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Altes Rathaus

Holm 7, 24943 Flensburg

After World War II, democratic structures had to be established in the town hall situated at Holm 7. The British Allies chose as mayor a Danish businessman, who sought to bring together the old and new inhabitants of Flensburg.

 

From 1945 to 1950, I.C. Möller served as mayor in the town hall at Holm 7. He had been a representative of the Danish minority in the council assembly[1] since 1924 and in the post-war period he significantly influenced the city’s politics. The businessman was appointed by the British military government and given limited powers to enable democracy to develop after the Nazi era in Flensburg. In a period in which German culture was deliberately set against the growth in Danishness[2] (à NDR), Möller defined his guiding principle as follows: “Especially in a border town, one should not emphasise what divides people …. this is not supposed to be a Danish or German town hall, but a Flensburg town hall …. for all inhabitants … regardless of whether they are German or Danish…”[3] After the municipal election in 1946 and the first regional elections in 1947, representatives of the Danish minority gained a majority of the seats on the town council.[4] It was not until the second municipal election in 1948 that the German electorate obtained more votes than the Danish. However, it still managed to gain just 19 seats (Danes: 21). I.C. Möller was confirmed as the mayor. A German majority was finally reached in 1951 and Möller was elected deputy mayor.[5] A second person, Ina Carstensen, also played an influential role in the development of post-war Flensburg. Having grown up in a liberal, academic home, she developed a democratic school system in a difficult period (lack of teachers and buildings, thousands of refugee children, hunger and unemployment).[6] As city councillor, she supported reconciliation between Germans and Danes and, as a member of the denazification committee, helped many teachers who had been dismissed to be reinstated.[7]


[1] KEK Verlag Freienwill (Hrsg.): Der Oluf Samsons Gang. Eine Straße mit Vergangenheit, 1984, S. 32

[2] GFS (Hrsg.): Flensburg – Geschichte einer Grenzstadt. 1966, S. 458

[3] Dieter Pust: Könige, Bürgermeister und Präsidenten in Flensburg. 1987, S. 231/32

[4] GFS (Hrsg.): Flensburg – Geschichte einer Grenzstadt. 1966, S. 462/63

[5] Dieter Pust, S. 231

[6] Johannes Jensen: Ina Carstensen (1898-1985) Zur Geschichte des Aufbaus eines demokratischen Schulwesens nach 1945. GFH 3/2008, S. 305-314

[7] ebda., S. 310