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Dybbøl 2014 Constructing Familiarity by Remembrance? Martin Klatt, PhD. Associate Professor Dept. of Border Region Studies Sønderborg.

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Presentation on theme: "Dybbøl 2014 Constructing Familiarity by Remembrance? Martin Klatt, PhD. Associate Professor Dept. of Border Region Studies Sønderborg."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dybbøl 2014 Constructing Familiarity by Remembrance? Martin Klatt, PhD. Associate Professor Dept. of Border Region Studies Sønderborg

2 (Un)Familiarity – living together Spierings, Bas, and Martin van der Velde Shopping, Borders and Unfamiliarity: Consumer Mobility in Europe. Journal for Economic and Social Geography 99 (4):

3 Applicability – and methodological problems  Most studies divide a borderland’s population into two national populations – including ”national minorities”*  This does not necessarily reflect the situation correctly:  ”regionalism” and indifference  ”transnational borderlanders” (Martinez), ”regionauts” (Löfgren, O’Dell), ”border surfers” (Terlouw)  A border region’s population is more complicated and less clearly to identify  Social practices!! *Andersen, Dorte Jagetić. "Do If You Dare: Reflections on (Un)Familiarity, Identity-Formation and Ontological Politics." Journal of Borderlands Studies 29, no. 3 (2014):

4 Border of the Holy Roman Empire and the German Confederation until 1864 The Danish-German border region

5 Population  ”Danes”, ”Germans”, ”Danish minority”, ”Deutsche Volksgruppe” = is it that simple?  Result of nationalisation during the 19 th and 20 th centuries  Regional identity – ”Die Dänen sind uns näher als die Bayern” – ”Northern Germans are more like Scandinavians than Southern Germans”  Blurred identity within the so-called minorities – which are socially integrated and thus very open groups  So, are they living together?

6 The war of 1864  Denmark won the Schleswig-Holstein war of independence, but only to recover the status quo ante bellum  In November 1863, Denmark passed a new constitution to be valid in the Kingdom and Schleswig, a breach of the 1852 London protocol (peace agreement)  Bismarck sees his opportunity to fight a war against Denmark (officially as executor of the German Confederation)  On 18 April 1864, the storm of the Dybbøl fortification is the first decisive Danish defeat. The battle is later heroified in Danish historical narratives.  After the taking of Als in June 1864, Denmark lost Schleswig- Holstein to Prussia

7 Dybbøl mystified  The battle is mystified as a glorious defeat and plays a central role in Denmark’s narrative as a small state, deceived by Europe in the face of German aggression  1990’s: German politicians antichambered for a reconciliation gesture at the annual festivities (as with France at Verdun)  2001: first participation of a German delegation at the Dybbøl festivities  2014: the 150 th anniversary of the battle is celebrated and used as a symbol for reconciliation, innovation and growth – but also a renaissance of historicizing (10 h TV series, books…)

8 The Shadows of 1864

9 ”Der må være en grænse!” May 1997

10 Euroregion Schleswig – nej tak  ”Back to the happy 400 years of common history” – this quote by Flensburg mayor Dielewicz was not welcomed by all  Euroregion as a German project, German expansionism  Two contradicting narratives on the region’s common history:  Op ewig ungedeelt – the 1920-border as a scar of history  Et røvet barn – 1920 as reunification of Danish Southern Jutland with the motherland

11 The Dybbøl 2014 Project  - NB the map….  Past, present and the future!  Partners: Region South Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, Chamber of Industry and Commerce Flensburg, Southern Jutland Development Council  Focus: growth by culture: ”Die neue deutsch-dänische Geschichte hat bereits begonnen und wird 2014 ihren ersten Höhepunkt erleben, wenn die deutsch-dänische Jugend, Kultur und Wirtschaft sich grenzüberschreitend begegnen, um die gegenwärtige Zusammenarbeit zu feiern – und sie für die Zukunft weiter auszubauen. Denn nur zusammen können wir unser gemeinsames Ziel erreichen: unsere Grenzregion zu einer Wachstumsregion werden zu lassen.”

12 Peace building?  Narrative connected with the minority situation  Applied on the people-to- people activities

13 Familiarity?  Poll in 2012 (Region South Denmark, 1,000 people north and south of the border)  75% agreed at least ”somewhat”: regional Germans and Danes have much in common  75% did not have family or friends on the other side of the border  So how do they know?

14 Project jUNG zuSAMMEN  projektet/ungdomsmoede/httpwwwdybboel2014dkjungzusam men projektet/ungdomsmoede/httpwwwdybboel2014dkjungzusam men  Young people from the border region (18-25), to discuss the region’s future  ”Wir rennen offene Türen ein” (one of the leaders)  Attracting those that already have a transnational borderlander identity (many minority youths)

15 (Un)Familiarity – applicable? Spierings, Bas, and Martin van der Velde Shopping, Borders and Unfamiliarity: Consumer Mobility in Europe. Journal for Economic and Social Geography 99 (4): Emotional differences not too big for social interaction Rational differences big enough to make social interaction interesting

16 Bandwidth of familiarity  Keeping in mind:  Few in-depth social contacts (family and friends)  Low integration of the labour market  Clichés about the ”other”  Language barrier (at least Germans to Danes)

17 Living together – or living apart?

18 Dybbøl 2014 – an appropriate project?  Very Danish: activities…  Connection between history and economic growth is not convincing  People to people: reaching out to Danes – and the usual suspects (transnational borderlanders)

19 Policy relevance (EU)  People to people – or growth?  Links are not convincing  Growth because of (and not in spite of) the border  Differentials  Border shopping/trade  Border surfing


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