|— State of Germany —|
|• Minister-President||Torsten Albig (SPD)|
|• Governing parties||SPD / Greens / SSW|
|• Votes in Bundesrat||4 (of 69)|
|• Total||15,763.18 km2 (6,086.20 sq mi)|
|• Density||180/km2 ( 470/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||DE-SH|
|Vehicle registration||formerly: S (1945–1947), SH (1947), BS (1948–1956)|
|GDP/ Nominal||€75.63 billion (2010) |
Schleswig-Holstein (pronounced [ˈʃleːsvɪç ˈhɔlʃtaɪ̯n] ( listen)) is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig. Its capital city is Kiel; other notable cities are Lübeck, Flensburg and Neumünster.
The former English name was Sleswick-Holsatia, the Danish name is Slesvig-Holsten, the Low German name is Sleswig-Holsteen, and the North Frisian name is Slaswik-Holstiinj. Historically, the name can also refer to a larger region, containing both present-day Schleswig-Holstein and the former South Jutland County (Northern Schleswig) in Denmark.
The term "Holstein" derives from Old Saxon, Holseta Land, meaning "the land of those who dwell in the wood" (Holz and Holt mean wood in modern Standardised German and in literary English respectively). Originally, it referred to the central of the three Saxon tribes north of the Elbe river, Tedmarsgoi, Holcetae, and Sturmarii. The area of the Holcetae was between the Stör river and Hamburg, and after Christianization their main church was in Schenefeld. Saxon Holstein became a part of the Holy Roman Empire after Charlemagne's Saxon campaigns in the late eighth century. Since 811 the northern frontier of Holstein (and thus the Empire) was marked by the river Eider.
The term Schleswig takes its name from the city of Schleswig. The name derives from the Schlei inlet in the east and vik meaning inlet or settlement in Old Saxon and Old Norse. The name is similar to the place-names ending in the "-wick" or "-wich" element along the coast in the United Kingdom.
The Duchy of Schleswig or Southern Jutland was originally an integral part of Denmark, but was in medieval times established as a fief under the Kingdom of Denmark, with the same relation to the Danish Crown as for example Brandenburg or Bavaria vis-à-vis the Holy Roman Emperor. Around 1100 the Duke of Saxony gave Holstein, as it was his own country, to Count Adolf I of Schauenburg.
Schleswig and Holstein have at different times belonged in part or completely to either Denmark or Germany, or have been virtually independent of both nations. The exception is that Schleswig had never been part of Germany until the Second War of Schleswig in 1864. For many centuries, the King of Denmark was both a Danish Duke of Schleswig and a German Duke of Holstein, the Duke of Saxony. Essentially, Schleswig was either integrated into Denmark or was a Danish fief, and Holstein was a German fief and once a sovereign state long ago. Both were for several centuries ruled by the kings of Denmark. In 1721 all of Schleswig was united as a single duchy under the king of Denmark, and the great powers of Europe confirmed in an international treaty that all future kings of Denmark should automatically become dukes of Schleswig, and consequently Schleswig would always follow the same line of succession as the one chosen in the Kingdom of Denmark.
The German national awakening following the Napoleonic Wars led to a strong popular movement in Holstein and Southern Schleswig for unification with a new Prussian-dominated Germany. However, this development was paralleled by an equally strong Danish national awakening in Denmark and northern Schleswig. It called for the complete reintegration of Schleswig into the Kingdom of Denmark and demanded an end to discrimination against Danes in Schleswig. The ensuing conflict is sometimes called the Schleswig-Holstein Question. In 1848 King Frederick VII of Denmark declared that he would grant Denmark a liberal constitution and the immediate goal for the Danish national movement was to ensure that this constitution would not only give rights to all Danes, i.e., not only in the Kingdom of Denmark, but also to Danes (and Germans) living in Schleswig. Furthermore, they demanded protection for the Danish language in Schleswig since the dominant language in almost a quarter of Schleswig had changed from Danish to German since the beginning of the 19th century.
A liberal constitution for Holstein was not seriously considered in Copenhagen, since it was a well-known fact that the political élite of Holstein had been far more conservative than Copenhagen's. This proved to be true, as the politicians of Holstein demanded that the Constitution of Denmark be scrapped — not only in Schleswig but also in Denmark. They also demanded that Schleswig immediately follow Holstein and become a member of the German Confederation, and eventually a part of the new united Germany. These demands were rejected and in 1848 the Germans of Holstein and Southern Schleswig rebelled. This was the beginning of the First War of Schleswig (1848–51) which ended in a Danish victory at Idstedt.
In 1863 conflict broke out again as King Frederick VII of Denmark died leaving no heir. According to the line of succession of Denmark and Schleswig, the crowns of both Denmark and Schleswig would now pass to Duke Christian of Glücksburg (the future King Christian IX); the crown of Holstein was considered to be more problematic. This decision was challenged by a rival pro-German branch of the Danish royal family, the House of Augustenborg who demanded, as in 1848, the crowns of both Schleswig and Holstein. The passing of a common constitution for Denmark and Schleswig in November 1863 then gave Otto von Bismarck a chance to intervene and Prussia and Austria declared war on Denmark. This was the Second War of Schleswig which ended in a Danish defeat. British attempts to mediate in the London Conference of 1864 failed, and Denmark lost Schleswig (Northern and Southern Schleswig), Holstein, and Lauenburg to Prussia and Austria.
Following the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, section five of the Peace of Prague stated that the people in northern Schleswig should be granted the right to a referendum on whether they would remain under Prussian rule or return to Danish rule. This promise was never fulfilled by Prussia.
Following the defeat of Germany in World War I, the Allied powers arranged a plebiscite in northern and central Schleswig. In northern Schleswig (10 February 1920) 75% voted for reunification with Denmark and 25% voted for Germany. In central Schleswig (14 March 1920) the results were reversed; 80% voted for Germany and just 20% for Denmark, primarily in Flensburg. No vote ever took place in the southern third of Schleswig, although it was planned. For the referendum under authority of an international commission (CIS, Commission Internationale de Surveillance du Plébiscite au Slesvig) two (primarily three) election-zones were created. Primarily three zones were planned, Zone III should involve the rest of Southern Schleswig. Denmark passed on an election in this zone. Just the votes for the whole zone were crucial, not the dissenting votes in a single Kreis (district) or city:
|Electorate||German name||Danish name||For Germany||For Denmark|
|Zone I (Northern Schleswig), 10 February 1920||25.1 %||25,329||74.9 %||75,431|
|Town of||Sonderburg||Sønderborg||56.2%||2,601||43.8 %||2,029|
|Northern part of District of||Tondern||Tønder||40.9%||7,083||59.1%||10,223|
|Northern part of District of||Flensburg||Flensborg||40.6%||548||59.4%||802|
|Zone II (Central Schleswig), 14 March 1920||80.2 %||51,742||19.8 %||12,800|
|Southern part of District of||Tondern||Tønder||87.9%||17,283||12.1%||2,376|
|Southern part of District of||Flensburg||Flensborg||82.6%||6,688||17.4%||1,405|
|Northern part of District of||Husum||Husum||90.0%||672||10.0%||75|
On 15 June 1920, northern Schleswig officially returned to Danish rule. The Danish/German border was the only one of the borders imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles after World War I which was never challenged by Adolf Hitler.
In 1937 the Nazis passed the so-called Greater Hamburg Act (Groß-Hamburg-Gesetz), where the nearby Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg was expanded, to encompass towns that had formally belonged to the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein. To compensate Prussia for these losses (and partly because Hitler had a personal dislike for Lübeck), the 711-year-long independence of the Hansestadt Lübeck came to an end, and almost all its territory was incorporated into Schleswig-Holstein.
After the Second World War, the Prussian province Schleswig-Holstein came under British occupation. On 23 August 1946, the Military Government abolished the province and reconstituted it as a separate Land.
Schleswig-Holstein lies on the base of Jutland Peninsula between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Strictly speaking, "Schleswig" refers to the German Southern Schleswig, whereas Northern Schleswig is in Denmark. The state of Schleswig-Holstein further consists of Holstein as well as Lauenburg, and the formerly independent city of Lübeck.
Schleswig-Holstein borders Denmark (Region Syddanmark) to the north, the North Sea to the west, the Baltic Sea to the east, and the German states of Lower Saxony, Hamburg, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to the south.
In the western part of the state, there are lowlands with virtually no hills. The North Frisian Islands, as well as almost all of Schleswig-Holstein's North Sea coast, form the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park (Nationalpark Schleswig-Holsteinisches Wattenmeer) which is the largest national park in Central Europe. Germany's only high-sea island, Heligoland, is situated in the North Sea.
The Baltic Sea coast in the east of Schleswig-Holstein is marked by bays, fjords and cliff lines. There are rolling hills (the highest elevation is the Bungsberg at 168 metres or 551 feet) and many lakes, especially in the eastern part of Holstein, called the Holsteinische Schweiz ("Holsatian Switzerland") and the former Duchy of Lauenburg (Herzogtum Lauenburg). Fehmarn is the only island off the eastern coast. The longest river besides the Elbe is the Eider; the most important waterway is the Kiel Canal which connects the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
Schleswig-Holstein is divided into 11 Kreise (districts):
Furthermore, there are four separate urban districts:
The region has been strongly Protestant since the time of the Reformation. Today members of the Evangelical Church in Germany make up 54.3% of the population, while members of the Catholic Church comprise 6%. 39.6% of the population is irreligious or adherent of other religions.
Schleswig-Holstein combines Danish and German aspects of culture. The castles and manors in the countryside are the best example for this tradition; some dishes like Rote Grütze are also shared.
The most important festivals are the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, an annual classic music festival all over the state, and the Nordische Filmtage, an annual film festival for movies from Scandinavian countries, held in Lübeck.
The annual Wacken Open Air festival is considered to be the largest heavy metal rock festival in the world.
The coat of arms shows the symbols of the two duchies united in Schleswig-Holstein, i.e., the two lions for Schleswig and the leaf of a nettle for Holstein. Supposedly, Otto von Bismarck decreed that the two lions were to face the nettle because of the discomfort to their bottoms which would have resulted if the lions faced away from it.
The motto of Schleswig-Holstein is "Up ewich ungedeelt" (Middle Low German: "Forever undivided", modern High German: "Auf ewig ungeteilt"). It goes back to the Vertrag von Ripen or Handfeste von Ripen (Danish: Ribe Håndfæstning) or Treaty of Ribe in 1460. Ripen (Ribe) is a historical small town at the North Sea coast in Northern Schleswig. See History of Schleswig-Holstein.
The anthem from 1844 is called "Wanke nicht, mein Vaterland" ("Don't falter, my fatherland"), but it is usually referred to with its first line "Schleswig-Holstein meerumschlungen" (i.e., "Schleswig-Holstein embraced by the seas") or "Schleswig-Holstein-Lied" (Schleswig-Holstein song).
Historically, Low German, Danish (in Schleswig) and Frisian (in Schleswig) were spoken. Low German is still used in many parts of the state, and a pidgin of Low and standardised German (Missingsch) is used in most areas. Danish is used by the Danish minority in Southern Schleswig, and Frisian is spoken by the North Frisians of the North Sea Coast and the Northern Frisian Islands in Southern Schleswig. The North Frisian dialect called Heligolandic (Halunder) is spoken on the island of Heligoland.
High German was introduced in the 16th century, mainly for official purposes, but is today the predominant language.
Compulsory education starts for children who are six years old on 30 June. All children attend a "Grundschule", which is Germany's equivalent to primary school, for the first 4 years and then move on to a secondary school. In Schleswig-Holstein there are "Gemeinschaftsschulen", which is a new type comprehensive school, as well as regional schools, which go by the German name "Regionalschule". The option of a Gymnasium is still available.
There are 3 universities in Kiel, Lübeck and Flensburg. Also, there are 4 public Universities of Applied Sciences in Flensburg, Heide, Kiel, and Lübeck. There is the Conservatory in Lübeck and the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts in Kiel. There are also 3 private institutions of higher learning.
Schleswig-Holstein has its own parliament and government which are located in the state capital Kiel. The Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein is elected by the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein.
Current executive branch 
|Minister of Education and Science||Waltraud Wende||Ind|||
|Minister of Energy Transition, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Districts||Robert Habeck||Greens|||
|Minister of Finances||Monika Heinold||Greens|||
|Minister of Interior||Andreas Breitner||SPD|||
|Minister of Justice, Europe and Culture||Anke Spoorendonk||SSW|||
|Minister of Social Affairs, Health, Family and Equality||Kristin Alheit||SPD|||
|Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour, Traffic and Technology||Reinhard Meyer||SPD|||
Recent elections 
The most recent Schleswig-Holstein state election was held on on 6 May 2012. Since June 2012, after government negotiations, the state has been ruled by the so-called "Dänen-Ampel" consisting of the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the South Schleswig Voter Federation (SSW). The Minister-President is Torsten Albig from the SPD. The government has a narrow majority with 35 of 69 seats in the state parliament.
|Political Party||Votes %||+/-||Seats|
|Christian Democratic Union (Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands)||30.8||-0.8||22|
|Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands)||30.4||+5.0||22|
|Alliance '90/The Greens (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen)||13.2||+0.7||10|
|Free Democratic Party of Germany (Freie Demokratische Partei)||8.2||-6.7||6|
|Pirate Party Germany (Piratenpartei Deutschland)||8.2||+6.4||6|
|South Schleswig Voter Federation (Südschleswigscher Wählerverband)||4.6||+0.3||3|
|The Left (Die Linke)||2.2||-3.7||-|
List of Minister-Presidents of Schleswig-Holstein 
See also 
- Outline of Germany
- Schleswig-Holstein Question
- First Schleswig War
- Second Schleswig War
- Duchy of Schleswig
- Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp
- Coat of arms of Schleswig
- Region Sønderjylland-Schleswig
- "Statistikamt Nord: Bevölkerung in Schleswig-Holstein am 31. Dezember 2011 nach Kreisen, Ämtern, amtsfreien Gemeinden und Städten". Statistisches Amt für Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein (in German). 19 July 2012.
- By the federal vehicle registration reform of 1 July 1956 distinct prefixes were given for every district.
- "Schleswig-Holstein: Schleswig-Holstein Portal". Schleswig-holstein.de. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
- Schwedler, Frank: Historischer Atlas Schleswig-Holstein 1867 bis 1945, Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster
- Ordinance No. 46, PDF (218 KB)
- Flucht und Vertreibung at Haus der Geschichte (German)
- EKD statistics 2007
- "Education in Schleswig-Holstein". State of Schleswig-Holstein. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
- "Institutions of Higher Education in Schleswig-Holstein". State of Schleswig-Holstein. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
- "Responsibilities of the Government". State of Schleswig-Holstein. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
- of Schleswig-Holstein "Die Minister - Das Kabinett" (in German). Retrieved 7 August 2012.
- Official government portal
- Official Directory
- Schleswig-Holstein Plebiscite Paper Money - 1919, 1920 Issues
- 360° Panoramas of Schleswig-Holstein
- Geographic data related to Schleswig-Holstein at OpenStreetMap
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Schleswig-Holstein". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.