Colonial Entanglements

Flensburg’s colonial history is closely linked to Danish colonial history. Until 1864, Flensburg was part of Denmark. During this time, Flensburg’s merchants were involved in the trade of colonial goods from the Danish colonies in the Caribbean and profited from the transatlantic enslavement of people from Africa who were deported from Africa to the Caribbean and forced to work on the plantations in systems of chattle slaves. In the following, further materials on the topics of colonialism, racism, colonial entanglements of Flensburg and memory culture are listed. We are currently expanding the collection.

Colonial entanglements in Flensburg

In the following you can find more information specifically on Danish colonialism in which merchants of Flensburg were involved as well as on specific locations in Flensburg and their colonial history.

  • Christiansenpark – a garden of the colonial era – Christiansenpark in Flensburg is an example of how the trade in colonial goods, especially sugar, has shaped the city’s infrastructures to this day. The garden was laid out in the first quarter of the 19th century by Andreas Christiansen Sr. and Andreas Christiansen Jr. and was financed from the profits of the sugar trade, for which thousands of black people were enslaved, abducted and forced to work on plantations. In a text written on the occasion of the renovation of the park, we take a closer look at the colonial entanglements of Christiansenpark.
  • Fireburn Files – Fireburn was an uprising of plantation workers that took place on the Danish colony on St. Croix in 1878. The archive makes available documents from the Danish colonial rule dealing with this uprising.
  • The Danish West Indies – Sources of History – On this site, records from the Danish colonial period can be searched in the databases of the Danish National Archives.
  • Literature collection on Flensburg’s colonial entanglements – The Initiative Postkolonialer Stadtrundgang Flensburg has compiled a literature list for reference on its website.

There is a wealth of educational and informational material on the topic of colonialism. We have listed below some materials that we believe provide a good and interesting introduction to the topic.

  • Slave Voyages is a website that makes available records of the enslavement and deportation of more than 12 million Africans. The site includes visualizations of the routes of the transatlantic enslavement trade, various databases, educational materials, and visuals. The website is only available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
  • Educational Material on Danish Colonialism in the Caribbean from Museum Vestsjælland – The Museum Vestsjælland has compiled educational materials that provide an overview of Danish colonialism in the Caribbean and Danish-Caribbean history. As a former Danish city, Flensburg also shares large parts of this history. The material includes assignments and discussion questions for students. The material is only available in English and Danish and, according to the museum, is aimed at young people from 7th to 10th grade.

  • CARICOM Reparations Commission – Colonialism, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and a racialized system of chattel slavery have caused some of the most horrific crimes against humanity.  Demands for restitution and recompense for those crimes are central to reparatory justice. The CARICOM is a commission which aims to study and develop reparations proposals for African Americans fighting for reparatory justice in the Carribean and the broader Americas. On their website more information on the background of reparations and a 10 Point Reparation Plan can be found.
Memory Culture in Schleswig-Holstein
  • Sønderjylland-Schleswig Kolonial is a project that aims to reappraise the colonial references of the region between Eider and Königsau. The project has produced, among other things, a map of colonial memorials and an anthology in which the colonial entanglements of the region are discussed.
  • Resolution recommendation to the state parliament for a “concept for the reappraisal of the colonial history of the state” – Upon a request of the political party SSW in January 2022, the education committee of the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament wrote a resolution recommendation to the state parliament. In this recommendation, it asks the state parliament to adopt a “concept for coming to terms with the state’s colonial history”, which includes among other things the creation of a memory concept.

  • State action plan against racism – In June 2021, the cabinet adopted the state action plan against racism envisaged in the coalition agreement. The action plan contains 31 measures against racism, including coming to terms with colonialism (stated on page 97).