The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012

    Default Danish or German

    My Dad's family emigrated from Schleswig-Holstein area on the Jutland Peninsula. The first arrived in 1868. I'm told that they spoke a dialect of German that was not common. In fact when my Dad joined the Army Air Corps, an officer said he'd heard it only one time before.

    Since the Jutland changed hands, politically, so many times between Denmark and Germany I've always wondered if we are Danish or German. I was always told German because gr g-pa travelled from Hamburg. Is one's nationality defined in political boundary terms or is it a cultural definition.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2003


    It would depend heavily on what your father's family thought they were. The family name would be your biggest clue -- if it's a German name, they were likely ethnically/culturally German. Since you were told he came from Hamburg, that's your answer.

    That whole area traded hands a lot, leading to considerable intermixture and people will still identify as their base ethnic group. For example, there are lots of ethnic Swedes (many of whom still speak Swedish) living in Finland who are citizens. While they are Finnish citizens, they are very likely to have relatives in Sweden and act culturally like Swedes. Same with ethnic Russians in the Balts (although that's a much more fraught relationship.

    To answer your question, nationality tends to be based on political borders, while ethnicity is based on cultural and blood ties.
    According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2012


    If you ask the Germans, they would say you were German. After the wall came down, Germany welcomed with full citizenship anyone of German heritage who had been separated by the iron curtain. So there were people from Poland and Czechoslovakia, etc., who were ethnic Germans who were repatriated. So I would say German, since it was a German dialect they spoke.

    Besides, there are more famous equestrians from Germany.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2015 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012


    The family always said we were German. Just to g-pa travelled from S-H to Hamburg to catch the boat. He wasn't technically from Hamburg.

    We weren't brought up with a particular culture or the way of foods or customs. Dad's people settled on the Iowa frontier and were farmers or tailors. Basic peasants...affectionately termed. They ate what they had and made do for the rest. Dad did tell of having candles on their Christmas tree for just one hour or so on Christmas Eve. Not sure if that's a particularly German custom or just a basic European custom.

    Anyway, was just wondering. They are all long dead. No one to ask anymore. :-(

Similar Threads

  1. Satisfaction FRH sold to danish 14 yo
    By LucyShow in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Aug. 18, 2012, 01:14 PM
  2. It's 2011! time to call Danish Warmbloods Danish Warmbloods
    By danskbreeder in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Jan. 10, 2011, 01:35 PM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: Aug. 29, 2010, 02:11 PM
  4. Does anyone know this Danish stallion?
    By Joanne in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Aug. 13, 2010, 11:20 PM
  5. the danish stallion Rambo
    By punky in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Sep. 7, 2009, 09:33 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts