War indemnity or social welfare: Danish agitation prior to the referendum in Schleswig

Poster/Illustration

Description

English

This pro-Danish poster refers to the spending of tax-payer’s money in Denmark and Germany respectively. While taxes from the well-dressed Dane are destined for social welfare, the German citizen pays installments on the German war debt. The economic advantages of being ruled by Denmark were used as a lever in a referendum deciding between Danish and German nationality.

As a result of the Second Schleswig War (1864) Denmark had been forced to surrender the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. This meant that large numbers of Danish-minded residents of north Schleswig (now Sønderjylland) were forced to live under German rule.

At the end of World War One, the Treaty of Versailles (Art 109) stated that plebiscites or referendums should be held in Schleswig to determine the future nationality of the region. A referendum was an opportunity for every member of an electorate to cast their vote on a single issue, usually of national or international relevance. The general assumption in Denmark was that people of the northern part, Zone 1 (Sønderjylland), would vote in favour of Danish nationality while the results from the southern provinces, Zone 2, remained to be seen. Most were likely to vote in favour of Germany, but the self-contained city of Flensburg, could turn out in favour of Denmark.

The fight for votes in Flensburg, the main city of Schleswig, became cutthroat. During the days leading up to the vote streets were filled with Danish, German and regional Schleswig-Holstein flags, and posters were seen everywhere in an attempt to influence voters. The result turned out to be a majority of 75% voting in favour of German nationality.

Danish

Som følge af 2. Slesvigske Krig havde Danmark i 1864 mistet herredømmet over hertugdømmerne Slesvig og Holsten. Herved kom et stort antal dansksindede, der hovedsagligt var bosat i Nordslesvig (i dag Sønderjylland), under tysk herredømme.

Ved krigens afslutning, blev det i Versailles-traktatens § 109 defineret, at der skulle holdes folkeafstemninger i Slesvig for at afgøre områdets fremtid.
Man forventede, at den nordlige del, Zone 1 (i dag Sønderjylland), ville stemme for dansk nationalitet, mens der var større usikkerhed om, hvad resultatet ville blive i de sydlige egne, i Zone 2. Særlig spænding var der om Flensborg, der lå som en selvstændig valgzone, og kunne blive dansk, hvis flertallet ville, trods et evt. tysk resultat i resten af zone 2. Kampen om stemmerne i Flensborg, Slesvigs største by, blev særligt hård. På gader og stræder kunne man i tiden op til afstemningen se danske, tyske og slesvig-holstenske flag, og overalt hang plakater, som forsøgte at påvirke vælgerne. Afstemningsplakaten her er prodansk og henviser til, hvad skattepengene vil gå til i henholdsvis Danmark og i Tyskland. Hvor den velklædte danskers skattepenge går til socialstaten, afdrager tyskeren på Tysklands krigsgæld. At det ville være økonomisk fordelagtigt at stemme dansk, var et motiv, der ofte blev fremhævet i den danske agitation. Resultatet i Flensborg blev, at 75% af de stemmeberettigede stemte for tysk statsborgerskab.

Full title
War indemnity or social welfare: Danish agitation prior to the referendum in Schleswig
Created
1920
Format
Poster / Illustration
Held by
Det Konglige Bibliotek
Usage Terms
Some rights reserved

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