From Skagen to Eider: Danish agitation in Flensburg, Germany, prior to the referendum in Schleswig

Photograph

Description

English

This huge banner in Flensburg urged people, in German, to vote in favour of Danish rule over German. A majority of 75% voted in favour of German.

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 in north Schleswig (now Sønderjylland, of which the main city is Flensburg) 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 region’s nationality. Plebiscites were 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. It was likely most of Zone 2 would vote for Germany, but the self-contained city of Flensburg, in particular, might choose Denmark.

The fight for votes in Flensburg, 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.

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. På billedet ses et stort banner i Flensborg, som på tysk opfordrer folk til at stemme dansk. Resultatet i Flensborg blev, at 75% af de stemmeberettigede stemte for tysk statsborgerskab.

Full title
From Skagen to Eider: Danish agitation in Flensburg, Germany, prior to the referendum in Schleswig
Created
1919 - 1920
Format
Photograph
Held by
Det Konglige Bibliotek
Usage Terms
Some rights reserved

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