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Gendarmes and the Reunification in Gelsbro

The king, Christian X, visited the now former border crossing at Gelsbro to mark the Reunification. 


Skallebæk Mølle,former customs station, Haderslevvej 148. Foto: Charlotte Lindhardt.

All instances in which neglected duties were detected and punished along the Kongeå River Border, between 1864 and 1919, were noted in the border gendarmerie’s criminal register. The gendarmes from the customs offices in Gelsbro and Skallebæk-Varming were no exception, and here the most frequent offence consisted of drunkenness.

For the most part, punishment consisted of a few days in dark and solitary confinement in Ribe - with or without a reduction in rations.

The referendum 10th February 1920

Both Danish-minded and German-minded parties agitated for their country of preference right up until referendum day.

In the parishes of Spandet and Gram near Gelsbro, 95 % of local inhabitants voted in favour of Danish affiliation.

Dänische Agitationsplakate vor der Abstimmung in 1920. Quelle: Spandet Sognearkiv.
Danish agitation posters from the referendum day.


The referendum took place over the course of two days. In Zone 1, where a Danish majority was expected, the referendum took place on 10 February. Here, 74.9 % voted in favour of Denmark. Zone 2 south of the current border voted on 14 March, with only 24.9 % voting in favour of Danish affiliation.

The king, Christian X, visited the now former border crossing at Gelsbro to mark the Reunification.

Da Christian 10. kom til Gelsbro ved Genforeningen i 1920, blev han mødt af en æresprt. Kilde: Historisk Arkiv i Seem Sogn.
When Christian 10. came to Gelsbro at the reunification in 1920, he was received with an honorary forte. Source: Historical archive in Seem Parish.

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