Ditmarsh, a district lying between the Elbe and the Eider, forming part of the old Duchy of Holstein, and the present Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein. It was colonised from Friesland and Saxony, and was subdued by Charlemagne. But throughout the Middle Ages the district remained independent - a kind of lowland Switzerland - in spite of many efforts to subdue them, and it was said of them that they had neither lords nor head but did what they liked.
They did not really submit till weakened by religious quarrels in 1559. In 1773 they were incorporated in the Danish kingdom.