consisting of the districts of North Friesland , Schleswig-Flensburg , the northern part of the district of Rendsburg-Eckernförde and the city of Flensburg . On the Danish side, Nordschleswig is one of them, which until December 31, 2006 was congruent with the Sønderjyllands Amt , but has now merged into the Syddanmark region.

Until 1864 the duchy still belonged to seven parishes south of Kolding , a stretch of land between Königsau and Ribe (German: Ripen ) and the mentioned islands with the exception of Heligoland. After Schleswig was handed over to Prussia, the exclusively Danish populated areas came to the Kingdom of Denmark in exchange for the royal Danish enclaves on the west coast of Schleswig. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the Dukes of Schleswig also owned Langeland and areas on southern Funen .

Johannes Mejer (1606–1674) gave the first precise state survey of Schleswig . Several of his country maps were printed in 1652 - together with descriptions by Caspar Danckwerth - as a three-part atlas New State Description of the two Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein . It also contains maps of the larger cities.

A comprehensive work is the Topography of Schleswig published in 1805 by Johann Friedrich August Dörfer (1766–1824). It was reprinted in several editions and supplemented in 1855 by Johannes von Schröder's regional studies . More recent land surveys were carried out by military topographers and, in the 20th century, by the land surveying office .

Settlement history and population

Settlement areas between 800 and 1100

In the Iron Age , the area of ​​Schleswig was mainly populated by Germanic fishing rods and the cultural group of the Over-Jerstal district . After large parts of the fishing community emigrated to the British Isles in the 4th and 5th centuries (especially around the year 350) together with the Jutes who settled in Nørrejylland and the Saxons who settled south of Schleswig, North Germanic Danes came from the islands between Sweden and Jutland , whose original home was probably Skåne (in what is now southern Sweden), into the now poorly populated Jutland and mixed with the remains of the Jutes and Angles.

The Frisians came to Schleswig in two waves of immigration. In the 7th and 8th centuries, they first settled the present-day islands of Sylt, Föhr and Amrum and probably also Eiderstedt as well as some of the higher-lying areas of today's mainland. It was not until the 10th and 11th centuries that Frisians returned to the country, who now mainly took up residence in the marshland on what is now the North Frisian mainland. The respective north or west Germanic pre-population was ethnically and linguistically assimilated. A very old layer of Danish loanwords in all North Frisian dialects testifies to a not inconsiderable North Germanic pre-settlement from the early Viking Age. The stretch of land between the Eckernförde - Treene and Eider - Levensau lines was hardly populated at that time, was covered by dense forest and was only settled by Saxon colonists from the south in the High Middle Ages .

At the time of enlightened absolutism in the 18th century, German colonists from Württemberg, Swabia, Hesse and the Palatinate in parts of the Schleswig Geest - as well as in central Jutland near Silkeborg - were colonized by the Danish king as part of the colonization of the hitherto hardly populated moor and heathland - settled, many of whom already adopted the Danish language in the second generation, provided that they did not live in the immediate vicinity of Holstein, as in Stapelholm , for example .

Today in both parts of Schleswig - in the Danish north and in the German south - minorities of the other nation live. The rights of minorities are regulated, among other things, by the Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations of 1955. In addition, there is the North Frisian ethnic group that lives between Eider and Vidå .

See also: Danish minority in Germany and German minority in Denmark


In the early and high Middle Ages (from the late Iron and Viking era ) the language of Schleswig was north of the Treene , of Dannenberg station and the Eckernförde Bay , the old or middle Danish and developing it dialect Sønderjysk (Südjütisch). On the west coast between Eider and Vidå , Old Frisian and the North Frisian dialects developed from it were also widespread. With the clearing and settlement of the former German-Danish border forest ( Dänischer Wohld ) by German settlers in the 13th century, Low German also spread in the extreme south of Schleswig, for example in Stapelholm .

The later language change to German in the entire southern half of Schleswig was initially based on the use of Low German and, from around the 17th century, High German as the chancellery, church and school language in southern Schleswig. This language change was reinforced by the trade relations to the south and the influence of the Holstein nobility. In northern Schleswig, on the other hand, standard Danish ( rigsdansk ) was used as the church and school language.

From the 14th and 15th centuries, Low German and later High German became increasingly widespread. The starting points were above all the cities and the nobility. Later, Low German also spread in rural areas, but in northern Schleswig it was mainly in port cities such as Hadersleben and Aabenraa . On the west coast it replaced Eiderstedter and Strander Frisian by the 17th and 18th centuries , and Angel Danish as the colloquial language in Schwansen and fishing until the 19th and sometimes 20th centuries . By the 1930s, the last Danish linguistic islands of the southern Schleswig Geest (such as the grammatically ancient Viöler Danish ) finally disappeared and after the settlement of East German expellees after 1945, the German language became the lingua franca in the area near the Geest , where it had been until then South Jutian was a colloquial language without regard to national sentiments. Today the language border falls apart from the minorities north and south of the border, roughly coinciding with the state border, only a few of the older generation still speak South Jutian in the parishes between Niebüll and Flensburg near the border. In the rural areas of Northern Schleswig, Sønderjysk was largely a colloquial language until the 20th century, whereas the towns of Northern Schleswig were mixed-lingual (Danish-German) from the 19th century to 1920. Only with urbanization in the decades after 1960 did Sønderjysk decline in favor of the Imperial Danish (High Danish) in North Schleswig . Linguists today assume that both the historical language changes (Danish to Low German, Frisian to Low German) as well as the modern changes (Low German to High German, Frisian to High German, South Jutian to Imperial Danish or South Jutian to High German) were preceded by widespread knowledge of the neighboring languages ​​that supported the Enabled code switching ; so was z. B. Low German the lingua franca between the language groups in many parts of South Schleswig, while the Frisian population in the area Südtondern plus some with the Südjütische dominated and this variant used in contact with Danish speakers.

Colloquial languages ​​today are mainly the two high-level languages ​​High German (in South Schleswig) and High Danish / Imperial Danish (in North Schleswig). However, Low German, Sønderjysk and North Frisian are also used, especially in rural areas. Also to be named are the national minorities and ethnic groups in Schleswig (the German North Schleswig-Holstein, the Danish South Schleswig-Holstein and the North Frisians) who convey their language and culture in clubs, kindergartens and schools that lead to qualifications recognized by both national educational systems. The traditional bilingualism of the region is now more likely to be continued within the minorities, with the minorities defining themselves primarily through their confession / self-attribution and not the language, which has also been formalized since the Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations in 1955. While this self-attribution has traditionally been described as a “national sentiment” or “creed”, in recent decades there has been increasing talk of a sense of cultural belonging or “dualism”.

South of the state border, around 50,000 people profess to be part of the Danish minority, of which around 10,000 are Danish native speakers who predominantly speak the variant Sydslesvigdansk . A small part also speaks Sønderjysk or Frisian. The Danish School Association for South Schleswig has two high schools in Flensburg and Schleswig, a student residence in Flensburg and 44 other schools with a total of 5,612 students (as of 2007) and 55 kindergartens, which were attended by around 1,800 children in 2000. All institutions (with the exception of German) teach in Danish. The Danish Central Library for South Schleswig operates five Danish libraries.

On the Danish side of the border, according to widely fluctuating estimates, the German minority comprises between 10,000 and 20,000 people, around a third of whom are German native speakers, who predominantly speak the variant North Schleswig German (Nordslesvigtysk), while the majority have the Danish dialect of South Jutian as their mother tongue. A small number of them also speak the North Schleswig flat of Schleswig. To maintain the German language and culture, the school and language association for North Schleswig runs a grammar school in Aabenraa, 15 other general education schools with a total of 1,350 students and 24 kindergartens with 600 children. All educational institutions (with the exception of Danish) teach in German. The Association of German Libraries in North Schleswig operates five German libraries.

The North Frisian ethnic group on the west coast of Schleswig does not have its own school or library system. However, there are a number of Frisian associations and the Nordfriisk Instituut that promote the North Frisian language and culture. Frisian is offered as a subject at many German and Danish schools and kindergartens. The Danish school in Risum was the first to introduce Frisian mother tongue teaching in the 1950s. Today around 10,000 North Frisians speak Frisian, mainly on the islands of Amrum , Föhr , Sylt and Helgoland as well as in the area of Risum-Lindholm .

coat of arms

Blason: In yellow (gold) two blue running, red-tongued and red- armored lions .

See also: Schleswig Lion


Gottorf Castle , former seat of the Dukes of Schleswig, after 1713 the seat of the Danish governor.


The Jarltum Schleswig developed as a fiefdom within Denmark in the High Middle Ages. At the turn of the 12th to the 13th century, the Jarle assumed the title of duke based on the German model and increasingly asserted their autonomy from the Danish royal family. The Abel family in particular tried to make the area independent from the Danish crown. After its extinction in the 14th century, the German people from Schauenburg succeeded in obtaining hereditary enfeoffment with the Duchy of Schleswig. They also tried to detach Schleswig from Denmark, but with the aim of uniting with the Holstein they ruled. The complex dynastic and legal entanglements between the Duchy of Schleswig, the County of Holstein and the Kingdom of Denmark were to determine the history of the country for five hundred years from then on. Nevertheless, the law of the Danish Empire with the nationwide higher courts and the legislation of the Danehof continued to be used in the Duchy of Schleswig (Sønderjylland) until the reign of King Frederick I (1523–1533), the Jyske Lov was partly used until 1900 .

Creation of the duchy

The Syssel in Schleswig / Sønderjylland

The Eider has formed the border between the Frankish and Danish empires since 811 : that year, the Viking king Hemming made peace with Charlemagne , who had besieged Denmark from the south during the Saxon War after he had subjugated the North Elbe Saxons. The contract was signed by twelve Danish and Franconian negotiators on the Eider Island in what is now Rendsburg . Wall systems had already been built by the Danes or Jutes to delimit their own area from the south. The most important bulwark was the Danewerk , 20 km north of the Eider , which was built in the 4th or 5th century and expanded in several phases until 1168. In connection with the Danewerk there was the supraregional important Viking settlement Haithabu (Danish: Hedeby = "Heideort"), which was sometimes synonymous with Schleswig (= "Schlei Bay") in sources at the time . The Viking settlement of Füsing was not far from Haithabu .

As a border, the Eider remained untouched for over a century. It was only with the colonization efforts of the East Franconian King Heinrich I that the area between the Eider and Schlei was conquered with the city of Schleswig in 934. This area received for the subsequent emperors of the Holy Roman Empire Otto I. , Otto II. , Otto III. , Heinrich II. And Konrad II. The name Mark Schleswig (also Danish mark).

In a period around 960, Harald Blauzahn succeeded in temporarily pushing the Danish southern border back to the Eider zone. Around 968 he strengthened the Danewerk.

The powerful Danish-English King Canute the Great made friends with the East Frankish King Konrad II. In 1025 he promised his six-year-old daughter Gunhild of Denmark as wife for Konrad's son Heinrich. In return, Knut was recognized as ruler of the Mark Schleswig. Knut was then a guest of the imperial coronation of Conrad II in Rome. The wedding between Gunhild and Heinrich III. Whitsun 1036 took place in Nijmegen . The Eider border was thus affirmed as the border between the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark. This border remained Germany's northern border until 1864.

At the end of the 11th century, the kings of Denmark installed governors in the three southern Sysseln of Jutland, in Barvidsyssel, Ellumsyssel and Istedsyssel , who initially held the title of jarl and took on the duties of margravial procurator . The office was preferably given to members of the royal family: Olaf I , a son of Sven Estridsson , is said to have carried the title for the first time since 1080. He was probably followed around 1100 by his brother Björn, founder of Rendsburg .

Through a royal delegation Knud Laward received the South Jutland Jarlschaft around 1115, for which he presumably acquired the German duke title ( Dux Daciae = Duke of Denmark), which he wore until his assassination in 1131. Knud Laward was able to expand his sphere of influence through the conquest of Wagrien in 1128/29 and secure it through a feudal relationship with Lothar von Supplinburg .

The Schleswig / South Jutland duke and king's son Abel (1250–1252) had his brother Erik IV murdered in 1250 and became King of Denmark himself in his stead. Under Abel's sons Waldemar III. (1252–1257) and Erich I (1260–1272), the ducal dynasty split off from the Danish royal family. From 1375 the title "Duke of Jutland" or "Duke of Southern Jutland" changed to "Duke of Schleswig".

Dynastic disputes

The Duchy of Schleswig and its Harden in the historical limits before 1864.

The Counts of Schauenburg , who had been enfeoffed with the neighboring Holstein, which belonged to the Holy Roman Empire since the early 12th century , pushed a policy that was to detach Schleswig from the Danish crown. Count Gerhard III. von Holstein could Waldemar III. of Denmark and the Danish Imperial Council in 1326 most likely to enact the Constitutio Valdemariana , which forbade a joint government of Denmark and Schleswig: The duchy was thus de facto separated from Denmark under constitutional law, but at the same time remained formally tied to the Danish crown as a fief . This was to be confirmed again in 1448 (only this second document has been preserved).

Seal of Gerhard VI. from around 1392

After the ducal dynasty of Schleswig died out in 1386, the Schauenburgers in Nyborg forced their hereditary fief with the Duchy of Schleswig from the Danish royal family , and the Holstein nobility began to increasingly acquire property in Schleswig. Large estates were created in the southeast of Schleswig in particular . The Danish Wohld (Danish: Jernved ) north of the Eider, which had previously acted as a German-Danish border forest, was leased to Holstein nobles as early as 1260 and was subsequently settled mainly by Germans. The Schauenburgers made a systematic effort to bind Schleswig closely to their home country Holstein. Since 1386 they also had a coat of arms that linked the two Schleswig lions with the Holstein nettle leaf.

The Danish crown, for its part, had been striving to regain access to the duchy since 1396. When the Schauenburger Gerhard VI. Died in Dithmarschen in 1404 , the energetic Queen Margaret I wanted to try to make Schleswig an integral part of Denmark again. At first they brought individual places and areas in Schleswig into their hands by buying them or as pledge, later there were years of fighting. In 1411 the Danish crown had the Duburg fortress built in Flensburg , and the Roman-German Emperor and the Pope were called on as arbitrators. In 1426 the Hanseatic League intervened in the conflict on the part of the Schauenburgers, and in 1435 the peace of Vordingborg was finally concluded, which awarded the dukes almost all of Schleswig. In 1440 the Schauenburgers received the duchy again as a hereditary, "free and unencumbered" fiefdom: Schleswig remained formally bound to the Danish crown, but could be administered and inherited by the dukes at will, who were not obliged to pay taxes or military successes to the kings ; the Danish crown thus effectively no longer had access to the duchy.

When the Schauenburg family died out in 1459 with the death of Adolf VIII , the nobility in Holstein and Schleswig wanted the same ruler to continue to rule in both areas. That is why the estates elected King Christian I of Denmark, Norway and Sweden from the House of Oldenburg , a nephew of Adolf VIII, as their sovereign. In the Treaty of Ribe in 1460 - Christian I's surrender at the election  - it was stated, among other things, that se bliwen tosamende up eternally ungedled ("that they remain together forever undivided"). Although this clause far back standing in the document probably had nothing to do in the contemporary context of a territorial indivisibility, was op forever ungedeelt later, the motto of the Schleswig-Holstein movement of the 19th century, a detachment from the Danish general government sought. Since the Danish king, as sovereign over Holstein, did not want to be a simple count, he reached out to the Roman-German Emperor Friedrich III in 1474. the elevation of the territory to the Duchy of Holstein .

Divisions from 1544

Schleswig and Holstein around 1650, the duchies are torn into a patchwork quilt of different sovereign territories
Historical map of the Duchy of Schleswig from 1650

In 1544 the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein were divided into three areas, which had roughly the same tax power. These were not spatially related and were not formally independent. One of these areas, referred to as the "royal Danish portion", belonged to Christian III. , the King of Denmark and Norway. Its two half-brothers, Johann II , founder of the Schleswig-Holstein-Hadersleben branch line , and Adolf I , founder of the Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf branch line , each received one of the other two areas. As with the subsequent partitions, however, no sovereign, independent states emerged.

When Johann II died in 1580 and the Schleswig-Holstein-Hadersleben branch line ended with him, half of the area allocated to him in 1544 was assigned to the king and the other half to his brother Adolf I.

Already in 1564 there was another de facto division of the country; because King Friedrich II. of Denmark, the son of Christian III., ceded a third of his share in castles, offices and cities in Schleswig to his brother Johann (called "Johann the Younger", who had the Glücksburg Castle built 1582–1587), a "subdivision", whereby Johann the Younger received Sonderburg, Arroe, Plön and Ahrensbök. After the death of his son Alexander (1622–1627), this Sonderburger line of the House of Oldenburg split into the line of the firstborn (Ernst Günther, 1627–1689), who became the founder of the ducal house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg ; The descendant of this Ernst Günther was, for example, Duke Friedrich (Christian August) of Augustenburg (1829–1888) (called "Friedrich VIII"), who became particularly well-known in the period from 1863 to 1866. On the other hand, the division of the estate in 1627 created the younger line of the "House of Sonderburg" under its founder, Duke August Philip (1627–1675), which bore the name Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck (later: Sonderburg-Glücksburg).

The Gottorf dukes rose to become a regional power in the 17th century; their sphere of influence in Schleswig and Holstein was an important cultural center of the baroque era . In order to gain independence from the Danish crown, however, the Gottorf family sought an alliance with Sweden, with disastrous consequences: In the Great Northern War , Denmark occupied the ducal part of Schleswig in 1713. From then on, all of Schleswig was reunited in royal Danish hands. In the Peace of Frederiksborg in 1720 the annexation was confirmed as legal, and in 1721 the Danish king was honored by the knighthood of Schleswig at Gottorf Castle. The Duchy of Holstein did not come to an agreement until 1773, when Duke Paul renounced his Holstein rulership rights in favor of the Danish crown after he had gained the Russian throne.

National disputes

With the emergence of the national liberal movements in the 19th century, a German and Danish national liberal party emerged in the duchies, which corresponded in their basic liberal orientations, but showed an irreconcilable contradiction in the question of the future status of the Duchy of Schleswig. While the Danish National Liberals were ready to give up the undisputed German Holstein and instead wanted to bind Schleswig more closely to the Kingdom of Denmark ( Eiderdänen ), the German National Liberals demanded the constitutional unification of the two duchies, the accession of Schleswig to the German Confederation and thus the separation of the Danish crown. Both groups were thus in opposition to the previous Danish state as a whole. On the Danish side there was also a conservative party of general supporters ( Helstatsfolk ). Some Schleswig-Holsteiners demanded that the Augustenburg line be reinstated as sovereigns. The third ethnic group living in Schleswig, the North Frisians, did not develop a national movement of their own despite some approaches such as those under Harro Harring . At the same time as the development of national liberal ideas, there was an increased language change from Danish to German in parts of southern Schleswig, such as in fishing and subsequently also on the Geest. The first ideas of dividing Schleswig along a language border were therefore developed as early as 1830; However, the idea of ​​division had no greater support on either side, since the majority saw themselves as Schleswig-Holstein across the board.

Schleswig was twice the cause of military conflicts in the 19th century: The Danish King Christian VIII was still trying to preserve the multi-ethnic Danish state . The draft for a moderate-liberal overall state constitution suggested by him was published on January 28, 1848 by his successor Frederick VII . However, the constitutional debate was quickly overshadowed by a national political controversy. As a result of the March Revolution in Copenhagen in March 1848, Danish National Liberals were also involved in the government for the first time, whereupon a German-oriented Provisional Government was founded in Kiel . Both governments were characterized by a dualism of (national) liberal and conservative representatives, but were sharply opposed on the national question. The German National Liberals feared that Schleswig would be included in a future Danish constitution and instead demanded that Schleswig be accepted into the German Confederation or into a planned German nation-state. The Danish National Liberals, in turn, demanded the integration of the duchy into the Kingdom of Denmark or into a Danish nation-state to be formed, whose southern border should again form the Eider ( Eiderdänes ). War broke out ( Schleswig-Holstein Uprising or First Schleswig War). After the units of the German Confederation, led by Prussia, who had rushed to help the rebellious Schleswig-Holstein troops , withdrew from Jutland under international pressure, the Schleswig-Holsteiners were subject to the Danes in 1851. The most important document under international law to end this first Schleswig-Holstein war was the London Protocol of May 8, 1852, which guaranteed the continued rule of the Danish king over the two duchies, but at the same time stipulated their legal independence. The signatories were Great Britain , France, Russia, Prussia and Austria. In the period that followed, the royal government introduced language restrictions in the mixed-language areas of Schleswig, which were intended to stop the ongoing language change and strengthen the Danish language, which was rejected by the German-minded people.

The constitutional connection of Schleswig to the German Paulskirche constitution of March 1849 and to the Danish Basic Law ( Grundlov ) of June 1849 was kept open in both constitutions. In § 1 of the Paulskirche constitution, for example, a reservation was made with regard to a later annexation of Schleswig, and the Danish Basic Law also explicitly left open a later extension of the constitution to Schleswig in the foreword. After the end of the First Schleswig War, a separate constitution was first introduced for Schleswig in February 1854 and finally the state constitution for Denmark, Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg in October 1855 .

1864–1920 - from Denmark to Prussia

In 1864, the German-Danish War finally led to the Second Schleswig War. This was preceded by a constitutional conflict within the state as a whole. The common constitution for the entire Danish state passed in 1855 was rejected in the same year by the Holstein assembly and three years later also repealed by the German Bundestag in Frankfurt for the national Holstein. The November constitution passed in 1863 under pressure from the Danish National Liberals was essentially valid for Denmark and Schleswig, but not for Holstein and Lauenburg, and thus violated the London Protocol of 1852 by effectively separating Schleswig from Holstein and tying it to Denmark. The German Confederation therefore called for the November constitution to be withdrawn and in December 1863 initiated a federal execution against the Duchy of Holstein, which was occupied by federal troops from Lauenburg, Saxony and Hanover . On January 16, 1864, Prussia and Austria gave Denmark an ultimatum of 48 hours to repeal the November constitution and evacuate Schleswig, which Denmark let pass. On February 1, 1864, Austrian and Prussian troops crossed the Eider , the historic border river between Holstein and Schleswig, near Rendsburg , and defeated the Danish army in the decisive battle at the Düppeler Schanzen in April 1864. The unauthorized action of the two great powers led to protests by the German medium-sized states: Bavaria and Saxony temporarily prevented Austria's troops from moving through their territories and the German Confederation condemned the offense of the two German great powers as illegal on several occasions . The federal troops in Holstein were even ready to oppose the Prussian and Austrian troops, but were held back by the Bundestag.

Proposals for partitioning Schleswig in 1864

During an armistice in the spring of 1864, an attempt was made at the London Conference to end the war by diplomatic means. The negotiations soon concentrated on a possible division of Schleswig. The Prussian side offered the Aabenraa-Tondern border, while the Danish side offered the Tönning-Danewerk-Eckernförde border. A compromise such as the division on the Schlei or on a line from Gelting-Husum, as offered by Great Britain and France, could not be approved by the warring parties. After the unsuccessful end of the London conference, the fighting resumed immediately. They ended in October 1864 with the victory of Prussia and Austria.

Denmark had to cede all of Schleswig, Holstein and Lauenburg to Prussia and Austria, who jointly managed it as a condominium . The royal enclaves on the west coast (e.g. southern Rømø , Amrum , western Föhr and List on Sylt ) were exchanged for some Schleswig communities around Ripen , which remained with Denmark. This joint administration actually ended with the Gastein Convention in 1865. After the German War in 1866, Schleswig and Holstein finally fell to Prussia; Prussia had been united with Lauenburg since 1865. In 1867 it was merged into the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein , which in 1876 was also incorporated into Lauenburg as the district of the Duchy of Lauenburg . With that the duchies had ceased to exist. The Peace of Prague of 1866 contained on the intervention of Napoleon III. in Article 5 a reservation on a referendum on national affiliation for northern Schleswig. However, the clause was canceled by Prussia and Austria in 1878.

After the war, around 200,000 Danish Schleswigers (out of around 400,000 Schleswigers) came under Prussian rule. The Prussian side pursued a repressive language policy after the end of the duchies. In 1876, German became the sole administrative language in Schleswig, in 1878 half of the previously Danish-speaking schools in the northern part of Schleswig became German, and in 1888 German finally became the only school language, with the exception of four hours of religion in Danish. In the same year the Prussian authorities closed the last Danish private school. German settlers were also deliberately recruited. After 1896, the Prussian state bought land and built the so-called state-owned domain farms (Domænegårde), which were leased to German settlers. This policy reached its climax with the assumption of the Oberpräsident Ernst Matthias von Köller and the Köller policy named after him, which practiced open discrimination against the Danish part of the population.

These measures met resistance from the Danish population in Schleswig and led to the organization of the Danish minority in northern and central Schleswig, which not least pushed for the referendum promised in 1866 to be held. The North Schleswig Voters' Association was founded in 1888, followed by the South Jutian School Association in 1892. Danish daily newspapers such as Flensborg Avis also came into being at that time. In addition, around 60,000 Danish Schleswig-Holstein residents emigrated overseas by 1900, not least because of the Prussian military service. In 1901 the Danish historian Hans Victor Clausen called for northern Schleswig to be ceded to Denmark. The dividing line proposed by him, the so-called Clausen Line , ran south of Tondern towards Flensburg, but left the affiliation of this city, the most important town in Schleswig, open. In the Optanten Treaty of 1907, Denmark officially recognized the border from 1864 and dropped the demand for a referendum in North Schleswig.

Around 5,000 Danish Schleswig-Holstein soldiers died as German soldiers in the First World War . At the end of the war, two weeks after the German Reich offered an armistice, the Danish politician Hans Peter Hanssen , a member of the Prussian state parliament since 1896 and the Reichstag since 1905, unsuccessfully demanded the resumption and application of the voting clause that was canceled in 1878 in the German Reichstag.

1918–1920: Schleswig was divided

Danish map of Sønderjylland = Schleswig shortly before the division
Today's administrative borders in Schleswig
Today's North and South Schleswig with multilingual place names

In the First World War, Denmark remained neutral. When it became apparent even before the armistice of November 11, 1918 that the Danish demands would still be included in the peace treaty, the German part of the population organized itself.

Due to the pressure of the Entente , referendums in Schleswig were provided for in the Versailles Treaty , which were carried out in the northern and central parts of the northern and central parts of Schleswig in early 1920 under the direction of the CIS (Commission Internationale de Surveillance du Plébiscite Slesvig) , which at this time also exercised provisional sovereignty over Schleswig were. The commission consisted of the French Paul Claudel , the English Charles Marling , and - at the request of the Allies - one representative each from Sweden and Norway, which were neutral during the First World War. Advisors to the CIS were H. P. Hanssen, who had meanwhile become Danish Minister, for Denmark, and Emilio Böhme for Germany . The drawing of the borders for the voting zones and the definition of different voting modalities for the zones ( en bloc in the north, communally in the south) of Denmark could be enforced. At the request of Danish nationalists who hoped to win Schleswig up to the Eider, a third voting zone was even set up at times, but the then social-liberal - social-democratic majority in the Danish Folketing moved away from this demand.

In the northern voting zone I (North Schleswig), the vote was held on January 10th. Around 75,000 eligible voters (74.2%) voted for Denmark and 25,000 (25.8%) for Germany. The turnout was 91.5%. The en bloc vote led to the fact that in addition to the predominantly Danish areas, some places fell to Denmark, the population of which 77% to 88% had voted to remain with Germany: the cities of Aabenraa (Danish: Åbenrå), Sonderburg (Danish: Sønderborg) and Tondern (Danish: Tønder) and the area of Tingleff (Danish: Tinglev).

In Zone II (Mittelschleswig), a community vote was held on February 24th. With a 90.75% turnout, there were 52,000 votes (80.2%) for Germany and 13,000 votes (19.8%) for Denmark, with a Danish majority in only three municipalities on Föhr , so that Mittelschleswig closed with Germany remained. This also applied to the particularly controversial Flensburg, in which the German Reich government therefore had the German House built after the vote as a “Reich Thank You” .

On January 11, the day after the vote in Zone I, the German expert Johannes Tiedje proposed a border a little further north, the so-called Tiedje Line , which would have led to roughly equal minorities on both sides of the border. The final decision on the border line was made in Paris in May 1920. The victorious powers and Denmark rejected Tiedjes' counter-proposal, so that the Clausen line became the border between Germany and Denmark that is still valid today. The southern part of Schleswig remained part of the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein and has belonged to the German state of Schleswig-Holstein since 1946 . The northern part formed the Sønderjyllands Amt in 1970 and is now part of the Syddanmark region .

See also


  • Wilhelm Ernst Christiani : History of the duchies of Schleswig and Hollstein. From volume 5 with the addition under the Oldenburg house and in closer relation to the crown to Denmark. Partly published by Kortensche Buchhandlung, Flensburg / Leipzig 1775–1979, partly self-published in Kiel, partly Bohn 1781–1784 and Neue Akademische Buchhandlung 1801–1802. Work in 8 volumes. Christiani's unfinished work (it ended in 1588) was continued by Dietrich Hermann Hegewisch until 1694.
  • Christian Godt: Investigations into the beginnings of the Duchy of Schleswig . Altona 1891-1892 ( digitized version ).
  • Robert Bohn : History of Schleswig-Holstein. Beck, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-406-50891-X .
  • Troels Fink : History of the Schleswig border region. Munksgaard, København 1958.
  • Reimer Hansen: What does “op forever ungedled” mean? The Ripener privilege of 1460 in the German-Danish national conflict of the 19th century . In: Grenzfriedenshefte  4, 1996, ISSN  1867-1853 , pp. 215-232.
  • Paul von Hedemann-Heespen: The duchies of Schleswig-Holstein and the modern age . Walter G. Mühlau, Kiel 1926 (on the subject of “Augustenburg” pp. 712–733, chapters 95 and 96).
  • Carsten Jahnke: "dat se bliven ewich tosamende ungedelt". New reflections on an old catchphrase . In: ZSHG , Vol. 128, 2003, ISBN 3-529-02328-0 .
  • Jörg Johannsen-Reichert (née Johannsen): The dispute over the succession of the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein in the 19th century - An investigation into the succession claims of the Dukes of Sonderburg-Augustenburg on Schleswig and Holstein . Shaker, Aachen 1999, ISBN 978-3-8265-4724-9 .
  • Ulrich Lange (Hrsg.): History of Schleswig-Holstein. Wachholtz, Neumünster 2003, ISBN 3-529-02440-6 .
  • Ulrich Lange, Henrik Becker-Christensen (ed.): History of Schleswig. From the early Middle Ages to 1920 . Institut for Grænseregionsforskning, Aabenraa 1998, ISBN 87-90163-74-5 .
  • Lorenz Rerup: Slesvig og Holsten efter 1830 . Politics Danmarkshistory, København 1982.
  • Gerret L. Schlaber: Hertugdømmet Slesvigs forvaltning. Administrative structures and retspleje mellem Ejderen and Kongeåen around 1460–1864 . Studieafdelingen ved Dansk Centralbibliotek for Sydslesvig , Flensborg 2007, ISBN 978-87-89178-65-3 .
  • Hans Schultz Hansen et al .: Sønderjyllands Historie . Vol. 1. Historisk Samfund for Sønderjylland . Aabenraa 2008, ISBN 978-87-7406-109-0 .
  • Horst Windmann: Schleswig as territory. Basic features of the constitutional development in the Duchy of Schleswig from the beginnings to the extinction of the Abelian house in 1375 . Wachholtz, Neumünster 1954.
  • Jann Markus Witt, Heiko Vosgerau (ed.): Schleswig-Holstein from the origins to the present. A national history. Convent, Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-934613-39-X .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl N. Bock: Middle Low German and today's Low German in the former Danish Duchy of Schleswig. Studies on the lighting of language change in fishing and Mittelschleswig . In: Det Kgl. Danske Videnskabernes Selskab (ed.): Historisk-Filologiske Meddelelser . Copenhagen 1948.
  2. Manfred Hinrichsen: The development of language conditions in the Schleswig region . Wachholtz, Neumünster 1984, ISBN 3-529-04356-7 .
  3. Anglers Kommer! Museum Sønderjylland Arkæologi Haderslev: Glimt fra Oldtidsdage, accessed on 19 October 2013 .
  4. ^ Meyers Neues Lexikon (Mannheim 1979) and Meyers Enzyklopädisches Lexikon (Mannheim 1975) still defined the Jutes as North Germanic, while the atlas on the universal history of Oldenbourg / Westermann describes the Jutes as West Germanic; the Brockhaus (Mannheim 2006), the Encyclopædia Britannica (Chicago 2005), the Duden-Lexikon (1980) and the dtv-Lexikon (Munich 1971) describe the Jutes more generally as a Germanic tribe in Jutland
  5. ^ Society for Schleswig-Holstein History of Anglo-Saxons . Geschichte-sh.de. Archived from the original on February 9, 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  6. see Århammar, Nils (2001): The origin of the North Frisians and the North Frisian. In: Horst H. Munske (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Frisian . Tübingen, pp. 531-537
  7. Henning Unverhau: Studies on the historical development of the country between Schlei and Eider in the Middle Ages , Neumünster 1990
  8. Om “Potato kernels på Alheden” . Association of Kartoffeltyskerne på Alheden . Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  9. Bjarne Stoklund: Grænser i grænselandet , in: Bygd 4, 1972
  10. ^ Society for Schleswig-Holstein History on the Heath and Moor Colonization . Society for Schleswig-Holstein History. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  11. 250 years of colonists on the Geest: The anniversary atlas . Schleswig-Holstein newspaper publisher. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  12. The general superintendent Stephan Klotz , who came from Lippstadt , decreed in 1647 that services were only to be held in High German and that catechism lessons in the school had to take place in High German as well. In the areas that now belong to Denmark, at least the afternoon services were held in Danish (Heinrich Kröger: Plattdüütsch in de Kark in three centuries . Volume 1: 18th and 19th centuries; Hanover 1996; p. 28). The first Danish-language textbook for schools in Schleswig was written in 1791 by the Vedstedt preacher Peter Prahl.
  13. Language card. The Virtual Museum (vimu.info), accessed November 30, 2014 .
  14. Danish Cultural Institute Bonn . Dankultur.de. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  15. ^ Danish school association for southern Schleswig . Skoleforeningen.org. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  16. Det tyske mindretal i Danmark . denstoredanske.dk. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
  17. National Minorities and Cross-border Cooperation between Denmark and Germany (PDF; 171 kB) Jørgen Kühl. 2004. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
  18. ^ Dansk . denstoredanske.dk. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
  19. ^ Karl N. Bock: Middle Low German and today's Low German in the former Duchy of Schleswig . Copenhagen 1948, p. 42/43 .
  20. ^ Robert Bohn: History of Schleswig-Holstein. Beck, Munich 2006, p. 9.
  21. ^ Horst Windmann: Schleswig as territory. Wachholtz, Neumünster 1954, p. 12.
  22. Troels Fink: History of the Schleswig border region . Munksgaard, København 1958. p. 23.
  23. ^ Horst Windmann: Schleswig as territory. Wachholtz, Neumünster 1954, p. 23 and time table I.
  24. ^ Horst Windmann: Schleswig as territory. Wachholtz, Neumünster 1954, p. 49.
  25. ^ Horst Windmann: Schleswig as territory. Wachholtz, Neumünster 1954, family table II.
  26. ^ Hanswilhelm Haefs: Place names and local stories in Schleswig-Holstein , Norderstedt 2004.
  27. Carsten Jahnke: "dat se bliven ewich tosamende ungedelt". New reflections on an old catchphrase . In: ZSHG , Vol. 128, 2003.
  28. ^ CAU Kiel: Language situation in Schleswig-Holstein in the 19th century
  29. Sönke Loebert, Okko Meiburg and Thomas Riis: The emergence of the constitutions of the Danish monarchy (1848-1849) , 2012, ISBN 3-631-62177-9 , ISBN 978-3-631-62177-6
  30. cf. Manfred Jessen-Klingenberg : The Schleswig-Holstein State Assembly and the Basic State Law of September 15, 1848 , in: Göttrik Wewer : Democracy in Schleswig-Holstein: Historical Aspects and Current Issues , Opladen 1998, page 98
  31. ^ Aalborg Universitet: Nationalized border areas
  32. a b Jürgen Müller: The German Confederation 1815–1866 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-486-55028-3 , pp. 46-47 .
  33. ^ Museum Online: The Schleswig-Holstein Question of 1864
  34. Undervisningsministeriet ( Memento of March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  35. Henning Brinckmann and Jens Aage Poulsen: Vejen mod Europa , København 2009, side 38
  36. ^ Society for the History of Schleswig-Holstein ( Memento from July 15, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  37. Jacob Munkholm Jensen: Dengang jeg drog af sted-danske immigranter i den amerikanske borgerkrig , Copenhagen 2012, page 46/47
  38. Henning Madsen: Mørkets gys, frihedens lys , Copenhagen 2014, p. 221.
  39. Auction 309/2007, Lot 754, Ketterer Kunst Hamburg