Genforeningen 2020 will be based on nine themes, each of which puts the historic events in 1920 into perspective and connects them with the present. The themes are broad and illustrate the great scope and significance of the reunion not just on local and regional levels, but also nationally and internationally.
The activities in the programme for Genforeningen 2020 will in different ways be based on the nine themes.
It Is up to the People?
Referenda on the location of national borders have experienced a comeback in recent years with the referenda in the Crimea and in Scotland. But can referenda be used as a political instrument? And how have other border regions also facing their centenary managed to create stability and cooperation across divides?
Denmark’s Large Neighbour to the South
For centuries the relationship between Denmark and Germany was characterised by tension and armed conflict. Also after 1920 the partition of Schleswig caused disagreement. In 2020 we will celebrate the good relationship between Denmark and Germany, just as the year has been appointed Danish-German friendship year. But what caused this remarkable development, and can we make more use of its opportunities?
Is the Dream of the Nation State Still Alive?
In the 1800s the nation state was a great ideal. Has the idea of the nation state been overtaken by internationalisation and globalisation, or should we continue to safeguard the progress secured by the nation state in the 20th century? This is one of the great contentious political issues of today put into perspective by the reunion in 1920.
Romanticism and the pursuit of an identity rooted in Danish and Nordic qualities peaked at the time of the reunion. Among other things, it provided inspiration for the unique Danish songbook, just as prominent authors and poets drew inspiration from the situation in the border region.
The Border – Force or Obstacle?
The new 1920 border cut the commercial market in the region in two. Later agriculture grew in size, and strong global companies emerged in Southern Jutland. Still, the growth and financial situation in the region are under pressure. Can we use the national border to stimulate growth? And how do we get the most out of the border region in the years after 2020?
Did the New Border Distort the Country?
After the 1920 demarcation the balance in Denmark tilted towards the east and the north, and especially Copenhagen and Aarhus have experienced extensive growth. A pertinent question is whether the large-scale relocation of state jobs away from the main cities is able to recreate a more balanced Denmark?
Cultural Characteristics of Southern Jutland
Southern Jutland still holds a series of characteristics that point to its historic relation to the duchies and Prussia – or its resistance to them. Genforeningen 2020 is a good chance to experience the interplay between Danish and Prussian architecture, tilting at the ring, traditional coffee and cake in Southern Jutland and other characteristics unique to the region.
Personal and Local Stories
The events in connection with the reunion hold lots of small and great stories. Local communities experienced great change, some families rejoiced, while others were disappointed, and a series of institutions and associations were formed and can soon celebrate their 100th anniversary. We would also like to hear your story.
Let Us Meet, Talk, Sing and Celebrate
People’s meetings and reunion parties were part of the events celebrating the reunion in 1920. In 2020 we still have good reason to party and celebrate the successful demarcation and everything the border region has succeeded in doing the past 100 years.