DAMME - Eine Stadt in ihrer Geschichte
Damme - A City in Its History
- This is the title of a book, published in 1993, which introduced the
city of Damme to the public. The book was written and edited by Klaus J.
Bode, Jürgen Kessel, Hannelore Oberpenning and Anton Schindling.
The Publisher is the Jan Thorbecke Verlag in Sigmaringen
- As a city, Damme in Oldenburg is
still quite young, being recognized as such only in 1982, but as a
community, it is already centuries old. Large tombstones, prehistoric
burial hills and a stone-age excavated at Hunte-river, below the Dümmer-See
(Lake Damme) all give testemony of settlements. The name Damme has been
found mentioned in documents dating from 1186/87, but it can be assumed
that the name itself is much older, and that it was derived from a dam
that led through the large adjacent moor. Nestled between the
Dammer-Berge (Damme-Hills) and the Dümmer-See, the city and its
citizens have developed their own identity. Upon the annexation of the
area by the Großherzogtum Oldenburg (Grand Duchy of Oldenburg) at
the beginning of the 19 th century, the term Oldenburger Münsterland
was coined. In the "Republik hinter den Bergen" (Rebublic
behind the hills), as Damme was referred to in the capital city of
Oldenburg, a unique and self-willed form of Plattdeutsch (low-German)
developed, which differed from the other low-German dialects of the
region. A further unique feature of the city is the Damme carnival, rich
in tradition, and whose origins reach back into the Middle Ages. This
tradition has been carried-on through the years by the "Dammer
Canevals Gesellschaft von 1614" (Carnival society of Damme, founded
- The Christianization of the area took place around the year 800 A.D.
through the efforts of the Bishop of Osnabrück. The oldest Dammer
Kirchspiel (church-district?) corresponded roughly to the region of the
Gogericht (court-district?), which King Heinrich granted in 1225 to the
Osnabrück Bishopric (the area presided over by the Bishop of Osnabrück).
The city silhouette is dominated by the Catholic Church of Saint Victor,
constructed from 1904 until 1906, which has much grandeur of a
cathedral. Additonal churches can be found in the villages east of
Damme: in Osterfeine, the Marien Church, built in 1864, and in Rüschendorf,
the Saint Agnes Church, built in 1903. For the Lutheran inhabitants, the
St. Laurentius Chapel was built in 1905; its funktion was taken over in
1960 by the new "Kirche zum Guten Hirten" (Church of the good
The City`s Coat-of-Arms
- The first panel displays the old Oldenburger Grafenwappen
(coat-of-arms of the Count of Oldenburg) with two red bars over a golden
- The second panel, with the black background, shows St. Victor, the
patron saint of our parish church. He is closed in silver armor and a
white robe. His head is surrounded by a golden halo. In his right hand,
St. Victor is holding a lance with a white flag, on which a red cross is
emblazoned. The left hand is resting upon a silver shield, on which a
red cross is to be found.
- On the third panel is a silver plow on green background.
- The fourth panel displays the so-called Delmenhorster Kreuz (Cross of
Delmenhorst, a city near Bremen) with a blue background.
- The coat-of-arms received official approved from the Minister of
Internal Affairs in Oldenburg back in September of 1928. Because it
contained religious and regional symbols, the Nazi gouvernment decreed
that the coat-of-arms had to be altered. On account of the start of
World War II in September 1939, the gouvernment did not enforce its
earlier demands. After the war, further efforts were made to redo the
coat-of-arms. This came about because the background colors of the
second, third and fourth panel are each a heraldic color
(black-green-blue), however, according to custom, these colors must be
separated by one of the metallic colors (silver or gold). The
coat-of-arms suggested back in 1938, which included two horse heads and
a symbol for the Dammer Berge, did not find any support in the Damme
community. The Landkreis Vechta (county capital) was informed by the
people of Damme that they would not alter the coat-of-arms on account of
a minor heraldic mistake, being that it was both well-liked and
well-received in the community.
- The flag consists of three horizontal stripes having the colors
white-green-white. The green band in the middle encompass two thirds of
the width of the flag. On the left side of the flag is a yellow
Ankerkreuz (Anker Cross). The beams of the cross are one-tenth of the
length of the flag, and one-fifth of its breadth. The length to wide
ratio of the flag is 2 : 1.
- Explanation: The colors of the flag are taken from the Damme
coat-of-arms, specifically from the third panel, which contains a silver
plow and a green background. The cross is a variation on the cross in
the fourth panel of the coat-of-arms.
Translated by David Bergman Maria Stein / OH and
Hamburg / Germany
Es ist schon alles gesagt, aber noch nicht von Allen. Darum wiederhole ich das Ganze gerne noch einmal.