The Reunification of 1920
The Reunification is the term for Southern Jutland's union with Denmark after the national poll in 1920. The union was a gradual process. On 5 May, Danish troops moved in to Southern Jutland, on 20 May Danish coins were introduced, and finally on June 15 the passport control was moved from the river Kongeå border to the current border.
King Christian X's famous ride on the white horse over the erased Kongeå border took place on 10 July 1920. It was the state's signal for several days of festivities. Many places around Denmark, including in Foldingbro, stones were erected to commemorate the event.
The German imperial kingdom's defeat in the first World War paved the way for the reunification of Southern Jutland with Denmark. Immediately after the armistice on 11 November 1918, the new German foreign minister in the revolutionary government promised that the North Schleswig issue was to be resolved by a national referendum.
The voting association for North Schleswig subsequently adopted a resolution on the forthcoming vote. The resolution's three main points were:
1) North Schleswig should vote as one unit.
2) North Schleswig should be bordered south of Tønder and north of Flensburg.
3) The adjoining districts in Central Schleswig, who made demands about this, would be entitled to a separate vote.
Three voting zones
The resolution was reflected in the provisions of the Versailles Peace Treaty of 28 June 1919. The administration of the Southern Jutland area should reach a decision was decided by leaving the vote to the International Commission.
Schleswig was divided into three voting zones: North Schleswig, Central Schleswig and South Schleswig. Voting rights were given to all adults over 20 who were born in the voting areas, or who had lived there since 1 January1900.
Danish or German
The contrasts in the population were drawn up stringently - Danish or German.
The voting in zone I, North Schleswig, took place on 10 February 1920. The turnout percentage was 91.4. There was a clear majority for Danish affiliation. South Jutlanders who resided in the kingdom had flocked to North Schleswig to vote. There were three Danish votes for every German vote. In all the market towns except Haderslev, there was a German majority.
The voting in zone II, Central Schleswig, took place on March 14. The result here was exactly the opposite. There were four German votes for every Danish vote here. The voting in zone III was anulled.
South Jutland's incorporation into Denmark was done gradually. On 5 May, Danish troops moved into the area, and on 20 May Danish currency was introduced in the region. The Danish postal service was also introduced on the same day.
On 15 June 1920 (Reunification Day) the Danish Government took over the control of South Jutland, and the German passport and customs controls officially moved from the river Kongeå to the current border.
The law on "The Southern Jutland areas incorporated in Denmark" was signed by King Christian X on 9 July. The following day , Reunification was celebrated by King's famous ride on the white horse over the erased Kongeå border. This was the start of several days of festivities.
The great joy of the Reunification is still visible in the form of the many reunionification stones that have been erected nationwide. In the period 1919-1950, around 580 stones commemorating the reunification were erected. A fifth of these are in South Jutland. The Reunification is the historical event in Denmark that has prompted the most memorial stones to be erected.
Reunification stone in Foldingbro
In 1936, the owners of Kongeå Inn built a swimming pool. The earth from the excavation of the pool was shaped in a big mound. A reunificaiton stone was erected on the mound, which was inaugurated at Pentecost in 1937.
Reunification stone Foldingbro
Becker-Christensen, Henrik: Da Sønderjylland blev delt. I Sønderjyllands historie efter 1815, 2009, p. 241-16-1
Author: Linda Klitmøller, museum curator, Sønderskov Museum