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Section XII.—Schleswig (Art. 109 to 114)

Article 109.

The frontier between Germany and Denmark shall be fixed in conformity with the wishes of the population.

For this purpose, the population inhabiting the territories of the former German Empire situated to the north of a line, from East to West (shown by a brown line on the map No. 4, annexed to the present Treaty [Not reproduced.]):

leaving the Baltic Sea about 13 kilometres east-north-east of Flensburg,

running

south-west so as to pass south-east of: Sygum, Ringsberg, Munkbrarup, Adelby, Tastrup, Jarplund, Oversee, and north-west of: [Page 263]Langballigholz, Langballig, Bönstrup, Rüllschau, Weseby, Kleinwolstrup, Gross-Solt,

thence westwards passing south of Frörup and north of Wanderup,

thence in a south-westerly direction passing south-east of Oxlund, Stieglund and Ostenau and north-west of the villages on the Wanderup-Kollund road,

thence in a north-westerly direction passing south-west of Löwenstedt, Joldelund, Goldelund, and north-east of Kolkerheide and Högel to the bend of the Soholmer Au, about 1 kilometre east of Soholm, where it meets the southern boundary of the Kreis of Tondern,

following this boundary to the North Sea,

passing south of the islands of Fohr and Amrum and north of the islands of Oland and Langeness,

shall be called upon to pronounce by a vote which will be taken under the following conditions:

Text of May 7:

For this purpose, the population inhabiting the territories of the former German Empire situated to the north of a line, from East to West, (shown by a blue line on the map No. 3, annexed to the present Treaty):

starting in the Schleimünde south of Lootsen Island and following the course of the Schlei upstream,

then leaving the Schlei and turning south-west so as to pass south-east of Schleswig, Haddeby and Busdorf and north-west of Fahrdorf, and to meet the Reider Au north-west of Jagel,

following the course of the Reider Au and then the course of the river Treene to a point north-east of Friedrichstadt,

turning south to meet the river Eider passing east of Friedrichstadt,

thence the course of the Eider to the North Sea,

shall be called upon to pronounce by a vote which will be taken under the following conditions:

(1) Within a period not exceeding ten days from the coming into force of the present Treaty, the German troops and authorities (including the Oberpräsidenten, Regierungs-präsidenten, Landräthe, Amtsvorsteher, Oberbürgermeister) shall evacuate the zone lying to the north of the line above fixed.

Within the same period the Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Councils which have been constituted in this zone shall be dissolved; members of such Councils who are natives of another region and are exercising [Page 264]their functions at the date of the coming into force of the present Treaty, or who have gone out of office since March 1, 1919, shall also be evacuated.

The said zone shall immediately be placed under the authority of an International Commission, composed of five members, of whom three will be designated by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers; the Norwegian and Swedish Governments will each be requested to designate a member; in the event of their failing to do so, these two members will be chosen by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers.

The Commission, assisted in case of need by the necessary forces, shall have general powers of administration. In particular, it shall at once provide for filling the places of the evacuated German authorities, and if necessary shall itself give orders for their evacuation, and proceed to fill the places of such local authorities as may be required. It shall take all steps which it thinks proper to ensure the freedom, fairness, and secrecy of the vote. It shall be assisted by German and Danish technical advisers chosen by it from among the local population. Its decisions will be taken by a majority.

One half of the expenses of the Commission and of the expenditure occasioned by the plebiscite shall be paid by Germany.

(2) The right to vote shall be given to all persons, without distinction of sex, who:

(a)
Have completed their twentieth year at the date of the coming into force of the present Treaty; and
(b)
Were born in the zone in which the plebiscite is taken, or have been domiciled there since a date before January 1, 1900, or had been expelled by the German authorities without having retained their domicile there.

Every person will vote in the commune (Gemeinde) where he is domiciled or of which he is a native.

Military persons, officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the German army, who are natives of the zone of Schleswig in which the plebiscite is taken, shall be given the opportunity to return to their native place in order to take part in the voting there.

(3) In the section of the evacuated zone lying to the north of a line, from East to West (shown by a red line on map No. 4 which is annexed to the present Treaty):

passing south of the island of Alsen and following the median line of Flensburg Fjord,

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leaving the fjord about 6 kilometres north of Flensburg and following the course of the stream flowing past Kupfermühle upstream to a point north of Niehuus,

passing north of Pattburg and Ellund and south of Fröslee to meet the eastern boundary of the Kreis of Tondern at its junction with the boundary between the old jurisdictions of Slogs and Kjӕr (Slogs Herred and Kjaer Herred),

following the latter boundary to where it meets the Scheidebek,

following the course of the Scheidebek (Alte Au), Süder Au and Wied Au downstream successively to the point where the latter bends northwards about 1,500 metres west of Ruttebüll,

thence, in a west-north-westerly direction to meet the North Sea north of Sieltoft,

thence, passing north of the island of Sylt,

the vote above provided for shall be taken within a period not exceeding three weeks after the evacuation of the country by the German troops and authorities.

The result will be determined by the majority of votes cast in the whole of this section. This result will be immediately communicated by the Commission to the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and proclaimed.

If the vote results in favour of the reincorporation of this territory in the Kingdom of Denmark, the Danish Government in agreement with the Commission will be entitled to effect its occupation with their military and administrative authorities immediately after the proclamation.

(4) In the section of the evacuated zone situated to the south of the preceding section and to the north of the line which starts from the Baltic Sea 13 kilometres from Flensburg and ends north of the islands of Oland and Langeness, the vote will be taken within a period not exceeding five weeks after the plebiscite shall have been held in the first section.

The result will be determined by communes (Gemeinden), in accordance with the majority of the votes cast in each commune (Gemeinde).

Text of May 7:

4. In the section of the evacuated zone situated to the south of the preceding section and lying to the north of a line from East to West (shown by a brown line on Map No. 3, annexed to the present Treaty):

leaving the Baltic coast about 13 kilometres east-north-east of Flensburg,

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running

south-west so as to pass south-east of: Sygum, Ringsberg, Munkbrarup, Adelby, Tastrup, Jarplund, Oversee, and north-west of: Langballigholz, Langballig, Bönstrup, Rüllschau, Weseby, Kleinwolstrup, Gross-Solt,

thence westwards passing south of Frörup and north of Wanderup,

thence in a south-westerly direction passing south-east of Oxlund, Stieglund and Ostenau and north-west of the villages on the Wanderup-Kollund road;

thence, in a north-westerly direction passing south-west of Löwenstedt, Joldelund, Goldelund and north-east of Kolkerheide and Högel to the bend of the Soholmer Au, about 1 kilometre east of Soholm where it meets the southern boundary of the Kreis of Tondern,

thence, following this boundary to the North Sea,

thence, passing south of the islands of Fohr and Amrum and north of the islands of Oland and Langeness,

the vote will be taken within a period not exceeding five weeks after the plebiscite has been held in the preceding section.

The result will be determined by communes (Gemeinden), according to the majority of the votes cast in each commune (Gemeinde).

5. In the section of the evacuated zone situated to the south of the preceding section and to the north of the line which starts from the mouth of the Schlei (Sli) and ends at the mouth of the Eider, the vote will be taken within a period not exceeding two weeks after the plebiscite shall have been held in the second section.

The result will likewise be determined by communes (Gemeinden), in accordance with the majority of the votes cast in each commune (Gemeinde).

Note to III, 109

The German delegation agreed to the holding of a plebiscite, although this had not been mentioned by President Wilson; it objected, however, to the delimitation of territory proposed and made counterproposals for a smaller area, as well as asking that German officials should continue to function, under the orders of a nonpartisan commission (Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, vi, 840).

The Allied reply pointed out that Prussia had evaded holding the plebiscite promised by the treaty of 1866 (ibid., p. 950). At the request of the Danish Government, the area of the plebiscite had been reduced (Denmark renounced any interest in the third zone). The presence of Norwegian and Swedish representatives on the international commission would insure an impartial plebiscite.

The plebiscites called for by this article were carried out in accordance with the terms of the section. The International Plebiscite Commission for Schleswig issued a proclamation taking over the [Page 267]plebiscite area on January 10, 1920, the date of the entry of the treaty into force, and at the same time published its regulations, orders, and instructions.

The plebiscite in the northern zone was held on February 10, 1920. The vote was 75,431 for Denmark and 25,328 for Germany, confirming the Danish statement during the peace conference that the area was occupied by Danes.

Zone two, which lay to the south, went to Germany in the voting held on March 14, as a representative of the Danish Government at Paris had predicted, the result of the plebiscite being 12,800 in favor of Denmark and 51,724 in favor of Germany.

The international commission rendered its report on April 16, 1920, indicating the line that should constitute the new frontier, which followed the southern boundary of the northern zone.

A treaty concerning the settlement of questions arising out of the transfer to Denmark of the sovereignty over North Slesvig, signed at Copenhagen April 10, 1922 brought into force on June 7, 1922 (10 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 73, English at p. 187) agreements to the number of 18. As the totality of such agreements gives a typical conspectus of the details involved in transfer of territory, their titles are listed:

1.
Agreement regarding the maintenance of the frontier line between the two countries and the upkeep of the frontier marks.
2.
Agreement regarding the use and maintenance of the crossings over the German-Danish frontier.
3.
Agreement for the settlement of questions relating to water courses and dikes on the German-Danish frontier, together with a final protocol and instructions for the Frontier Water Commission and the Supreme Frontier Water Commission.
4.
Agreement regarding fisheries and reed-cutting in the Rudebol Lake and the Videa River; and regarding the cutting of hay and bulrushes in the Gotteskoog, together with final protocol.
5.
Agreement regarding the future use of the Bov and Handewitt cemeteries.
6.
Agreement regarding immunity from taxation in respect of sales of landed property in the frontier zone.
7.
Agreement regarding the regulation of navigation in German-Danish frontier waters.
8.
Agreement regarding pilotage in the Flensburg Fjord.
9.
Agreement regarding common fishery rights in the Flensburg Fjord.
10.
Agreement regarding fisheries on the Breitgrund, with final protocol.
11.
Agreement regarding the carrying out of articles 112 and 113 of the Treaty of Versailles, with final protocol.
12.
Agreement regarding provision for the welfare of military pensioners, with final protocol.
13.
Agreement for the settlement of questions connected with taxation, with final protocol.
14.
Agreement regarding the carrying out of article 312 of the Treaty of Versailles, with final protocol.
15.
Agreement regarding the cession to Denmark of state rent-rights, etc., in North Slesvig, with final protocol.
16.
Agreement regarding the transfer of land registration documents.
17.
Agreement regarding the handing over of administrative archives.
18.
Notes, exchanged on July 12, 1921, regarding the appointment of a commission to divide and allot the property and debts, etc., of statutory public bodies whose land has been intersected by the new frontier.

In addition there were the following four agreements:

  • Agreement on passports for inhabitants of the frontier zone, October 23, 1920, and supplementary agreement, July 12, 1921 (26 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 152).
  • Agreement regarding minor frontier traffic, October 23, 1920, and supplementary agreement, July 12, 1921 (26 ibid., p. 152).
  • Agreement regarding the regulation of the grazing traffic on the German-Danish frontier, April 10, 1922 (29 ibid., p. 9).
  • Agreement regarding the transfer of the administration of justice in the territories of Northern Slesvig, Copenhagen, July 12, 1921, in force January 31, 1922 (8 ibid., p. 397).

Article 110.

Pending a delimitation on the spot, a frontier line will be fixed by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers according to a line based on the result of the voting, and proposed by the International [Page 269]Commission, and taking into account the particular geographical and economic conditions of the localities in question.

From that time the Danish Government may effect the occupation of these territories with the Danish civil and military authorities, and the German Government may reinstate up to the said frontier line the German civil and military authorities whom it has evacuated.

Germany hereby renounces definitively in favour of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers all rights of sovereignty over the territories situated to the north of the frontier line fixed in accordance with the above provisions. The Principal Allied and Associated Powers will hand over the said territories to Denmark.

Text of May 7:

Pending a delimitation on the spot, a frontier line will be fixed by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers according to a line based on the result of the voting, and proposed by the International Commission, and taking into account the particular geographical and economic conditions of the localities in question.

From that time the Danish Government may effect the occupation of these territories with the Danish civil and military authorities, and the German Government may reinstate up to the said frontier line the German civil and military authorities whom it has evacuated.

Germany hereby renounces definitively in favour of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers all rights of sovereignty over the territories situated to the north of the frontier line fixed in accordance with the above provisions. The Principal Allied and Associated Powers will hand over the said territories to Denmark.

Note to III, 110

This renunciation by Germany in favor of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers placed upon them the responsibility for fixing the frontier line resulting from the plebiscite, which was notified to Germany and Denmark on June 15, 1920. There remained to be effected the transfer by them to Denmark of the delimited territory. A treaty between the British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan and Denmark was signed at Paris on July 5, 1920 and brought the transfer and the frontier as there defined into effect on December 15, 1920 (2 League of Nations Treaty Series, p. 241). The territories assigned to Denmark were declared to “remain henceforth inalienable except with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations”. The United States, on ratifying the Treaty of Versailles, was “ipso facto entitled to adhere to the present treaty”; but see opening note to part III, above.

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Article 111.

A Commission composed of seven members, five of whom shall be nominated by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, one by Denmark, and one by Germany, shall be constituted within fifteen days from the date when the final result of the vote is known, to trace the frontier line on the spot.

The decisions of the Commission will be taken by a majority of votes and shall be binding on the parties concerned.

Text of May 7:

A Commission composed of seven members, five of whom shall be nominated by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers, one by Denmark, and one by Germany shall be constituted within fifteen days from the date when the final result of the vote is known, to trace the frontier line on the spot.

The decisions of the Commission will be taken by a majority of votes and shall be binding on the parties concerned.

Article 112.

All the inhabitants of the territory which is returned to Denmark will acquire Danish nationality ipso facto, and will lose their German nationality.

Persons, however, who had become habitually resident in this territory after October 1, 1918, will not be able to acquire Danish nationality without permission from the Danish Government.

Article 113.

Within two years from the date on which the sovereignty over the whole or part of the territory of Schleswig subjected to the plebiscite is restored to Denmark:

Any person over 18 years of age, born in the territory restored to Denmark, not habitually resident in this region, and possessing German nationality, will be entitled to opt for Denmark;

Any person over 18 years of age habitually resident in the territory restored to Denmark will be entitled to opt for Germany.

Option by a husband will cover his wife and option by parents will cover their children less than 18 years of age.

Persons who have exercised the above right to opt must within the ensuing twelve months transfer their place of residence to the State in favour of which they have opted.

They will be entitled to retain the immovable property which they own in the territory of the other State in which they were [Page 271]habitually resident before opting. They may carry with them their movable property of every description. No export or import duties may be imposed upon them in connection with the removal of such property.

Note to III, 112–113

For the agreements of April 10, 1922 carrying out articles 112 and 113, see 10 League of Nations Treaty Series, pp. 259, 267 (English).

Denmark took pride in the standards of treatment established for German-speaking nationals. The Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs published in 1924, 1929, and 1936 editions of the following brochure: The German Minority in South Jutland: A Summary of the Danish Legislation.

Article 114.

The proportion and nature of the financial or other obligations of Germany and Prussia which are to be assumed by Denmark will be fixed in accordance with Article 254 of Part IX (Financial Clauses) of the present Treaty.

Further stipulations will determine any other questions arising out of the transfer to Denmark of the whole or part of the territory of which she was deprived by the Treaty of October 30, 1864.

Note to III, 114

Denmark assumed 2,000,000 gold marks of the German imperial and state debts.

Public property transferred and paid for by Denmark to the Reparation Commission to the credit of Germany was appraised at 63,000,000 gold marks. The payments were promptly made by Denmark.

The treaty of October 30, 1864 (54 British and Foreign State Papers, p. 522) was concluded at Vienna between Austria, Denmark, and Prussia and provided for the cession of Schleswig-Holstein to Austria and Prussia.