The aim of this project has been to understand the situation, that the people of Danish align- ment, in the northern Schleswig area were in, during The Great War. As, at the time, the duchy of Schleswig was under Prussian rule, rather than Danish. Thus, the men of Danish alignment were forced to participate in a war which they did not believe in.
With the use of Peter Thaler’s own research on the topic of national identity in border regions, and his descriptions of theories on national identity in border regions, we found that popula- tion in the border region between Germany and Denmark shares similarities with several other border regions. In the project we have presented a few, such as the Schlesian region, and Alsace-Lorraine.
In the years leading up to the war, the German authorities in Schleswig practised fervent dis- crimination towards those of Danish alignment, through banning the Danish language in schools and in court. While the goal of this, was to germanize the Schleswig population, it only served to enhance the divide between the Danish aligned minority, and German authorities. In analysing letters and extracts from diaries written at the time, and subsequently written memoirs of war experiences, aimed at fellow veterans. We have found, that the Danish aligned minority of northern Schleswig had little qualms with their German counterparts. Despite this, they divided themselves into communities of like-minded individuals. However, in the trenches, the soldiers cared little for national affiliation, and soldiers of all alignments, i.e. Ger- man, Danish, French, would become close friends. Some even for life.
We have found, that there was particular discrimination towards several minorities within the German army. Particularly the men from Alsace-Lorraine, were frequently sent to the eastern front, to keep them from fraternising with the enemy. For Danish speakers, were of- ten forbidden from speaking and even writing, anything but German. While it is likely that this discrimination was not meant as an attack on the northern schleswigians, it was perceived as such, and many voiced their dissatisfaction in letters home, and through disregarding the or- der, and continuing to use their preferred language.
|Uddannelser||Historie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor|
|Udgivelsesdato||26 maj 2019|
|Vejledere||Karin Cohr Lützen|
- Den Store Krig
- National identitet