Sønderjysk genforening 1920 /2020 |
The Reunification of Southern Jutland 1920/2020

Volume 21 December 2020

Redaktører | Issue editors

Rune Delfs, Aalborg Universitet
Mirjam Gebauer, Aalborg Universitet
Jørgen Kühl, Europa-Universität Flensburg

Sønderjysk genforening 1920 /2020 |
The Reunification of Southern Jutland 1920/2020

On the centenary of the Reunification of Southern Jutland, this issue of Academic Quarter presents ten articles which deal with Danish-German relations, the consequences of the new border of 1920 and experiences of the border in history, culture and literature. The first article critically discusses the labelling of the outcome of the plebiscites. The second contribution investigates narratives of Danishness in Southern Jutland in the years between 1920 and 1933. The next two articles give an insight into present identities in the Danish-German borderland. The following two contributions investigate the economic consequences of the division of Schleswig and the introduction of emergency currency in the years 1919-1921. A linguistic analysis compares the use of the exclamation mark in Danish and German. The last three articles deal with artists and their relations to the borderland. Firstly, Kaj Munk’s attitude to the question of Southern Jutland is investigated, secondly, the relation between humans and nature in Theodor Storm’ novella The Rider on the White Horse and finally, identity issues in the works of Gynther Hansen.

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Sønderjysk genforening 1920 / 2020
Rune Delfs, Mirjam Gebauer, Jørgen Kühl

Keywords : Southern Jutland reunification, Danish-German relations, intercultural interaction in the borderland, border culture, minorities.

Denmark’s reunification with the Southern Jutland parts of the country, a result of the treaty of Versailles after World War I, took place on July 9, 1920 after a referendum in February the same year. This referendum would determine the geopolitical shape of Denmark which has lasted until our days. On both sides of the new border emerged minorities who felt that they belonged to the country on the other side of the border. Thus, the reunification of Southern Jutland with Denmark did not appear to everyone involved as a success. However, the reunification can be regarded as an important momentum in the Danish-German relationship, not only from a geopolitical perspective, but also from a cultural one. This relationship which was developed through the course of many centuries can be traced in numerous works of art, music and literature. In this issue of Academic Quarter the centenary of the reunification is used as an occasion for an interdisciplinary view on the historical event itself and the discourses which revolved around it.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.vi21.6384

Genforening eller Slesvigs deling?
Hans Christian Davidsen

Keywords : Danish, german, borderland, history, plebiscite, Schleswig, reunification, 1920

In an era of globalization with new standards for politically correct everyday language, it is remarkable that there are still historic events which in Danish everyday language are being considered in a very isolated Danish context.

This applies for example to the so-called „reunification“ in 1920, which is a common Danish term for the integration of North Schleswig into Kingdom of Denmark after World War I.

The term „reunification“ is just one perspective on this very historic event. There are also other perspectives on the outcome of the plebiscites in the former Duchy of Schleswig in 1920 and therefore new narratives are emerging these years. In the Danish discourse, however, the national approach to the plebiscites in Schleswig is still the dominating one even at a time when many historic perceptions are being reviewed.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.vi21.6385

National og regional dansk identitet i Sønderjylland
Narrativer om danskhed i 1920 og 1933
Katrine Crone

Keywords : Demarcation, reunification, narratives, memory, regional and national identity

The demarcation between Denmark and Germany in 1920 stands as one of the greatest historical events in Denmark. This was evident in the Danish newspapers from Southern Jutland, Hejmdal, and Flensborg Avis, in which different narratives concerning Danish national identity were constructed in 1920. This article focuses on the main features of these narratives and examines how they seemed significant and identity-making for the Danish people of Southern Jutland. Furthermore, this article aims to clarify how and why these narratives played an important role in 1933 when the border from 1920 came under pressure by the German minority. With the new demarcation in 1920, one might presume that this would foster a more standardised national narrative in the Danish newspapers. However, a significant regional narrative rooted in a regional identity was constructed as well. In 1933 this regional identity remained important when the border was threatened by the German minority’s revision claim.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.vi21.6386

Ti interviews i anledning af 100-året for Genforeningen
Peter Buhrmann

Keywords : Danish, German, Borderland, Centennial, Minority, Majority

The author interviewed ten persons from the Danish-German borderland as a prelude to the celebration of the centennial marking the return of North Schleswig to Denmark in 1920. The interviewees come from different walks of life and are members of the Danish majority and German minority populations north of the Danish-German border. The interviews were designed as small-scale investigations into the mental, national and cultural mind-sets, one hundred years after the division of Schleswig in 1920. The interviews were published in the German language newspaper “Der Nordschleswiger” in Denmark in the first half of 2019. The author finds that the question of national, cultural and lingual identity is much more diverse and fluent than outside the region. This is caused not only by several centuries of reciprocal influence of German on Danish and vice versa, but also by the existence of Danish and German minorities north (and south) of the Danish-German border.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.vi21.6387

Identifying Outside the Box.
An analysis of identification patterns among members of the German minority in Denmark
Annika Zepke

Keywords: Identity, national minority, borderland, regional identification, language

On the basis of six qualitative interviews with members of the German minority in Denmark, the article addresses different ways according to which individuals identify themselves as members of the German minority. The analysis shows that the identification with the minority varies from individual to individual. Identity in the German minority is therefore very multi-layered. Furthermore, the analysis illustrates that members of the minority identify beyond national categories on a rather regional level while comprising both German and Danish linguistic and cultural traits.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.vi21.6388

1920-grænsen: national optimal, økonomisk katastrofal?
Et overset aspekt af den slesvigske model
Martin Klatt

Keywords : genforening, grænse, mindretal, regional udvikling, grænseoverskridende samarbejde

Usually, the drawing of the Danish-German border in 1920 is perceived as the best possible solution to a national conflict turned violent, with annexations and consequent border changes. It was part of the First World War settlement, it involved the people in a plebiscite, both national governments agreed in principle that the border should be drawn in accordance with the right of national self-determination. Dissenters were provided a framework of cultural autonomy within a recognized national minority. While perhaps the national and political optimal border, though, economic consequences of the border drawing have been overlooked in the numerous handbooks and other publications on the region’s history. This paper asks the question whether the border drawn was in fact an economic catastrophe, transforming a wealthy, well connected region into two peripheral fringes, economically marginalized and locked in national conflict.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.vi21.6389

Plebiscite Notgeld from Schleswig 1919-1921.
Propaganda or Money-spinner?
Klaus Tolstrup Petersen

Keywords : Emergency money, plebiscites, Schleswig, propaganda, collectors item

During World War One, local authorities began printing “notgeld” (emergency money) in Germany because of an immediate shortage of coins. Over time, emergency money evolved from being an emergency measure into a collectors item with colourful illustrations often drawn by artists. After World War One, at the peace conference in Versailles, it was decided, that a new Danish-German border should be defined on the basis of plebiscites in Northern and Middle Schleswig. Before and after the plebiscites, emergency money were used to advocate national agendas and is a testimony to the state of mind in Schleswig at a time when much was at stake. In this article, the development of this particular kind of money will be examined, and a closer look will be taken upon the significance they had as a means of propaganda as well as a profitable commodity.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.vi21.6390

En ”grafisk imperativ” som sætningsgrænse
Irene Simonsen

Keywords : L2 (Danish) writing, punctuation, mediatization, email, commentary

This study is a comparison of L2 Danish, L1 Danish and L1 German use of exclamation marks that seeks to contribute to the didactic basis for teaching German native speakers who study Danish. As part of the rhetorical device exclamation, the exclamation mark in both languages ​​serves to increase intensity in the text and accentuate the writer’s emotional involvement in his text. At the same time, the exclamation mark also influences and affects the recipient of the text. It thus has the function of an interactive sign. However, what other similarities or differences can be observed in the two languages? Based on a comparison of the standards in the two language systems and on speech act theory, the use of the exclamation mark in this study is examined in email and commentary.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.vi21.6391

Det fundne og det tabte: To nationer under Gud.
Kaj Munk og det sønderjyske spørgsmål
Christian Grund Sørensen

Keywords : Kaj Munk, Genforeningen, Sønderjylland, Tyskland, nation

The found and the Lost: Two Nations under God. Kaj Munk and the question of Southern Jutland. The aim of this article is to present and discuss the view of Danish pastor, playwright, author, and resistance martyr Kaj Munk (1898-1944) regarding the reunion of Denmark and Southern Jutland in 1920. In Munk’s view Southern Jutland and the border to Germany is of central importance to the Danish national identity. The population remained culturally Danish under German rule. However, the reunion and the close relationship with Germany was challenged during the rise of the Third Reich, and eventually the occupation of Denmark. Kaj Munk’s nuanced reflections on the cohabitation of neighbouring countries reject demonization and nationalistic superiority thinking. In Munk’s understanding “fronts” and “bridges” are necessary in international cooperation. The front to protect intrinsic values and avoid appropriation, the bridges to bridge divides between the two nations under God. Munk is an example of a peaceful, acknowledging approach to international cohabitation, though with a strong sense of cultural consistency.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.vi21.6392

Den uforløste hjemve.
Marsklandets mørke natur i Theodor Storms Skimmelrytteren
Jonas M. Hoeck

Keywords : Marskland, Theodor Storm, økokritik, landskab, mørk natur

Since the romantic era, man’s relationship with nature has been connected with strong emotions and ideas, and not all kinds of landscapes are therefore considered equally pretty or nice today. Through an ecocritical reading of the North German author Theodor Storm’s novella the The Rider on the White Horse (Der Schimmelreiter) (1888), this article illustrates why the North Frisian and Danish marshlands have been depicted as an uncanny (unheimliche) place in modern culture, and why this peripheral nature never became an integral part of what we today consider as the Danish landscape.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.vi21.6393

Grænseland og grænseerfaringer i Gynther Hansens forfatterskab
Johs. Nørregaard Frandsen

Keywords : Literature, Gynther Hansen, regional identity, existential conflicts, German-minded family

This article presents the authorship of the Southern Jutland author Gynther Hansen (1930-2014). It contains analysis of themes and motifs in his novels and short stories that depict contradictions between Danish and German values and attitudes in the years before, during and after World War II. Gynther Hansen was himself born and raised in the small town of Varnæs near to Aabenraa and in a German-minded family that was further influenced by Nazism. Gynther Hansen himself chose to become Danish at the end of the war. His authorship illuminates everywhere this choice between the Danish and the German for people in the border country and it illustrates the price you have to pay choosing one side. He portrays people, especially men, who feel themselves wounded in soul and heart and who feel deprived of dignity and sense of belonging. The authorship includes around 40 novels and volumes of short stories and has an artistic significance for understanding relationships between experiences in the border country and existential conflicts.

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DOI : https://doi.org/10.5278/ojs.academicquarter.vi21.6394