denied), 12. November 1918 (28. Juni 1919)
|Eupen-Malmedy 28. Juni 1919
In 1918, as World
War I was drawing to a close, the French Government was determined to
increase the size of Belgian territory at the expense of Germany. The
French attempted to annex the Saarland and to persuade the neutral
Netherlands to exchange territory claimed by Belgium in 1830 but
relinquished in 1839 (Dutch Limburg and Zeeuws Vlaanderen) with German
territory that had once been Dutch (Bentheim, Emden and the land of
10. February and 14. März 1920
The Schleswig Plebiscites were two plebiscites, organized according to section XII, articles 109 to 114 of the Treaty of Versailles of June 28, 1919, in order to determine the future border between Denmark and Germany through the former duchy of Schleswig. The process was monitored by a commission with representatives from France, the United Kngdom, Norway and Sweden.
The Danish-ruled Duchy of Schleswig had been conquered by Prussia and Austria in the 1864 Second War of Schleswig along with the Danish-ruled German provinces of Holstein and Lauenburg. Article 5 of the Austro-Prussian Peace of Prague stipulated that a plebiscite should be held within 6 years to give the people of the northern part of Schleswig the possibility of voting between staying German or separating parts of Schleswig and repartitioning them to Denmark, an arrangement already denied by Denmark after the war of 1848 and again after the war of 1864, and then dropped completely in 1878 in the Treaty of Gastein between Austria and Imperial Germany. The border was respected later by both Denmark and Germany in the Optant Treaty of Copenhagen 1907. After the defeat of Germany in World War I Germany was forced to accept a plebiscite whose unilateral conditions then were defined by Denmark.
The plebiscites were held in two zones that were defined by Denmark according to the ideas of the Danish historian Hans Victor Clausen. Zone I was dimensioned as far towards the South as possible, therefore changing the Clausen-Line southerly from Tondern instead of northerly, and had to vote en bloc, i.e. as a unit with the majority deciding, while in the following smaller Zone II each municipality was to decide its own allegiance, this procedure allowing Denmark to gain further territory and put the frontier further southwards according to eventual majorities in northern municipalities.
The first plebiscite was held in Zone I, the later Northern Schleswig on February 10, 1920. 74.9 % (75,431 votes) of the public voted to come under Danish rule, 25.1 % (25,329 votes) to stay German, although in three of the four major towns and especially in the southern region directly at the frontier to Zone II German majorities existed, especially a large German majority between 70 and 80 percent in and around Tønder and Højer. It was mostly this area that caused discussions after the voting, especially as this area had been regarded also by Clausen to be south of an imaginary German-Danish border.
Central Schleswig (Zone II) voted on March 14, 1920. 80.2 % (51,742 votes) fell to Germany, 19.8 % (12,800) to Denmark. Since a Danish majority in this zone was only produced in three small villages on the island of Föhr not aligned with the coming border, the Commission Internationale de Surveillance du Plébiscite Slésvig decided on a line almost completely identical to the border between the two zones. The poor result for Denmark in Central Schleswig - particularly in Flensburg, Schleswig's largest city - triggered Denmark's 1920 Easter Crisis. A plebiscite was not held in the southernmost third of the province as there was no doubt about the outcome.
and Westpreussen, 11.
|Kärnten 10. Oktober 1920
Despite the six-month term determined by the Treaty of Saint-Germain, the referendum was not held in Zone A until October 10, 1920. In addition to changing the date of the plebiscite, other terms of the Treaty of Saint-Germain allegedly were ignored or changed: an Austrian representative was accepted into the commission, and the plebiscite commission changed rules by not allowing the Yugoslav military to control the border between Zones A and B (8.6.1920). The Yugoslav army had to withdraw from Zone A in accord with the decision of the plebiscite commission (18.9.1920). Changes may also have been made in electoral registers which allowed people from northern zone B voting in zone A, which dramatically powered the German side.
The outcome of the plebiscite held on October 10, 1920, was 22,025 votes (59.1% of the total cast) in favor of adhesion to Austria and 15,279 (40.9%) in favor of annexation by the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. Because the Austrian option gained a majority of votes in Slavic Zone A, the second stage of the referendum in northern Zone B, populated chiefly by German speakers, was not carried out.
determined the border between Austria and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats,
and Slovenes. The border remained unchanged after World War II, even as
the Kingdom of Yugoslavia gave way to Tito's Socialist Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia, though at the end of the war Yugoslav troops again briefly
occupied the area, including the capital city of Klagenfurt. Since the
disintegration of Yugoslavia, the border has separated Austria and