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Heide (hī´də), town (1994 pop. 20,740), Schleswig-Holstein, N central Germany, in the center of the Dithmarschen oil fields. A trade center, it has one of the largest market squares in Germany, with particular emphasis being on cattle trade. Heide was the capital of the peasant republic of Dithmarschen from 1447 until 1559, when it was destroyed by fire.