Heligoland celebrates its history | DW Travel | DW | 05.08.2015
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Heligoland celebrates its history

125 years ago, Britain gave up the North Sea archipelago Heligoland to Germany. The cultural week "125 Djoaar" commemorates the events.

The change of flags took place on August 10, 1890. From August 5-10, the inhabitants of Heligoland will commemorate this with a cultural and historical week. The program includes a ceremony on Saturday, an exhibition, an evening with the traditional costumes from the last 200 years, a regatta of traditional boats and the pier festival on the last day of the festival.

Insel Helgoland Ankunft Kaiser Wilhelm II. 1890

German Emporar William II arrives at Heligoland in 1890

The 1890 "Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty" determined that the UK would cede Heligoland: In exchange, Germany would relinquish its claims on the Zanzibar islands in East Africa. The inhabitants of Heligoland retained their ancient privileges: They could choose between the German and the British nationality, did not have to serve in the army and were spared from increases in customs duties.

The British gained control of the previously Danish island in 1807. Ironically, the German national anthem was actually written in the UK: Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the "Song of the Germans" during a vacation in Heligoland on 26 August, 1841.

ot/le/eg (dpa/epd)