I visited this point as part of the IBRG DEDK21 expedition. Along the Danish – German border there fascinating points which show how border arrangements can truly impact on the everyday lives of the people who live there. One such example is the Vilmkærgård Farmhouse which is situated within Denmark but can only be accessed by a road entirely in Germany. As such it could be described as a pene-exclave which is where a part of the territory of one country that can be approached conveniently — in particular by wheeled traffic — only through the territory of another country. Reports from other Enclaves and Exclaves I have visited are here
Extract from the Treaty 1920
When visiting the borders, it sometimes is a challenge to make sense of what is there in front of you. Maps and increasingly GPS devices helps us make sense of what we see. In this case, the farmhouse is set back from the road. The border is directly in front of the house about 4m from the property in line with some trees. The post box is completely within Germany.
Meeting the farm owner was a real pleasure. Henrik Hansen’ s family have owned the farm since 1875. The farm owns land on both sides of the border and therefore needs to have 2 distinct businesses, each registered in separate countries in order to meet the legal and taxation requirements. The barn opposite the farmhouse, for example is in Germany.
In 1920 the border was drawn immediately in front of the farm after pressure from local farmers to be in Denmark. The access to the properties were via the German road Wilmkierweg, a Danish access road Kristiansmindevej was built to join this road and residents were given special passes to access their property.
Mr Hansen, speaks of the challenges of the wild boar fence, and the challenges of accessing his own land, especially when the borders between the 2 countries were closed due to the pandemic.
He was continually asked to provide his ID, which he refused to do out of principle. He spoke about the breakdown in his relationship with the Danish authorities who could not comprehend the unique position of his farm and the impact when the border was closed.
Border markers #BM 82 and #83
Date of Visit: 25 September 2021