Schleswig-Holstein Historical Geography

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Historical Geography
  • In the second half of the 7th century the Slavs arrived in East Holstein. They were the Wagrier and the Polaben, who pushed forward to the Kiel Fjord and down to the river Elbe. They built castles (the first one in Oldenburg) and settled around them. Wikipedia:Wagrien
  • During the first half of the 8th century, the Jüten (Danish tribe) started to settle areas around the river Schlei (Haithabu). The Jüten continued to spread over the next centuries. Wikipedia:Hedeby
  • North Friesland was settled by Frisians from Friesland starting in the 8th century with Eiderstedt. In the 11th century they made the marshes accessible. Wikipedia:Frisians
  • In Holstein the three Saxon tribes Holsten, Dithmarscher and Stormaren established their settlements. All these different races were separated from each other by either natural borders, such as rivers, fjords or landscapes (Limes Saxoniea) or by manmade borders, such as the Danewerk which was to protect against the Germans. JRank
  • In the early 8th century Holstein became part of Charlemagne's empire. The Danes reigned north of the Eider, the Franken south of the river. The close connection of the Holsten, Dithmarscher and Stormaren with the Franken was replaced in the 10th century by Saxon margraves and dukes. With new leadership colonists from all over Germany and the Netherlands were invited to settle in Holstein. The Holsten themselves had first pickings and moved eastwards to push aside the Slavs inasmuch as they did not want to comply with agricultural methods the Holsteiners brought with them. The Slavs were compelled to intergrate. Source: Historischer Atlas Schleswig-Holstein. Vom Mittelalter bis 1867. Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster 2004
  • In 1865, the German Confederation, led by Prussia and Austria, defeated the Danes in the Second War of Schleswig. Prussia and Austria then assumed administration of Schleswig and Holstein respectively.
  • However, tensions between the two powers culminated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. The victorious Prussians annexed both Schleswig and Holstein, creating the province of Schleswig-Holstein in 1867.
  • It also included the Duchy of Lauenburg  in the extreme southeast region of what is now Schleswig-Holstein from 1876 onward.
  • During the decades of Prussian rule within the German Empire, authorities attempted a Germanization policy in the northern part of Schleswig, which remained predominantly Danish.
  • In 1937, the Free City of Lübeck became part of the current state of Schleswig-Holstein.
  • On 15 June 1920, Northern Schleswig officially returned to Danish rule after a vote by its citizens.
  • After World War II, the Prussian province Schleswig-Holstein came under British occupation. On 23 August 1946, the military government abolished the province and reconstituted it as a separate state. Wikipedia

Geographical Changes to Schleswig-Holstein[edit | edit source]

Modern Schleswig-Holstein

Schleswig-Holstein modern map.png For a larger map, click here.

Kreise (Counties) of Modern Schleswig-Holstein

Kreise Schleswig-Holstein.svg.png

Lost Areas[edit | edit source]

From the province of Schleswig-Holstein, these areas were annexed to Hamburg in 1937-8

  • The municipality of Altona
  • The district of Wandsbek
  • From the district of Stormarn the municipalities Bergstedt, Billstedt, Bramfeld, Duvenstedt, Hummelsbüttel, Lemsahl-Mellingstedt, Lohbrügge, Poppenbüttel, Rahlstedt, Sasel, Steilshoop and Wellingsbüttel
  • From the district Pinneberg the municipality Lokstedt with Niendorf and Schnelsen
  • From the administrative district Herzogtum Lauenburg the place Kurslack in the Achterschlag of the municipality Börnsen
  • (The northern part of Schleswig became part of Denmark.)

Areas Now in Denmark, By Kreis[edit | edit source]

History of Schleswig-Holstein in the German Empire
Geo-Political Differences Today
FamilySearch Catalog
(organized by 1871 Meyer's Gazetteer)
Wiki Pages


Preussen, Schleswig-Holstein

Hamburg, officially the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

1937-38: Exchanges of several small areas with Schleswig-Holstein (List and Map)
1987-8: the city Geesthacht, and the municipalities of Großhansdorf and Schmalenbeck merged to Schleswig-Holstein



1937: Became part of the current state of Schleswig-Holstein (Map)


Village Histories[edit | edit source]

Here is a link to village chronicles: Local chronicles from the holdings of the Schleswig-Holstein State Library