CPH Post

National

Exactly 150 years after the Schleswig War, does southern Jutland want to be German?

A small-scale Crimean Crisis may be looming in the south, where a local author wants Jutland to vote if it should secede from Denmark and join Germany


Southern Jutland soldiers hold the fort (Photo: Scanpix)

April 25, 2014
17:36

by Andreas Jakobsen


While most of Denmark bemoans the humiliating defeat of the 1864 Second Schleswig War, the southern Jutlanders themselves may have quite a different view on the matter.

In an interview in Jyllands-Posten, local author Erling Jepsen said the real tragedy was when southern Jutland in 1920 became part of Denmark again.

"The 1864 war is seen as a scar on Denmark's soul. But the death toll aside, it wasn't a tragedy that southern Jutland was ceded to the Prussians in 1864. It was a tragedy that it became Danish in 1920," Jepsen told Jyllands-Posten.

This year marks 150 years since Denmark suffered the devastating defeat in the 1864 Second Schleswig War and lost the southern Schleswig-Holstein province to Prussia.

More German than Danish
Jepsen is the author of bestsellers like 'Kunsten at græde i kor' (The art of crying together) and 'Frygtelig Lykkelig' (Terribly happy). Both novels take place in southern Jutland and have been made into successful films.

He claimed that the area to this day is more German than Danish and should vote for what country the province should belong to.

"I don't think you'll find anyone in southern Jutland who has any ties to Copenhagen. We never see them. Germans, on the other hand, are massively present," he said.

He said he was sure that his southern countrymen would vote for a German annexation, although they in 1920 voted to join Denmark again.

Bloody 150-year anniversary
The Second Schleswig War was the bloodiest war in Danish history with more than 3,000 casualties. The anniversary has been marked in countless ways, from re-enactments of famous battles to Politiken's all-day live reporting from the Battle of Dybbøl last Friday.

An upcoming TV series ‘1864’ premiering this fall will be the most expensive drama series ever produced in Denmark.

PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt even did a speech in memory of 1864 last week, in which she revealed that her great-grandfather had served in the war.

Is Schleswig the new Crimea?
Southern Jutlanders are famous for a very distinct dialect that is heavily influenced by German, which is also widely spoken in the area.

There hasn’t been an official call for independence though, so it's still too early to say if there's a small-scale Crimean Crisis looming in southern Denmark.



Related stories



Latest Comments

In a country of 5M a show about baking cakes had on average 1M viewers?! Then...

(Paulo Claro on October 24, 2014 13:22)

I'm sorry I'm Italian, I know if an immigrant is found by the police in any...

(Fabio Mascio on October 24, 2014 12:41)

Hi can assure you Danes waste waaaaaay more than 100 work hours a year in...

(Paulo Claro on October 24, 2014 12:03)

I loved playing with troll dolls as a child. We gave them little cocktail...

(Kelley Davis on October 24, 2014 06:50)

It's infuriating to have one bike's stolen. I know. But you know miffs me?...

(Lorenzo Luis Albano Farias on October 24, 2014 00:03)

Ban all religions also... People should put their faiths in themselves and...

(Alex DeGre?t on October 23, 2014 22:41)

Either way... Letting Turkey or any muzlim country to join the EU is sheer...

(Alex DeGre?t on October 23, 2014 22:33)

?We know that Denmark is a cultural capital of the world ? there are so many...

(Kl Queteimporta on October 23, 2014 21:40)

Jensen is a mug . what a tool

(Hamish Carey on October 23, 2014 17:34)

This is great!

(Gerry Wimmer on October 23, 2014 17:07)