Dithmarschen(redirected from Ditmarsch)
a region between the North Sea, the Elbe River, and the Kiel Canal. Part of the Land of Schleswig-Holstein (Federal Republic of Germany). Area, 1,360 sq km. Dithmarschen was settled by the eastern Saxons in the early Middle Ages and by the Frisians in the beginning of the 13th century. Nominally a feudal dependency of the archbishopric of Bremen from the late 12th century, Dithmarschen gained de facto independence in the 13th century and became a kind of peasant republic comprising an aggregate of neighboring mark (village) communities. The peasantry of Dithmarschen retained personal freedom. In 1559 the region was conquered by Danish feudal lords. After the German-Danish War of 1863-64, Dithmarschen was ceded to Prussia.