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Horses as border crossers


Even if you lived in Denmark, you could still have land on the German side of the border - and vice versa. This sometimes created problems with border guards who without further ado had to let people and cattle across the border.


The farmer's horses

At the beginning of the First World War in 1914, the border was closed and it was forbidden to take over any kinds of goods. A farmer in Villebøl had four colts (young horses) in a field in Ravning on the German side of the border. He wanted the horses back on his farm in Villebøl - ​​which belonged to Denmark. He asked the border guards if he could take the horses home, but got the answer ”No,” as all exports and imports were banned.

”Well, I suppose I’d better go and see to them,” said the farmer, and he was allowed to do so.

On the way back from Ravning, he ”forgot” to close the gate into his horses.

A few hours later, when the horses discovered this, they knew only too well how they could get

home, and so they set off at full gallop towards home. The poor border guards jumped aside to save lives and limbs, as the horses came galloping - riding hell for leather


Author: Johannes Garder, Kalvslund Parish archives


Sources and literature:

Kalvslund Parish archives, see http://www.esbjergkommune.dk/borger/kultur-og-fritid/arkiver/arkiver.aspx