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(circa) Saxo Grammaticus, in Gesta Danorum, says that the Danish King Frode raised a
huge united army from many conquered lands and defeated a king of
As Western Europe was threatened by the Huns
(A.D. 406~436 - their most famous king was called
Attila) and the Roman Empire wasn't capable of holding its
position on the British islands any more, the
Angles were (according to The
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) asked to come and participate in the
war against the Picts. The Angles are believed to have lived
somewhere in the area of Southern Jutland and the estuary of river
Elbe, or maybe further north on Jutland.
The Jutes, the Saxons and more Angles participate in
the war on Britain. Soon the Britons are fought by the
The first Danish king known from contemporary
sources is killed during a military attack against the Frankish
Empire. Name: Huglik [or Chocillaicus in Gregor of Tours'
(circa) Danevirke is founded.
Charlemagne begins the Frankish expansion to the
North. The deep woods of Holstein do however protect the Danes
for several decades yet.
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Viking longships were superior in battles
Viking Age Danes raid e.g England, France
and Spain. The beginning of the Viking era is by convention dated
to the raid at Northumbria A.D. 793
(referred to in The
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that too, although the same source says
that the first ships of the Danish men that sought the land of the
English nation came A.D. 787).
(circa) The Danes defeat Slavic tribes.
During the war the market at Haithabu is abandoned to the
Slavic Vends. Haithabu /Hedeby/ is situated at the very
same bay as the later town Schleswig /Slesvig, on the
narrowest part of south Jutland, the short-cut between the Baltic
Sea and the North Sea.
As Charlemagne extended his realm in the late
8th century he came to meet a united Danish army which successfully
defended Danevirke. A Danish-Frankish border was established at the
River Eider A.D. 811. Haithabu is regained.
Frankish sources, for instance Annales regni
Francorum against the year 811, gives a rather good picture of
the Danish realm. Godfred, or perhaps a predecessor, seems to have
brought the lands of the South- and North Danes together shortly
before 800. And to end the war between the Franks and the Danes a
hostage was sent to Charlemagne in Aachen. That Danish hostages
came from Southern Jutland, Zealand and Scania ("Osfrid de
Sconaowe"). Probably also southern Norway was held by the kings of
Denmark of that time.
Hamburg is raided and burned by Danish Vikings.
As a consequence Arch-bishop Ansgar moves the Cathedral to
The Danes get control of northern and eastern
A separate kingdom of Haithabu was
established by the Viking chieftain Olaf from Svealand.
Olaf's son Gnupa was however killed in battle (against the Danish
King Hardeknud?), and his kingdom vanished. King Gorm is said to
have regained Haithabu A.D. 935.
(circa) Rollo, a Danish Viking chieftain, is granted Normandy
as a Duchy by the Frankish king Charles the Simple.
A bishopric is established in Slesvig.
Harald Gormsson (a.k.a. "Black-tooth")
unites Denmark and Norway as a single kingdom. Scania, Jutland
and the islands in-between had been ruled by the same king now and
then, for instance under King Godfred in the early 800s, but first
with the Christianization of kings and magnates the kingdom of
Denmark seems to have become a stabile entity. [ See also
the web-site at the Royal Danish Embassy, Washington D.C. <http://www.denmarkemb.org/viking94.htm> ]
Lars Hemmingsen writes:
Harald boasts at the rune stone in Jellinge that he has won
"all of Denmark" - but what this really means is unclear:
There are some circumstantial evidence that Gorm lost Scania and
Norway, as well as his life, in 958 and that what Harald
accomplished was merely a re-conquest. But the standard explanation
is that Harald held the lands from the beginning and that what he won
of Denmark was merely the area around Haithabu, A.D. 983,
which he had first lost to Emperor Otto II.
Harald Gormsson (a.k.a. "Blåtand"
- Black-Tooth) baptized.
Southern Jutland (Sønderjylland) is an
integrated part of the Danish realm.
The King Svend Tveskæg ("Double-beard" or "Fork-beard") conquers
England, which remains in Danish control until the year 1042.
Knud den Store (Canute the Great) ruled over a
vast kingdom that included present-day Denmark, England, Norway
and southern Sweden, and during his reign Christianity became
widespread. After his death, the empire disintegrated.
Bishopric in Roskilde
King Svend Estridsen lets build a stone church for
the bishop Egino in Dalby, close to Lund. (This church is the
oldest remaining stone church on the Scandinavian peninsula.)
This year the Church was re-organized with new bishoprics also
in: Lund, Aarhus, Borglum, Ribe and Odense.
After King Svend Estridsen's death Denmark is from
time to time split between his sons. The Thing in Scania supports
Knud ("the Holy") against whom the Jutes revolt in 1086 and
King Knud is murdered.
The Bishop in Bremen and the Bishop in Canterbury
have fought over dominance of Denmark, and as a move in this
complicated struggle, rich funds are donated by the king for a
cathedral in Lund. The cathedral school is opened in 1086.
The school has been in function ever since.
With the first arch-bishop of Lund, Scandinavia was
made a separate church province, no longer belonging to
Denmark seems to divide itself in pieces.
Scania, Zealand and Jutland can't agree on choosing the same king
and Civil War follows, in which King Valdemar the Great comes out
on top in 1157.
The Lund cathedral is opened. (The church in Dalby
had lost the competition for cathedral status.)
Copenhagen (Havn) is founded.
The Vendic castle Arkona on the island Rügen is
captured by King Valdemar the Great.
Saxo writes the history of Scandinavia.
King Valdemar II Sejr conquers Holstein
with the town of Hamburg,which soon enough is re-captured by a
united German army. He also conquers Pomerania, and Mecklenburg, and
reestablishes the nation as a great power in northern Europe.
Soon, however, a civil war between the nobles and the king vying
for control of the country erupted.
The Scanian Law is written down. 50 years
later it's also transcribed to runes.
King Valdemar II Sejr conquers northern Estonia.
According to the legend, the Danish flag "Dannebrogen"
fell down from the sky during this mission.
[ The Dannebrog is the oldest flag in the world
still in use. All Nordic flags except the Greenland flag are
variations of the Dannebrog. ]
Denmark's southern border had since long been
guarded by troops under command of an Earl (Jarl),
later Duke, in Schleswig /Slesvig in Sønderjylland. The
Duchy had become also a means of providing for the expenses of
younger royal princes. As the Hansa and the German Empire
expanded, the Counts of Holstein, the Duke of Slesvig and the
Hansa found a common enemy in the king of Denmark. The result was
a long row of wars where the Dukes strived for independence from
the Danish Crown.
At the same time also the Arch-bishop in Lund strived for
supremacy over the secular king, or at least for
independence, and the nobility demanded the realm to be governed
by a Senate (Danehof).
King Christoffer II was forced to make major
concessions to the nobles and clergy at the expense of royal power,
which was also diminished by the influence of the German Hanseatic
League. 1326-30 King Christoffer is replaced by an under-age king
with Count Gerhard of Holstein as regent.
The Scanian nobility (alternatively the Thing in Lund) had in the beginning
of the 1330s chosen the young Magnus Eriksson to be king also for
the Scanian provinces, after his
regents had promised to pay Count Johan of Holstein to whom
Scania was pawned. At that time Magnus Eriksson was the under-age
king of both Norway and Sweden.
Due to the expensive but failed wars almost all
rights to taxes and custom fees are given in pawn to the creditors
of the realm (mainly the Counts of Holstein). The Danish Crown has
no incomes to speak of, and no king is appointed.
King Valdemar IV Atterdag succeeded in restoring
After an Estonian uprising, Denmark sells its
possessions in Northern Estonia to the Order of Teutonic
Valdemar IV Atterdag re-conquers Scania.
Valdemar IV Atterdag conquers Gotland.
The five years old Crown Prince Olof of Norway is
elected King of Denmark, with his mother Queen Margrete of Norway
as regent. In 1380 he becomes King of Norway too. The union
between Denmark and Norway will remain until 1814.
To avoid a war on the southern border, and to
regain the rich Slesvig region, Queen Margrete I (the daughter of
Valdemar IV) unites the Danish Duchy of Slesvig with the German
County of Holstein by giving Slesvig as a fief to the Counts of
Holstein. The unity between Slesvig and Holstein has remained ever
since, although the northern part of Slesvig was split of in
Until 1440 the dukes of Slesvig fails to agree with their kings
over the Duchy's duties in the realm.
Margrete, Queen-widow and mother of the late
King Oluf, who had died in 1387, is
acclaimed as "plenipotentiary lady and rightful warden" for Norway
Queen Margrete of Norway and Denmark
unites all the Nordic countries as a single kingdom, the
Kalmar Union, under the under-age Eric of Pomerania,
who is crowned in Kalmar 1397.
Duty on goods through Öresund is introduced by
King Erik of Pomerania. This becomes an important income for the
Danish Crown, and creates heaps of enemies to the State of
The house of Oldenburg (one of the branches of
Counts of Holstein) was established on the throne in the person of
Christian I and has continued to rule Denmark up to the present
King Christian I becomes Duke of the duchies of
Slesvig (1460) and Holstein (1474). Holstein and Slesvig become
twin duchies with peculiar rules for succession. In
1490-1721 both of the duchies are split in two or
more parts, one of which is held by the king of Denmark.
During the late 15th century male serfdom
(vornedskab) was introduced on the islands.
The Kalmar Union is dissolved as the Swedes
revolt after the "Stockholm bloodbath" performed by King Christian
II of Denmark. Denmark and Norway remain united, however.
After the death of King Frederik I, the Civil
"War of the Counts" (Grevefejden) between the rivals to
throne follows. The parties struggled mainly over two issues: for
or against Hanseatic influence and for or against a national
Lutheran State Church. After 1536 the Hansa's dominance in
Denmark's domestic politics was broken. Frederik's Lutheran son
becomes King Christian III.
Reformation. Denmark becomes Lutheran.
Denmark-Norway has to cede Gotland, Jämtland, Ösel
and Härjedal to Sweden in the Brömsebro peace after King Christian
IV had intervened in the Thirty Years' War. Halland is ceded for
In the peace treaty of Roskilde, Denmark-Norway
cedes Skåne, Halland, Blekinge, Bohuslän, and Trøndelag
(i.e. the district of Trondheim) to Sweden after a failed war
against Sweden declared by King Frederik III the year
After the peace treaty Sweden continues the war and besieges
Copenhagen for two years. However, this results in Trøndelag being
returned to Norway and Bornholm (after an uprising) to
A consequence of the disastrous war was that the monarchy was
made hereditary in 1660, and royal Autocracy
was introduced in 1661. The Autocracy came to last until 1848.
The high aristocracy had lost its influence over the
Religious tolerance Catholics (1671), Jews (1684) and Calvinists (1685) were
granted rights to perform their own worship.
In the "war of Scania" and later in the
"Great Northern War", Denmark tries to conquer back the territory
lost in 1658 but without success, due to pressure from the great
powers of Europe. Sweden's collapse after the Great Northern War
does, however, return Denmark some of its earlier position as a
The serfdom (vornedskab) is first
abolished in 1702 (it was in use only on the islands), then
re-invented for all of Denmark in 1733 under the name of
stavnsbåndet - male peasants below the age of 36
were disallowed to move from the manor without consent of the
landowner. (Less than 5% of the land was owned by peasants.)
All of the Duchy of Slesvig is ruled by the
King of Denmark. In 1773 Denmark formally obtains
the whole of Slesvig in exchange for Oldenburg. The Danish king
also becomes Duke of Holstein (under the German Emperor), initially
only with half of the Duchy, but from 1773 on, Holstein is
Grand reform of farming decided. Villages were
split into separate farms, so farmers came to live closer to their
land, more distant from their neighbors.
Serfdom (stavnsbåndet) is again abolished.
As a consequence land-rent is fixed and paid in money, not in
work, and then most farms are sold to the peasants. In 1815 60% of
the farmers owned their own land, however heavily in debt. The
difference between farm workers and farmers increased. (The farm
workers constituted approximately the half of Denmark's population
The battle of the Roadstead of Copenhagen
(Slaget på Reden). The British force Denmark to retreat from the
Armed Neutral Alliance with Sweden and Russia. Admiral Nelson was in
charge of the part of the British fleet which partook in the
The British under Wellington bombard
Copenhagen, to make Denmark cede its navy. Denmark becomes a
The alliance with Napoleon becomes a disaster
for Denmark: the country goes bankrupt. In the peace treaty of
Kiel, Denmark has to cede Norway to Sweden. Denmark also gets
Swedish Pomerania which is traded with Prussia for
Lauenburg. Iceland, Greenland,
and the Faroe Islands remain with Denmark.
After a Prussian-inspired revolt in
Schleswig-Holstein, the first war of Slesvig ends with status
quo. Denmark still controls the duchies of Slesvig, Holstein, and
King Fredrik VII authorized a new constitution
instituting a representative form of government. In addition, wide
ranging social and educational reforms took place.
Religious freedom was enacted and the Church was declared
independent of the State, although this independence never has
been realized - mainly due to internal conflicts in the
Church - The King (the Queen) has remained the head of Church
who appoints priests, confirms hymnals, etcetera.
Denmark adopts the "November Constitution" which
aims to unite Slesvig (but not Holstein) with the Danish Kingdom
and therefore is a violation of the peace treaty of 1851 in which
Denmark had promised not to separate the two duchies. Due to this,
Prussia and Austria declare war and conquer Slesvig, Holstein, and
Lauenburg in the second war of Slesvig.
Parliamentarism is introduced in Denmark: No government can
rule against the majority of the parliament.
Denmark remains neutral during World War I.
Denmark sells her three Caribbean islands to the
USA for 25 million dollars (the present-day US Virgin
The northern part of /Sønderjylland (the
former duchy of Slesvig) is rejoined with Denmark after a
Great social reforms were instituted, in effect
founding Denmark's modern welfare state.
On April 9th, Germany occupies Denmark despite
Denmark having declared itself neutral; the Danish government
gives up military resistance. However, the Danes retain control of
their government and parliament, which initially remain remarkably
intact regardless of the Nazi occupation.
The relations between the Danish
Government and the occupying German forces worsen rapidly. Most of
the Danish Jews are evacuated to Sweden. Local resistance groups
perform a number of sabotage actions during the war, and the Nazis
retaliate with counter-terror.
Iceland breaks away from union with Denmark and
4-5th of May: The German forces in Denmark
surrender to Britain. The end of World War II ends the German
occupation of Denmark. The German forces on Bornholm refuse to
surrender to the Red Army, and Bornholm has to suffer Soviet
bombardment before the Germans finally surrender a few days
The Faroe Islands are granted autonomy within the
Denmark joins NATO as one of the founding
A new constitution alters the status of Greenland
from colony to a "county" (amt) of Denmark. Parliament
changes from a two-chamber system to a single-chamber system. By
the same constitutional changes, Princess Margrethe becomes heir
to the throne.
The Nordic Council founded.
Denmark joins the European Community (EC) after a
Greenland is granted home rule and starts taking
over some of its internal affairs.
In a referendum Denmark votes "NO" to the
Maastricht treaty (which designs a more federalized European
Union). The "NO" vote shakes the whole European Community.
A new referendum on the Maastricht treaty -
allowing Denmark to opt out on issues such as a common European
currency, citizenship, defense policy, and police - is arranged
and Denmark votes "YES" to that.
Present-day (i.e., Swedish or German) spellings for the
former Danish/Norwegian landscapes and Danish controlled duchies have
Denmark is probably the only country in the world that can produce an
uninterrupted list of monarchs for more than thousand years. So here
Chochilaichus (Hugleik?) mentioned 515
(Angantyr? or Yngvin?) mentioned in the beginning of the 8th century
Sigfred mentioned in the end of the 8th century
Gudfred died around 810, mentioned 804
Harald Klak 812-813
Sons of Gudfred mentioned 813-817
Hårik I (Horik) died 854, mentioned from 827
Hårik II (Horik) 854-around 870
Olav mentioned in the 890's
Gnupa (Chnob) and Gurd mentioned 909-919
Gorm den Gamle died around 940
Harald I Blåtand around 940-around 986
Svend I Tveskæg around 986-1014
Harald II 1014-1018
Knud I den Store 1018-1035
Magnus den Gode 1042-1047
Svend II Estridsen 1047-1074
Harald III Hen 1074-1080
Knud II den Hellige 1080-1086
Oluf I Hunger 1086-1095
Erik I Ejegod 1095-1103
Erik II Emune 1134-1137
Erik III Lam 1137-1146
Oluf II Haraldsen 1140-1143
Svend III Grathe 1146-1157
Knud III 1146-1151 and 1154-1157
Valdemar I den Store 1154-1182
Knud IV (VI) 1182-1202
Valdemar II Sejr 1202-1241
Erik IV Plovpenning 1241-1250
Christoffer I 1252-1259
Erik V Klipping 1259-1286
Erik VI Menved 1286-1319
Christoffer II 1320-1326 and 1330-1332
Valdemar III 1326-1330
Valdemar IV Atterdag 1340-1375
Oluf III 1376-1387
Margrethe I 1375-1412
Erik VII af Pommern 1396-1439
Christoffer III af Bayern 1440-1448
Christian (Christiern) I 1448-1481
Christian (Christiern) II 1513-1523
Frederik I 1523-1533
Christian III 1534-1559
Frederik II 1559-1588
Christian IV 1588-1648
Frederik III 1648-1670
Christian V 1670-1699
Frederik IV 1699-1730
Christian VI 1730-1746
Frederik V 1746-1766
Christian VII 1766-1808
Frederik VI 1808-1839
Christian VIII 1839-1848
Frederik VII 1848-1863
Christian IX 1863-1906
Frederik VIII 1906-1912
Christian X 1912-1947
Frederik IX 1947-1972
Margrethe II 1972-
This section will probably get more material. Actually, this is one of the
regular topics of discussion in the group. But few have yet had energy enough
to write and propose a text for the faq.
From: Stan Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Yellow Stars (was Re: Denmark during WW2)
Date: Sun, 26 May 1996 12:03:02 -0400
> I also thought that Jews were required to wear stars, but that
> the King himself put on a star, as did many others, and therefore
> that the star identification system of the Nazis failed?
On page 14 of Queen in Denmark by Anne Wolden-Ræthinge
(Gyldendal, 1989, ISBN 87-01-08622-7 and 87-01-08623-5),
HM Queen Margrethe II says:
"One of the stories one often hears about the Occupation, and which
I persist in denying each time I hear it, is the story about Christian
X wearing the yellow star of David as a demonstration during the
Occupation. It is a beautiful and symbolic story, but it is not true.
I do not mind it existing or being told, but I will not support a
myth, even a good one, when I know it isn't true, it would be
dishonest. But the moral behind the story is a far better one for
Denmark than if the King had worn the star. The fact
of the matter is that the Germans never did dare insist that Danish
Jews wear the yellow star. This is a credit to Denmark which our
country has cause to be proud of: I think this is an important fact to
remember. The myth about the King wearing the star of David, well, I
can imagine that this could have originated from a typical remark by a
Copenhagen errand boy on his bicycle: 'If they try to enforce the
yellow star here, the King will be the first to wear it!' -- I don't
know whether this was the actual remark, but I imagine it could have
been how the myth started. It is certainly a possible explanation I
offer whenever I am asked. To me, the truth is an even greater honor
for our country than the myth."
From: Henrik Ernoe <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Denmark during WW2
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 11:14:42 +0100
> If the Germans were mere occupiers, why did
> they sanction the destruction of the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen?
First of all, the bombing of tivoli was a "Schalburgtage" committed
by Danish Nazies not but the Germans, and it happenened after august
43, were the Danish government demissioned and the "peaceful"
occupation and collaboration ended.
> But they did they effectively steal all of the Danish gold
> reserves to finance their own war effort and bankrupt the
> Danish treasury?
The Germans did not steal the Danish gold reserves. The base for
this story is the system with "clearing-accounts" in the National
bank. The system worked as follows: When the German wanted to
"buy" butter, bacon, guns, or whatever in Denmark, they paid with vouchers
which the sellers would take to national bank to get their money. The
Danish National bank then paid from the "clearing-account",
which was then supposed to be repaid by the Germans, this however
never happened (the account still amounts to several milliards in 1996).
That the Germans plundered Denmark this way is true, that they stole the
gold reserves is not!
of the stories are inaccurate or untrue and tend to polish the Danish
image, which in view of the Governments acts from April 9th 1940 to
29 August 1943 is deeply tarnished by a policy of collaboration with
There are things to proud of in Danish WWII history but the policy of the
government and political establishment until 43 is not one of them.
It should never be forgotten that until 29 August 1943 the Danish
government did all it could to hinder sabotage and other acts of
resistance. And the greatest danger to the resistance was the Danish
police not the Gestapo! When agents (Danes) from from the British SOE
were parachuted into Denmark, it was the Danish police that
hunted them down and murdered Rottböll and his comrades!
What saved our honor as a nation was the acts of a few people defying
not only the Germans but also the Danish King, government and all the
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- Is the text above
really reliable? - See the discussion in