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The German Customs Office in Gelsbro

The German customs office was established at Ribe Landevej 34 in 1865. 

On 15 September 1867, Gjelsbro Zollamt, as it was called, was upgraded to a Nebenzollamt I (i.e. Border Duties Collection Office), from which all goods could be exported, and belonged under the Hauptzollamt (head customs office) in Haderslev. As of 1 August 1875, Gjelsbro Zollamt found itself downgraded to a Nebenzollamt II (i.e. Border Customs checkpoint).

In 1874, the German Authorities built a large brick building with space for overnight travellers. While the building still exists, it has undergone massive renovations.

In 1877, there was an outbreak of rinderpest in Germany, and in1892 a cholera epidemic broke out in Hamburg. A disinfection hut in which animals were subjected to steam baths was erected on both occasions.

Escape across the border

During WWI, escape attempts also took place across the border at Gelsbro.

In 1915, Hans Peter Hansen from Tiset and his fiancée were successful in reaching the other side, settling in Seem after the war.

Peter Madsen, likewise from Tiset, was not so lucky. He failed to make it across and was sentenced to five years in jail for attempting to escape.