Dybbøl Mølle Dansk symbol
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Battlefield from the Schleswig wars

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Dybbøl Banke, two kilometres west of Sønderborg, was a battlefield during the Schleswig wars in 1848-50 and 1864. A Danish fortification with ten entrenchments was built here in 1861 but was captured by German troops in 1864 after a long siege and heavy bombardment. …

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Defeat forges a national identity

Time / Periode 1848 2010
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While the Germans ruled, 18 April was quietly commemorated by Danish South Jutlanders as Dybbøl Day. After the reunification in 1920 this memorial day has been marked more prominently. Danish soldiers march to music out to Dybbøl. Here the soldiers lay wreaths for those who fell when the fort was stormed on 18 April 1864. In the evening, a solemn church service is followed by festivities at the barracks with at least 500 participants. They sing patriotic songs, and stirring speeches are made. Commemorating the defeat strengthens the community spirit and national identity just as much as celebrating victory. For many Danes, Dybbøl is a symbol of fighting spirit, loyalty and perseverance in the face of adversity. Today, Dybbøl Day also reflects closer European teamwork: Since 2001, the German military has also participated in the commemorative ceremony.

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Defeat forges a national identity

While the Germans ruled, 18 April was quietly commemorated by Danish South Jutlanders as Dybbøl…

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