In Denmark, there is only one national minority - the German. It became such after a plebiscite held in 1920 in accordance with the Versailles Peace Treaty, which resulted in the German Northern Schleswig entered the Kingdom of Denmark. 35 years after that, the Bonn-Copenhagen Agreement was signed, regulating the relations of the majority and minority of the population in the border areas of Denmark and Germany.
Life on the border pushes the local population to compare - like they, like us. So, they, in the border German Flensburg, solved one issue, which in Denmark causes great discussions, which was also discussed at the German Day in Tinglef - the traditional meeting of the Germans in Denmark.
At the beginning of 2015, the Union of the Germans of North Schleswig adopted a language strategy until 2020. Among other things, it speaks of the installation of bilingual signposts with city names: “Since 2008, Flensburg / Flensborg have been displaying bilingual signposts in Flensburg. They are an indication that there is a Danish minority in Flensburg, as well as evidence of tolerance and openness. There are such plaques with the names of settlements in the whole of Europe, but not in Denmark. ”
The Germans of Denmark want the signs to appear at least in the large cities where the German minority lives. The mayors of these cities rejected the idea, but one, in Haderslev (Hadersleben), set a pointer with the name of the city in German, to see if it would notice, and what the reaction would be. We noticed right away, a few days later the reaction became clear: the vandals pulled him out of the ground and took him away. Later, a group of artists held a rally - a German was added to the Danish name on indexes from Haderslev. And the German Union of North Schleswig printed labels with bilingual names, and many placed them on their cars. Including the mayor Haderslev.
In a separate paragraph of the language strategy, the following was identified: the installation of the Knivsbjerg / Knivsberg road sign on the autobahn. Knivsberg is the cultural and historical center of the German minority in Denmark. Since 1894, it has been the meeting place of the German inhabitants of North Schleswig and the annual folk festivals of Knivesberg. In 1901, the monument to the first Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was consecrated here - the highest in the German Empire: a 7-meter statue of Bismarck was located in a 47-meter-high niche of the tower. In 1919, the statue was removed (the tower remained), because after the First World War it was already clear that North Schleswig could move to Denmark. The statue stands in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, and the tower in August 1945, three months after the end of the German occupation of Denmark, local resistance fighters blew up. Only a decade later, after the Bonn-Copenhagen Accords of 1955, the ruins were cleared and a memorial wall was erected from granite stones of the pedestal tower. In 1962, there was a memorial to the fallen in two world wars. Since 1990, some names from the commemorative tablets were removed, because in the course of new research it became clear that their owners were convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Now Kniesvsberg holds educational courses, lectures, concerts. At the time of his visit in November by a group of Russian Germans there, for example, a group of young people from Germany attended the construction seminar, including the children of late immigrants. And an important turn of history: Knivsberg, traditionally considered to be the place of the German minority, has become a center of mutual understanding among nations - now the Danes are coming here too.