2015/16: Flexible Borders: Cultural, Political and Economic Interactions between North Germany and Denmark

Flexible Borders:

Cultural, Political and Economic Interactions between North Germany and Denmark

Dr. Yaakov Ben-Meir

June 20 - July 1, 2016

The geography of the Jutland peninsula is determined by the North Sea to its west, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Elbe River to its south. Nevertheless, its south is nowadays governed by the state of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of the German Federation, and its north by Denmark. The area of Schleswig-Holstein and South Denmark had been disputed since the middle ages till World War II. During the middle ages, the area was the border between the Holy Roman Empire and the Vikings, with the Hansa League having strong economic and commercial interests invested in it; during the nineteenth century, it was the focus of conflict between the Kingdom of Denmark, Prussia, and Austro-Hungary. The study excursion will explore the recurrent changes in of borders between Germany and Denmark in this disputed area, and will focus on the cultural interactions between northern Germany and Denmark which visually constructed its multi-culturalism. The excursion will start in Hamburg, which lies on the River Elbe, will continue further north in cities such as Lübeck and Schleswig, and will be concluded in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark.

Main topics:

  • Shared historical and cultural background to German and Danish Jutland: the Vikings and Lutheranism.
  • The German Hanse League cities from the middle Ages till the 16th century: interaction and rivalry with Denmark.
  • The nineteenth century: the Schleswig Wars, the rebuilding of Hamburg.
  • Post- World War II art and architecture in North Germany and Denmark.


Day 1, Monday, June 20: Flight

Day 2, Tuesday, June 21: Modernist Hamburg, 1842-1937
10:00     Deichstraße
10:30     Sankt Nikolai Kirche
Presentation: Operation Gomorrha: The objectives and aftermath of the bombing of Hamburg during World War II
12:00     Rathaus (Martin Haller, 1886-1897)
13:30     Jungfernstieg
15:00     Hamburg Dammtor
16:00     Laeiszhalle and Hamburger Symphony (Martin Haller, 1904-1908)
18:00     Grindelhochhäuser, Hamburg

Day 3, Wednesday, June 22: Hamburger Commerce and the Sea
09:00     Afrikahaus (Martin Haller, 1899) and Chilehaus (Fritz Höger, 1922-24)
09:30     Speicherstadt
10:00     Elbphilharmonie and Hafencity
12:00     Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg (Local: North German, Danish) / Meeting
14:30     Deichtorhallen
16:30     BallinStadt
Presentation: Albert Ballin and the Hamburg-America Line

Day 4, Thursday, June 23: Religious Toleration and Intoleration: Sankt Pauli and Altona
10:00     Hamburger Kunsthalle (permanent collection, Manet exhibition)
14:30     Sankt Michaelis
Presentation: Lutheranism in Hamburg and North Germany and Johannes Bugenhagen
15:30     Sankt Pauli Landungsbrücken
16:00     Bismarck-Denkmal
17:00     Jüdischer Friedhof Altona
Presentation: History of the Jewish communites in Altona
18:00     Platz der Republik and Altonaer Rathaus

Day 5, Friday, June 24: Lübeck: the Queen of the Hansa
11:30     Salzspeicher and Holstentor
12:30     Europäisches Hansemuseum
Presentation: The economic and political system of the Hansa cities and their competition with Denmark
15:30     Sankt Marien in Lübeck

Day 6, Saturday, June 25: Lübeck, Santiago and Jerusalem
10:00     Buddenbrookhaus
13:00     Heiligen Geist Hospital
13:30     Sankt Jakobi and Kreuzweg
Presentation: The Kreuzweg of Sankt Jakobi and Jerusalem Translations

Day 7, Sunday, June 26: Dannevirke and Schleswig
10:00     Gästehaus der Landesregierung, Kiel
13:00     Dannevirke Archeological Park
14:00     Wikinger Museum Haithabu
15:30     Schloss Gottorf
Presentation: The geo-political background of the Second Schleswig War
Presentation: The Second Schleswig War, its aftermath and the Austro-Prussian War

19:00     Walk through Schleswig

Day 8, Monday, June 27: From Germany to Denmark
09:30     Schloss Glücksburg
10:30     Marineschule Mürwik
Presentation: The Imperial German navy from the 1890's till World War I
13:30     Frøslev Camp Museum
Presentation: The German occupation of Denmark during World War II
16:30     Jelling
Evening in Fredericia

Day 9, Tuesday, June 28: From the Jutland to Copenhagen
12:00     Kronborg Slot
14:00     Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Day 10, Wednesday, June 29: Free day in Copenhagen

Day 11, Thursday, June 30: Copenhagen
10:00     Christiansborg Slot
12:00     Børsen
12:30     Københavns Rådhus
13:00     Sankt Petri Kirke
Presentation: The 1920 plebiscite in Schleswig and the German minority in Denmark
14:30     Statens Museum for Kunst
16:30     Frederiksstaden

Day 12, Friday, July 1: Flight