As in many other countries, Danish kings and bureaucrats had from the earliest ages a pragmatic attitude towards immigrants and refugees. If they could be of use, or help in trading, production, building or administration, they were welcome. Even though examples of accepting political refugees exist, it wasn't until the 20th century that it became a tradition.
In 1520, Christian II brought 184 Dutch families – renowned for their vegetable farming skills – to the island of Amager just outside the capital's gates. In 1720,Frederik IV invited French Huguenots to seek refuge in Denmark. The protestant Huguenots had lost their freedom of religion in 1685 and sought safe havens in the rest of Europe, bringing with them tobacco-growing. In 1759, Frederik V recruited Germans – later known as potato Germans" because they planted the otherwise unknown tuber in the sandy soil of Jutland's moors. Moravians – also called the Unity of the Brethren – settled…