A History of Dithmarschen

As all the Schladetsch’s in this family tree originated from one locality in Dithmarschen, Schleswig-Hostein, Germany  a brief introduction to its rich history is important to set a bit of a background.
From earliest times the Germanic people were initially organized around tribal groups or clans, and well known ones that colonised other lands such as England include the Jutes, Angles, and Saxons.  These evolved into small kingdoms, or duchies, each one fiercely independent, although they were often also used as pawns by Kings of larger more powerful nations as history progressed. 
In the 15th century the Dithmarsians confederated in a peasants' republic. Several times nobles and their mercenaries tried without success to subdue the independent ministate. In 1500 the greatest of these battles took place at Hemmingstedt, where the outnumbered peasants defeated the army of Holstein and the Kalmar Union. It was not until 1559 and the "last feud" between the King of Denmark and the Dithmarschers that the peasants were forced to give up their autonomy by the successful invasion of Count Johan Rantzau from Steinburg, one of the best strategists of the time. Since then the coat of arms of Dithmarschen has shown a warrior on horseback, representing a knight of Rantzau. This knight has been identified with St. Georg, the patron of Dithmarschen.

The conquerors — King Frederick II, Duke Adolf, and Duke Johann II — divided Dithmarschen into two parts: the south became a part of Holstein in personal union with Denmark while the north came into the possession of the other Duke of Holstein. From 1773 all of Holstein was united in personal union with Denmark and remained so until 1864, when Schleswig and Holstein were annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia and subsequently made the Province of Schleswig-Holstein.

The Middle Ages in Dithmarschen are held to have continued into the 19th century, when the Kiel Canal was completed, fens began to be drained, and agricultural reforms took place. Within the Bundesland Schleswig-Holstein, the area was divided into the districts of Norderdithmarschen (North Dithmarschen) and Süderdithmarschen (South Dithmarschen) before it was united in 1970 as the district of Dithmarschen.
The people of Dithmarschen retained their own language, called Old German, and held their own traditions.


Marshland at the Wadden Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein, river of Eider in the north, Meldorf bight in the south, which separates the two parts of Norderdithmarschen and Süderdithmarschen, mainland moraines and dunes in the east, bordered by entity of Kremper Marsch and Wilster Marsch with the Kiel Canal as border line in the south-east and the moraine Geest, dune ridges and bogs in the east
Location - map:
Marshes of county of Dithmarschen, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Origin of name:
The name is derived from the Saxonian name Thiatmaresgaho from around 800, which can be rendered as ‘land of the large bogs/waters’.
Relationship/similarities with other cultural entities:
Structures of wetland colonisation like Kremper and Wister Marsch and the Netherlands.
Characteristic elements and ensembles:
Rows of medieval dwelling mounds with adjacent elongated strips of land, intersected by parallel drainage ditches (Marschhufendöfer), irregular, medieval dike lines with dike mounds and canals

No comments:

Post a Comment