Alsace-Lorraine
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Alsace-Lorraine
Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine
Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen
Imperial Territory of the German Empire
1871-1918
Flag of Alsace-Lorraine
Flag
Coat of arms of Alsace-Lorraine
Coat of arms
German Empire - Alsace Lorraine (1871).svg
Alsace-Lorraine within the German Empire
Anthem
Elsässisches Fahnenlied
"The Alsatian Flag's Song"
CapitalStraßburg (Strasbourg)
Area 
o 1910
14,496 km2 (5,597 sq mi)
Population 
o 1910
1,874,014
Government
 o TypeFederal territory
Reichsstatthalter 
o 1871-1879
Eduard von Möller (first)
o 1918
Rudolf Schwander (last)
LegislatureLandtag
o Lower house
Núrto
History 
10 May 1871
o Disestablished
1918
28 June 1919
Political subdivisionsBezirk Lothringen, Oberelsass, Unterelsass
Today part of France

Alsace-Lorraine is a historical region, now called Alsace-Moselle, located in France. It was created in 1871 by the German Empire after seizing the region from the Second French Empire in the Franco-Prussian War and Treaty of Frankfurt. Alsace-Lorraine was reverted to French ownership in 1918 as part of the Treaty of Versailles and Germany's defeat in World War I.

When created in 1871, the region was named the Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine (German: Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen or Elsass-Lothringen; Alsatian: 's Rìchslànd Elsàss-Lothrìnga; Moselle Franconian/Luxembourgish: D'Räichland Elsass-Loutrengen) and as a new territory of the German Empire. The Empire annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle department of Lorraine, following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River, east of the Vosges Mountains; the section originally in Lorraine was in the upper Moselle valley to the north of the Vosges.

The territory encompassed almost all of Alsace (93%) and over a quarter of Lorraine (26%), while the rest of these regions remained parts of France. For historical reasons, specific legal dispositions are still applied in the territory in the form of a "local law in Alsace-Moselle". In relation to its special legal status, since reversion to France, the territory has been referred to administratively as Alsace-Moselle (Alsatian: 's Elsàss-Mosel).[a]

Since 2016, the historical territory has been part of the French administrative region of Grand Est.

Geography

Alsace-Lorraine had a land area of 14,496 km2 (5,597 sq mi). Its capital was Straßburg. It was divided in three districts (Bezirke in German):

  • Oberelsaß (Upper Alsace), whose capital was Kolmar, had a land area of 3,525 km2 (1,361 sq mi) and corresponds exactly to the current department of Haut-Rhin
  • Unterelsaß, (Lower Alsace), whose capital was Straßburg, had a land area of 4,755 km2 (1,836 sq mi) and corresponds exactly to the current department of Bas-Rhin
  • Bezirk Lothringen, (Lorraine), whose capital was Metz, had a land area of 6,216 km2 (2,400 sq mi) and corresponds exactly to the current department of Moselle

Towns and cities

The largest urban areas in Alsace-Lorraine at the 1910 census were:

  • Straßburg (now Strasbourg): 220,883 inhabitants
  • Mülhausen (Mulhouse): 128,190 inhabitants
  • Metz: 102,787 inhabitants
  • Diedenhofen (Thionville): 69,693 inhabitants
  • Colmar (also historically Kolmar): 44,942 inhabitants

History

Background

The modern history of Alsace-Lorraine was largely influenced by the rivalry between French and German nationalism.

France long sought to attain and then preserve what it considered to be its "natural boundaries", which it considered the Pyrenees to the southwest, the Alps to the southeast, and the Rhine River to the northeast. These strategic claims led to the annexation of territories located west of the Rhine river in the Holy Roman Empire. What is now known as Alsace was progressively conquered by France under and in the 17th century, while Lorraine was incorporated from the 16th century under Henry II to the 18th century under [1] (in the case of the Three Bishoprics, as early as 1552). These border-changes, at the time, meant more or less that one ruler (the local princes and city-governments, with some remaining power of the Holy Roman Emperor) was exchanged for another (the King of France); it was the French revolution that turned what might have been called "the King of France's German territories" into parts of France proper.

German nationalism on the other hand, which in its 19th century form originated as a reaction against the French occupation of large areas of Germany under Napoleon, sought to unify all the German-speaking populations of the former Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation into a single nation-state. As various German dialects were spoken by most of the population of Alsace and Moselle (northern Lorraine), these regions were viewed by German nationalists to be rightfully part of hoped-for united Germany in the future.

We Germans who know Germany and France know better what is good for the Alsatians than the unfortunates themselves. In the perversion of their French life they have no exact idea of what concerns Germany.

-- Heinrich von Treitschke, German historian, 1871[2][3]

From annexation to World War I

In 1871, the newly created German Empire's demand for Alsace from France after its victory in the Franco-Prussian War was not simply a punitive measure. The transfer was controversial even among the Germans: The German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, was initially opposed to it, as he thought (correctly) it would engender permanent French enmity toward Germany.[4] Some German industrialists did not want the competition from Alsatian industries, such as the cloth makers who would be exposed to competition from the sizeable industry in Mulhouse. Karl Marx also warned his fellow Germans:

"If Alsace and Lorraine are taken, then France will later make war on Germany in conjunction with Russia. It is unnecessary to go into the unholy consequences."[5]

Bismarck and the South German industrialists proposed to have Alsace ceded to Switzerland, while Switzerland would compensate Germany with another territory. The Swiss rejected the proposal, preferring to remain neutral between the French and Germans.[6]

The German Emperor, Wilhelm I, eventually sided with army commander Helmuth von Moltke, other Prussian generals and other officials who argued that a westward shift in the French border was necessary for strategic military and ethnographic reasons. From an ethnic perspective, the transfer involved people who for the most part spoke Alemannic German dialects. From a military perspective, by early 1870s standards, shifting the frontier away from the Rhine would give the Germans a strategic buffer against feared future French attacks. Due to the annexation, the Germans gained control of the fortifications of Metz and Strasbourg (Straßburg) on the left bank of the Rhine and most of the iron resources of Lorraine.

The domestic politics in the new Reich may have been decisive: Although it was effectively led by Prussia, the new German Empire was a decentralized federal state. The new arrangement left many senior Prussian generals with serious misgivings about leading diverse military forces to guard a pre-war frontier that (except for the northernmost section) was part of two other states in the new Empire - Baden and Bavaria; as recently as the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, these states had been Prussia's enemies, and loyalties of troops from those regions were reasonably suspect. In the new Empire's constitution, both states, but especially Bavaria, had been given concessions with regard to local autonomy, including partial control of their military forces. For this reason, the Prussian General Staff[according to whom?] argued that it was necessary for the Reich's frontier with France to be under direct Prussian control.[]

Creating a new Imperial Territory (Reichsland) out of formerly French territory would achieve this goal: Although a Reichsland would not technically be part of the Kingdom of Prussia, being governed directly by the Empire (headed by the King of Prussia as Emperor, and the minister-president of Prussia as Imperial Chancellor) would in practical terms amount to the same thing. Thus, by annexing Alsace-Lorraine, Berlin was able to avoid complications with Baden and Bavaria on matters such as new fortifications.[]

An 1898 American political cartoon that depicts the dispute over Alsace-Lorraine as a medieval romance.

Memory of the Napoleonic Wars was still fresh in the 1870s. Until the Franco-Prussian War, the French had maintained a long-standing desire to establish their entire eastern frontier on the Rhine, and thus they were viewed by most 19th century Germans as an aggressive and acquisitive people. In the years before 1870 the Germans feared the French more than the French feared the Germans.[verification needed] Many Germans at the time thought that the creation of the new Empire in itself would be enough to earn permanent French enmity, and thus desired a defensible border with their long-standing enemy. Any additional enmity that would be earned from territorial concessions was downplayed as marginal and insignificant in the overall scheme of things.

The annexed area consisted of the northern part of Lorraine, along with Alsace.

  • The area around the town of Belfort (now the French Territoire de Belfort) was unaffected, because Belfort had been defended by Colonel Denfert-Rochereau, who surrendered only after receiving orders from Paris, and was compensated by another territory.
  • The town of Montbéliard and its surrounding area to the south of Belfort, which have been part of the Doubs department since 1816, and therefore were not considered part of Alsace, were not included, although they were a Protestant enclave belonging to Württemberg from 1397-1806.

This area corresponded to the present French départements of Bas-Rhin (in its entirety), Haut-Rhin (except the area of Belfort and Montbéliard), and a small northeast section of the Vosges département, all of which made up Alsace, and most of the départements of Moselle (four-fifths of Moselle) and the northeast of Meurthe (one-third of Meurthe), which were the eastern part of Lorraine.

The remaining two-thirds of the département of Meurthe and the westernmost one-fifth of Moselle, which had escaped German annexation were joined to form the new French département of Meurthe-et-Moselle.

The neo-Romanesque Metz railway station, built in 1908. Kaiser Wilhelm II instigated the construction of various buildings in Alsace-Lorraine supposedly representative of German architecture.

The new border between France and Germany mainly followed the geolinguistic divide between French and German dialects, except in a few valleys of the Alsatian side of the Vosges mountains, the city of Metz and its region and in the area of Château-Salins (formerly in the Meurthe département), which were annexed by Germany although most people there spoke French.[e] In 1900, 11.6% of the population of Alsace-Lorraine spoke French as their first language (11.0% in 1905, 10.9% in 1910).

That small francophone areas were affected was used in France to denounce the new border as hypocrisy, since Germany had justified the annexation on linguistic grounds. The German administration was tolerant of the use of the French language (in sharp contrast to the use of the Polish language in the Province of Posen), and French was permitted as an official language and school language in those areas where it was spoken by a majority. This changed in 1914 with the First World War.

The Treaty of Frankfurt gave the residents of the region until 1 October 1872, to choose between emigrating to France or remaining in the region and having their nationality legally changed to German. About 161,000 people, or around 10.4% of the Alsace-Lorraine population, opted for French citizenship (the so-called Optanden); but, only about 50,000 actually emigrated, while the rest acquired German citizenship.[7]

The sentiment of attachment to France stayed strong at least during the first 16 years of the annexation. During the Reichstag elections, the 15 deputies of 1874, 1881, 1884 (but one) and 1887 were called protester deputies (fr: députés protestataires) because they expressed to the Reichstag their opposition to the annexation by means of the 1874 motion in the French language:

"May it please the Reichstag to decide that the populations of Alsace-Lorraine that were annexed, without having been consulted, to the German Reich by the treaty of Frankfurt have to come out particularly about this annexation."[8]

The abusive and oppressive behaviour by the German military towards the population of the town of Saverne (the Saverne Affair, usually known in English-language accounts as the Zabern Affair) led to protests not just in Alsace, but in other regions, which put a severe strain on the relationship between the people of Alsace-Lorraine and the rest of the German Empire.

Under the German Empire of 1871-1918, the annexed territory constituted the Reichsland or Imperial Territory of Elsaß-Lothringen (German for Alsace-Lorraine). The area was administered directly from Berlin, but was granted limited autonomy in 1911. This included its constitution and state assembly, its own flag, and the Elsässisches Fahnenlied ("Alsatian Flag Song") as its anthem.

Reichstag election results 1874-1912

1874 1877 1878 1881 1884 1887 1890 1893 1898 1903 1907 1912
Inhabitants (in 1,000) 1550 1532 1567 1564 1604 1641 1719 1815 1874
Eligible voters (in %) 20.6 21.6 21.0 19.9 19.5 20.1 20.3 20.3 21.0 21.7 21.9 22.3
Turnout (in %) 76.5 64.2 64.1 54.2 54.7 83.3 60.4 76.4 67.8 77.3 87.3 84.9
Regional Parties Autonomists [fr] (Aut) 96.9 97.8 87.5 93.3 95.9 92.2 56.6 47.7 46.9 36.1 30.2 46.5
Social Democratic Party of Germany (S) 0.3 0.1 0.4 1.8 0.3 10.7 19.3 22.7 24.2 23.7 31.8
Conservatives (K) 0.0 0.2 2.8 0.0 12.5 14.7 10.0 4.8
Deutsche Reichspartei (R) 0.2 12.0 0.8 1.5 6.6 7.6 6.1 4.1 3.5 2.7 2.1
National Liberal Party (N) 2.1 0.0 1.9 0.7 11.5 8.5 3.6 10.3
Liberals 0.2
Freeminded Union (FVg) 0.0 0.1 6.2 6.4
Progressive People's Party (FVp) 1.4 0.0 1.8 0.5 14.0
Centre Party (Zentrum) (Z) 0.0 0.6 7.1 31.1 5.4
Others 0.7 0.6 0.2 0.6 0.8 0.2 1.1 1.9 12.0 7.0 5.9 0.2
1874 1877 1878 1881 1884 1887 1890 1893 1898 1903 1907 1912
Mandates
Aut 15
Aut 15
Aut 15
Aut 15
Aut 15
Aut 15
K 1
Aut 10
R 1
N 2
S 1
K 3
Aut 8
R 1
S 2
FVg 1
K 1
Aut 10
R 2
S 1
FVg 1
K 1
Aut 9
R 1
N 1
FVg 1
Vp 1
U 1
R 1
Aut 7
Z 5
S 2
FVg 1
Aut 9
S 5

FVp: Progressive People's Party. formed in 1910 as a merger of all leftist liberal parties.

During World War I

German patrol during the Saverne Affair
Translation: "Here at Gertwiller on 22 August 1914 three Alsatian farmers were shot, against all justice. ... innocent victims of German barbarity. Alsatians! Remember!"

In French foreign policy, the demand for the return of Alsace and Lorraine faded in importance after 1880 with the decline of the monarchist element. When the World War broke out in 1914, recovery of the two lost provinces became the top French war goal.[9]

In the early 20th century, the increased militarization of Europe, and the lack of negotiation between major powers, led to harsh and rash actions taken by both sides in respect to Alsace-Lorraine during World War I. As soon as war was declared, both the French and German authorities used the inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine as propaganda pawns.[]

Germans living in France were arrested and placed into camps by the French authorities. Upon occupying certain villages, veterans of the 1870 conflict were sought out and arrested by the French army.[f]

The Germans responded to the outbreak of war with harsh measures against the Alsace-Lorraine populace:[10] the Saverne Affair had convinced the high command that the population was hostile to the German Empire and that it should be forced into submission.[] German troops occupied some homes. The German military feared French partisans - or francs-tireurs, as they had been called during the Franco-Prussian War - would reappear.

German authorities developed policies aimed at reducing the influence of French. In Metz, French street names, which had been displayed in French and German, were suppressed in January 1915. Six months later, on 15 July 1915, German became the only official language in the region,[11] leading to the Germanization of the towns' names effective 2 September 1915.

Prohibiting the speaking of French in public further increased the exasperation of some of the natives, who were long accustomed to mixing their conversation with French language (see code-switching); still, the use even of one word, as innocent as "bonjour", could incur a fine.[g] Some ethnic Germans in the region cooperated in the persecution as a way to demonstrate German patriotism.[h]

German authorities became increasingly worried about renewed French nationalism. The Reichsland governor stated in February 1918: "Sympathies towards France and repulsion for Germans have penetrated to a frightening depth the petty bourgeoisie and the peasantry".[11][page needed] But in order to spare them possible confrontations with relatives in France but also to avoid any desertion from the Alsatian soldiers to the French army,[12][i] German Army draftees from Alsace-Lorraine were sent mainly to the Eastern front, or the Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). About 15,000 Alsatians and Lorrainers served in the German Navy.

Annexation to the French Republic

An Alsatian in traditional dress and a French officer, c. 1919

In the general revolutionary atmosphere of the expiring German Empire, Marxist councils of workers and soldiers (Soldaten und Arbeiterräte) formed in Mulhouse, in Colmar and Strasbourg in November 1918, in parallel to other such bodies set up in Germany, in imitation of the Russian equivalent soviets.

Metz and the Lorraine returned to France, front page of Le Petit Journal dated 8 December 1918

In this chaotic situation, Alsace-Lorraine's Landtag proclaimed itself the supreme authority of the land with the name of Nationalrat, the Soviet of Strasbourg claimed the foundation of a Republic of Alsace-Lorraine, while SPD Reichstag representative for Colmar, Jacques Peirotes, announced the establishment of the French rule, urging Paris to send troops quickly.[13]

While the soviet councils disbanded themselves with the departure of the German troops between 11-17 November,[14] the arrival of the French Army stabilized the situation: French troops put the region under military occupation and entered Strasbourg on 5 November. The Nationalrat proclaimed the annexation of Alsace to France on 5 December, even though this process did not gain international recognition until the signature of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

France divided Alsace-Lorraine into the départements of Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin, and Moselle (the same political structure as before the annexation and as created by the French Revolution, with slightly different limits). Even today,[when?] laws in these three regions are somewhat different from the rest of France - these specific provisions are known as the local law in Alsace-Moselle.

The département Meurthe-et-Moselle was maintained even after France recovered Alsace-Lorraine in 1919. The area of Belfort became a special-status area and was not reintegrated into Haut-Rhin in 1919 but instead was made a full-status département in 1922 under the name Territoire-de-Belfort.[j]

The French Government immediately started a Francization campaign that included the forced deportation of all Germans who had settled in the area after 1870. For that purpose, the population was divided in four categories: A (French citizens before 1870), B (descendants of such French citizens), C (citizens of Allied or neutral states), and D (enemy aliens - Germans). By July 1921, 111,915 people categorized as "D" were expelled to Germany.[15][16] German-language Alsatian newspapers were also suppressed and all place names were francizised (e.g., Straßburg -> Strasbourg, Mülhausen -> Mulhouse, Schlettstadt -> Sélestat, etc.).

World War II

Evacuation and deportations

On 1 September 1939 the population of Alsace and Moselle living in the Franco-German border region were evacuated. This comprised about one third of the population of Alsace and Moselle, or about 600,000 residents. The evacuation was aimed at providing space for military operations and for protecting citizens from attack. Evacuees were allowed to return in July 1940.[17][18]

Since German legislation that repressed homosexuality applied to Alsace-Moselle, homosexuals were deported. Refugee and resident Jews were also expelled.[19]

German control and the Malgré-nous

Monument to the Malgré-nous in Obernai, Alsace

After the defeat of France in the spring of 1940, Alsace and Moselle were not formally annexed by Nazi Germany. Although the terms of the armistice specified that the integrity of the whole French territory could not be modified in any way, Adolf Hitler, the German Führer, drafted an annexation law in 1940 that he kept secret, expecting to announce it in the event of a German victory.[21] Through a series of laws which individually seemed minor, Berlin took de facto control of Alsace-Lorraine, and Alsatians-Lorrainians could be drafted into the German Army. During the occupation, Moselle was integrated into a Reichsgau named Westmark and Alsace was amalgamated with Baden. Beginning in 1942, people from Alsace and Moselle were made German citizens by decree of the Nazi government.[20]

Beginning in October 1942, young Alsatian and Lorrainian men were inducted into the German armed forces. Sometimes they were known as the malgré-nous, which could be translated into English as "against our will".[k][22][23] A small minority volunteered, notably the author of The Forgotten Soldier, known by the pseudonym Guy Sajer. Ultimately, 100,000 Alsatians and 30,000 Mosellans were enrolled, many of them to fight against the Soviet Red Army, on Germany's Eastern Front. Most of those who survived the war were interned in Tambov in Russia in 1945. Many others fought in Normandy against the Allies as the malgré-nous of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich, some of whom were involved in the Oradour sur Glane and Tulle war crimes.

Speaking Alsatian, Lorraine Franconian, or French was prohibited under German occupation, and learning German was obligatory.

Demographics

First language (1900)

  • German and Germanic dialects: 1,492,347 (86.8%)[24]
  • Other languages: 219,638 (12.8%)[24]
    • French and Romance dialects: 198,318 (11.5%)
    • Italian: 18,750 (1.1%)
    • German and a second language: 7,485 (0.4%)
    • Polish: 1,410 (0.1%)

Religion

When Alsace and the Lorraine department became part of Germany, the French laws regarding religious bodies were preserved, with special privileges to the then recognised religions of Calvinism, Judaism, Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism, under a system known as the Concordat. However, the Roman Catholic dioceses of Metz and of Strasbourg became exempt jurisdictions. The Church of Augsburg Confession of France [fr], with its directory, supreme consistory and the bulk of its parishioners residing in Alsace, was reorganised as the Protestant Church of Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine (EPCAAL) in 1872, but territorially reconfined to Alsace-Lorraine only. The five local Calvinist consistories, originally part of the Reformed Church of France, formed a statewide synod in 1895, the Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine (EPRAL). The three Israelite consistories in Colmar [de], Metz [de] and Strasbourg [de] were disentangled from supervision by the Israelite Central Consistory of France and continued as separate statutory corporations which never formed a joint body, but cooperated. All the mentioned religious bodies retained the status as établissements publics de culte (public bodies of Religion). When the new Alsace-Lorraine constitution of 1911 provided for a bicameral state parliament (Landtag of Alsace-Lorraine [fr]) each recognised religion was entitled to send a representative into the first chamber of the Landtag as ex officio members (the bishops of Strasbourg and of Metz, the presidents of EPCAAL and EPRAL, and a delegate of the three Israelite consistories).

Religious statistics in 1910

Population 1,874,014:[24]

  • Catholic: 76.22%
  • Protestant: 21.78% (18.87% Lutherans, 2.91% Calvinists)
  • Jewish: 1.63%
  • Other Christian: 0.21%
  • Atheist: 0.12%

Statistics (1866-2018)

Year Population Cause of change
1866 1,596,198 -
1875 1,531,804 After incorporation into the German Empire, 100,000 to 130,000 people left for France and French Algeria
1910 1,874,014 +0.58% population growth per year during 1875-1910
1921 1,709,749 Death of young men in the German army (1914-1918);
deportation of persons considered German by the French authorities.
1936 1,915,627 +0.76% population growth per year during 1921-1936
1946 1,767,131 Death of young men in the French army in 1939-1945;
death of young men in the German army in 1942-1945;
death of civilians and many people still refugees in the rest of France
1975 2,523,703 +1.24% population growth per year during 1946-1975, a period of rapid population and economic growth in France known as the Trente Glorieuses
2018 2,942,057 +0.36% population growth per year during 1975-2018, a period marked by deindustrialization, rising unemployment (particularly in Moselle), and the migration of many people from northern and north-eastern France to the milder winters and economic dynamism of the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of France

Languages

Spatial distribution of dialects in Alsace-Lorraine before the expansion of standard French in the 20th century

Both Germanic and Romance dialects were traditionally spoken in Alsace-Lorraine before the 20th century.

Germanic dialects:

Romance dialects (belonging to the langues d'oïl like French):

See also

Notes

  1. ^ An instruction dated 1920-08-14 from the assistant Secretary of State, of the Presidency of the Council to the General Commissioner of the Republic in Strasbourg, reminds that the term Alsace-Lorraine is prohibited and must be replaced by the sentence "the département of Haut-Rhin, the département of Bas-Rhin, and the département of Moselle". While this sentence was considered too long for a practical name, some used the term Alsace-Moselle, to indicate the three concerned départements. However, the instruction is merely a Strasbourg governmental practice; it has no status under French law, since it is not based on any territorial authority.
  2. ^ Only the département of Meurthe changed its name and became Meurthe-et-Moselle after the border changed; the border between 1871-1918 is shown in yellow.
  3. ^ In France, children were taught in school not to forget the lost provinces, which were coloured in black on maps.
  4. ^ Bettannier was a native of Metz who fled to Paris after his hometown was annexed by Germany.
  5. ^ The linguistic border ran on the north of the new border, including in the 'Alemannic' towns and cities of Thionville (German name Diedenhofen), Metz, and Château-Salins (German name Salzburg, not to be confused with the much larger city of Salzburg in Austria). The cities of Vic-sur-Seille and Dieuze were French-speaking, as were the valleys containing Orbey and Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines. Similarly, the town of Dannemarie and its surrounds were also left in Alsace when language alone could have made them part of the Territoire de Belfort.[]
  6. ^ In 1914, Albert Schweitzer was put under supervision in Lambaréné, French Equatorial Africa; in 1917, he was taken to France and incarcerated until July 1918.[]
  7. ^ For example, the entry for 26 October 1914 in Spindler's[10] journal reads:
    "Then he advises me to speak no French. The streets are infested with informers, men and women, who reach for rewards and make arrests of passers-by for a simple "merci" said in French. It goes without saying that these measures incite people's joker spirit. A woman at the market, who probably was unaware that "bonchour" and "merci" are French, was taken to task by a German woman, because she answered her "Guten Tag" with a "bonchour" . Then, the good woman, with her fists on her hips, challenges her client : "I've had enough of your stupid yammering! Do you know what?" [something close to "Kiss my ...!" here] "Is that last bit French too?"[10][page needed]
    NOTE ON TRANSLATION:The business woman's final remark (she's speaking in coloquial Alemanic German) was
    "Jetz grad genua mit dene dauwe Plän! Wisse Sie was? Leeke Sie mich ...! Esch des am End au franzêsch?"[10][page needed]
  8. ^ We can read in L'Alsace pendant la guerre[10] how the exasperation of the population gradually increased. On 29 September 1914, Spindler heard a characteristic statement:
    "... the interior decorator H., who repairs the mattresses of the Ott house, said to me this morning: "If only it was the will of God that we became French again, and that these damned Schwowebittel were thrown out of the country! And then, you know, there are chances that it happens."
    It is the first time since the war I heard an ordinary man frankly expressing this wish."[10][page needed]
  9. ^ One of the famous case was the desertion from all the Alsatian soldiers from their German battalion on the eve of the Verdun offensive to warn the French army from the imminent attack.[12]
  10. ^ As an artifact of its prior alignment, the name of Belfort still[when?] seen on the Colmar prefecture building is a sous-prefecture remnant.
  11. ^ The term actually appeared after World War I.

References

  1. ^ Roosen, William James (2013). The age of Louis XIV: the rise of modern diplomacy. Transaction Publishers. p. 55. OCLC 847763358.
  2. ^ Cerf, Barry (1919). Alsace-Lorraine since 1870. MacMillan.
  3. ^ Finot, Jean (May 30, 1915). "Remaking the Map of Europe". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Churchill, W.S. (2015) [April 1923]. 1911-1914. The World Crisis. I. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 4.
  5. ^ Fernbach, David (ed.) Marx: The First International and After, p. 178, Letter to the Brunswick committee of the Social-Democratic Workers' Party, from Marx-Engels-Werke[full ]
  6. ^ Silverman, Dan P. (1971). "The Economic Consequences of Annexation: Alsace-Lorraine and Imperial Germany, 1871-1918". Central European History. 4 (1): 34-53. doi:10.1017/S0008938900000431. JSTOR 4545591.
  7. ^ Preibusch, Sophie Charlotte (2006). Verfassungsentwicklungen im Reichsland Elsass-Lothringen 1871-1918. Berliner Juristische Universitätsschriften, Grundlagen des Rechts (in German). 38. Berlin, DE: Berliner Wiessenschafts-Verlag / Juristische Universität Berlin. p. 96. ISBN 3-8305-1112-4 – via Google Digitalisat.
  8. ^ "Les députés "protestataires" d'Alsace-Lorraine". assemblee-nationale.fr. Histoire (in French).
  9. ^ Seager, Frederic H. (1969). "The Alsace-Lorraine Question in France, 1871-1914." in Charles K. Warner, ed., From the Ancien Regime to the Popular Front, pp 111-126.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Spindler, Charles (1915-09-11) [1914-09-06]. L'Alsace pendant la Guerre.[full ]
  11. ^ a b Grandhomme, Jean-Noël (2008). Boches ou tricolores. Strasbourg, FR: La nuée bleue.
  12. ^ a b Denizot, Alain (1996). Guerre mondiale, 1914-1918 - Campagnes et batailles. pp. 67-68.[full ]
  13. ^ Fortier, Jacques (16 November 2008) « La chute de l'Empire », Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (Fr.)
  14. ^ Grandhomme, Jean-Noël (November 2008). "Le retour de l'Alsace-Lorraine". L'Histoire (in French) (336).
  15. ^ Douglas, R.M. (2012). Ordnungsgemäße Überführung - Die Vertreibung der Deutschen nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg (in German). C.H. Beck. pp. 94 ff. ISBN 978-3-406-62294-6.
  16. ^ "Tabellarische Geschichte Elsaß-Lothringens / Französische Besatzung (1918-1940)". Archived from the original on 2002-03-14.
  17. ^ Williams, Maude. "To Protect, Defend and inform: The Evacuation of the German-French Border Region During the Second World War". Retrieved 2020.
  18. ^ "Evacuation, phony war and collapse, May-June 1940". Memorial Alsace-Moselle. Un peu d'histoire. Retrieved 2020.
  19. ^ "The deportation of people from Alsace and Moselle". Memorial Alsace-Moselle. Un peu d'histoire. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ a b Jäckel, Eberhard (1966) « L'annexion déguisée », dans Frankreich in Hitlers Europa - Die deutsche Frankreichpolitik im Zweiten Weltkrieg, Deutsche Verlag-Anstalg GmbH, Stuttgart.
  21. ^ Jäckel (1966) § "La France dans l'Europe de Hitler"[20]
  22. ^ Schlund, Pierre (2011) Souvenirs de guerre d'un Alsacien, Éditions Mille et une vies, ISBN 978-2-923692-18-0
  23. ^ Durand, Paul (1945) En passant par la Lorraine; gens et choses de chez nous 1900-1945, Éditions Le Lorrain, p. 131-132
  24. ^ a b c Rademacher, Michael (2006). "Verwaltungsgeschichte Elsaß-Lothringen 1871-1919" [Administrative History of Alsace-Lorraine 1871-1919] (in German).

Further reading

  • Bankwitz, Philip Charles Farwell. Alsatian autonomist leaders, 1919-1947 (UP of Kansas, 1978).
  • Byrnes, Joseph F. "The relationship of religious practice to linguistic culture: language, religion, and education in Alsace and the Roussillon, 1860-1890." Church History 68#3 (1999): 598-626.
  • Harp, Stephen L. "Building the German nation. Primary schooling in Alsace-Lorraine, 1870-1918." Paedagogica Historica 32.supplement 1 (1996): 197-219.
  • Hazen, Charles Downer. Alsace-Lorraine Under German Rule (New York: H. Holt, 1917). online; scholarly history
  • Höpel, Thomas: The French-German Borderlands: Borderlands and Nation-Building in the 19th and 20th Centuries, European History Online, Mainz: Institute of European History, 2010, retrieved: December 17, 2012.
  • Klein, Detmar. "German-Annexed Alsace and Imperial Germany: A Process of Colonisation?." in Róisín Healy and Enrico Dal Lago, eds. The Shadow of Colonialism on Europe's Modern Past (Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2014). 92-108.
  • Putnam, Ruth. Alsace and Lorraine from Cæsar to Kaiser, 58 B.C.-1871 A.D. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1915.
  • Seager, Frederic H. "The Alsace-Lorraine Question in France, 1871-1914." in Charles K. Warner, ed., From the Ancien Regime to the Popular Front (1969): 111-126.
  • Silverman, Dan P. Reluctant Union; Alsace-Lorraine and Imperial Germany, 1871-1918 (Pennsylvania State UP, 1972).
  • Varley, Karine. Under the Shadow of Defeat (Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2008) pp. 175-202.

Other languages

  • Baumann, Ansbert. « Die Erfindung des Grenzlandes Elsass-Lothringen », in: Burkhard Olschowsky (ed.), Geteilte Regionen - geteilte Geschichtskulturen? Muster der europäischen Identitätsbildung im europäischen Vergleich, Munich: Oldenbourg 2013, ISBN 978-3-486-71210-0, S. 163-183.
  • Roth, François. Alsace-Lorraine, De 1870 À Nos Jours: Histoire d'un "pays perdu". Nancy: Place Stanislas, 2010. ISBN 978-2-35578-050-9.

External links

Coordinates: 48°40?N 7°00?E / 48.67°N 7°E / 48.67; 7


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