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The Imperial Territory of Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
(German: Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen or Elsass-Lothringen, French: Terre d'Empire d'Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
or Alsace-Moselle) was a territory created by the German Empire
German Empire
in 1871, after it annexed most of Alsace
Alsace
and the Moselle department of Lorraine
Lorraine
following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine
Rhine
Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River
Rhine River
and east of the Vosges Mountains. The Lorraine
Lorraine
section was in the upper Moselle valley
Moselle valley
to the north of the Vosges. The territory was made up of 93% of Alsace
Alsace
and 26% of Lorraine; the remaining portions of these regions continued to be part of France. For historical reasons, specific legal dispositions are still applied in the territory in the form of a "local law". In relation to its special legal status, since its reversion to France
France
following World War I, the territory has been referred to administratively as Alsace-Moselle.[note 1] Since 2016, the historical territory is now part of the French administrative region of Grand Est.

Contents

1 Geography

1.1 Towns and cities

2 History

2.1 Background 2.2 From annexation to World War I

2.2.1 Reichstag election results 1874–1912 2.2.2 During World War I

2.3 Annexation to the French Republic 2.4 World War II

3 Demographics

3.1 First language (1900) 3.2 Religion

3.2.1 Religious statistics in 1910

3.3 Statistics (1866–2010) 3.4 Languages

4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 Further reading

7.1 Other languages

8 External links

Geography[edit] Alsace- Lorraine
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
Oberelsass
(Upper Alsace), whose capital was Kolmar, had a land area of 3,525 km2 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 and corresponds exactly to the current department of Bas-Rhin Lothringen, (Lorraine), whose capital was Metz, had a land area of 6,216 km2 and corresponds exactly to the current department of Moselle
Moselle
(department)

Towns and cities[edit] The largest urban areas in Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
at the 1910 census were:

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

History[edit] Background[edit] Main articles: French–German enmity
French–German enmity
and Causes of the Franco-Prussian War The modern history of Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
was largely influenced by the rivalry between French and German nationalism. France
France
long sought to attain and preserve its "natural boundaries", which are the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
to the southwest, the Alps
Alps
to the southeast, and the Rhine River
Rhine River
to the northeast. These strategic claims led to the annexation of territories located west of the Rhine
Rhine
river in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. What is now known as Alsace was progressively conquered by Louis XIV in the 17th century, while Lorraine
Lorraine
was incorporated in the 18th century under Louis XV.[1] German nationalism, which resurfaced following the French occupation 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
German dialects
were spoken by most of the population of Alsace
Alsace
and Moselle
Moselle
(northern Lorraine), these regions were viewed by German nationalists to be rightfully part of hoped-for united Germany in the future.

We Germans
Germans
who know Germany and France
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[edit] Main article: Franco-Prussian War

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Louis-Frédéric Schützenberger's The Exodus (1872), depicting Alsatians leaving newly annexed Alsace
Alsace
for France

Shading shows départements before 1870; black lines after 1871. Only the département of Meurthe changed name and became Meurthe-et-Moselle after the border changes; border between 1871 and 1918 in yellow.

The loss of Alsace
Alsace
and Lorraine
Lorraine
personified – statue in Nancy, in the French part of Lorraine.

"The Black Stain": In France, children were taught in school not to forget the lost provinces, which were coloured in black on maps. Painting by Albert Bettannier, a native of Metz
Metz
who fled to Paris after the annexation of his hometown.

In 1871, the newly created German Empire's demand for Alsace
Alsace
from France
France
after its victory in the Franco-Prussian War
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 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
Karl Marx
also warned his fellow Germans: "If Alsace
Alsace
and Lorraine
Lorraine
are taken, then France
France
will later make war on Germany in conjunction with Russia. It is unnecessary to go into the unholy consequences." [5] However, 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
Alemannic German
dialects. From a military perspective, by early 1870s standards, shifting the frontier away from the Rhine
Rhine
would give the Germans
Germans
a strategic buffer against feared future French attacks. Due to the annexation, the Germans
Germans
gained control of the fortifications of Metz, though it was a French-speaking town; of Strasbourg
Strasbourg
(Straßburg) on the left bank of the Rhine; and of most of the iron resources of Lorraine. However, domestic politics in the new Reich may have been decisive. Although it was effectively led by Prussia, the new German Empire
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 prewar frontier that, except for the northernmost section, was part of two other states of the new Empire – Baden
Baden
and Bavaria. As recently as the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, these states had been Prussia's enemies. 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 argued that it was necessary for the Reich's frontier with France
France
to be under direct Prussian control.[citation needed] Creating a new Imperial Territory (Reichsland) out of formerly French territory would achieve this goal: although a Reichsland would not be part of the Kingdom of Prussia, being governed directly from Berlin it would be under Prusso-German control. Thus, by annexing Alsace-Lorraine, Berlin was able to avoid complications with Baden
Baden
and Bavaria on such matters as new fortifications.[citation needed] Memories of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
were still quite fresh in the 1870s. Right up 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
Germans
as an aggressive people. In the years before 1870, it is arguable that the Germans
Germans
feared the French more than the French feared the Germans. Many Germans
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 old 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
Belfort
(now the French département of 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
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, as it belonged to Württemberg
Württemberg
from 1397 to 1806. This area corresponded to the French départements of Bas-Rhin
Bas-Rhin
(in its entirety), Haut-Rhin
Haut-Rhin
(except the area of Belfort
Belfort
and Montbéliard), and a small area in the northeast of the Vosges département, all of which made up Alsace, and the départements of Moselle
Moselle
(four-fifths of it) and the northeast of Meurthe (one-third of Meurthe), which were the eastern part of Lorraine. The rest of the département of Meurthe was joined with the westernmost part of Moselle
Moselle
which had escaped German annexation to form the new département of Meurthe-et-Moselle.

The neo-Romanesque Metz
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
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
Metz
and its region and in the area of Château-Salins
Château-Salins
(formerly in the Meurthe département), which were annexed by Germany although most people there spoke French.[note 2] In 1900, 11.6% of the population of Alsace- Lorraine
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
France
to denounce the new border as hypocrisy, since Germany had justified the annexation on linguistic grounds. However, the German administration was tolerant of the use of the French language, and French was permitted as an official language and school language in those areas where it was spoken by a majority. This would only change with the First World War in 1914. The Treaty of Frankfurt gave the residents of the region until October 1, 1872 to choose between emigrating to France
France
or remaining in the region and having their nationality legally changed to German. About 161,000 people, i.e., around 10.4% of the residents of Alsace-Lorraine, opted for French citizenship (the so-called Optanden); however, only about 50,000 actually emigrated, while the rest acquired German citizenship.[6] The sentiment of attachment to France
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
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. »[7] The Saverne Affair
Saverne Affair
(usually known in English-language accounts as the Zabern Affair), in which abusive and oppressive behaviour by the military towards the population of the town of Saverne led to protests not just in Alsace
Alsace
but in other regions, put a severe strain on the relationship between the people of Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
and the rest of the German Empire. Under the German Empire
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[edit]

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
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[edit] Further information: World War I

German patrol during the Saverne Affair

Translation: Here at Gertwiller
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
Alsace
and Lorraine
Lorraine
faded in importance after 1880 with the decline of the monarchists element. When the World War broke out in 1914, recovery of the two lost provinces became the top French war goal.[8] 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
Lorraine
during World War I. As soon as war was declared, both the French and German authorities used the inhabitants of Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
as propaganda pawns.[citation needed] Germans
Germans
living in France
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.[9] The Germans
Germans
responded to the outbreak of war with harsh measures against the Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
populace:[10] the Saverne Affair
Saverne Affair
had convinced the high command that the population was hostile to the German Empire
German Empire
and that it should be forced into submission.[citation needed] German troops occupied some homes. The German military feared French partisans – or francs-tireurs, as they had been called during the Franco-Prussian War
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 July 15, 1915, German became the only official language in the region,[11] leading to the Germanization of the towns’ names effective September 2, 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
French language
(see code-switching); however, the use even of one word, as innocent as "bonjour", could incur a fine.[note 3] Some ethnic Germans
Germans
in the region cooperated in the persecution as a way to demonstrate German patriotism.[note 4] German authorities became increasingly worried about renewed French nationalism. The Reichsland governor stated in February 1918: "Sympathies towards France
France
and repulsion for Germans
Germans
have penetrated to a frightening depth the petty bourgeoisie and the peasantry".[12] But in order to spare them possible confrontations with relatives in France
France
but also to avoid any desertion from the Alsatian soldiers to the French army,[note 5][13] 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[edit] Main article: November 1918 in Alsace-Lorraine

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

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

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

In this chaotic situation, Alsace-Lorraine's Landtag
Landtag
proclaimed itself the supreme authority of the land with the name of Nationalrat, the Soviet of Strasbourg
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.[14] While the soviet councils disbanded themselves with the departure of the German troops between November 11 and 17,[15] the arrival of the French Army
French Army
stabilized the situation: French troops put the region under occupatio bellica and entered Strasbourg
Strasbourg
on November 21. The Nationalrat proclaimed the annexation of Alsace
Alsace
to France
France
on December 5, even though this process did not gain international recognition until the signature of the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
in 1919. Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
was divided into the départements of Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin
Bas-Rhin
and Moselle
Moselle
(the same political structure as before the annexation and as created by the French Revolution, with slightly different limits). Today, these territories enjoy laws that are significantly different from the rest of France
France
– these specific provisions are known as the local law. The département Meurthe-et-Moselle
Meurthe-et-Moselle
was maintained even after France recovered Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
in 1919. The area of Belfort
Belfort
became a special status area and was not reintegrated into Haut-Rhin
Haut-Rhin
in 1919 but instead was made a full-status département in 1922 under the name Territoire-de-Belfort.[note 6] The French Government immediately started a Francization
Francization
campaign that included the forced deportation of all Germans
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" had been expelled to Germany.[16][17] German-language Alsatian newspapers were also suppressed. World War II[edit] Main article: Malgré-nous

Monument to the Malgré-nous
Malgré-nous
in Obernai, Alsace

After the defeat of France
France
in the spring of 1940, Alsace
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.[18] Through a series of laws which individually seemed minor, Berlin took full control of Alsace-Lorraine, and Alsatians-Lorrainians could be drafted into the German Army. During the occupation, Moselle
Moselle
was integrated into a Reichsgau
Reichsgau
named Westmark and Alsace
Alsace
was amalgamated with Baden. Beginning in 1942, people from Alsace
Alsace
and Moselle
Moselle
were made German citizens by decree of the Nazi government.[19] 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 in English as "against our will".[note 7][20][21] A small minority, however, 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 on the Eastern Front against the Soviet Red Army. Most of those who survived the war were interned in Tambov
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 which were involved in the Oradour sur Glane and Tulle war crimes. Speaking Alsatian, Lorraine
Lorraine
Franconian or French was prohibited under German occupation, and learning German was obligatory. Demographics[edit]

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First language (1900)[edit]

German and Germanic dialects: 1,492,347 (86.8%)[22] Other Languages: 219,638 (12.8%)[22]

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[edit] When Alsace
Alsace
and the Lorraine
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
Lutheranism
and Roman Catholicism, under a system known as the Concordat. However, the Roman Catholic dioceses of Metz
Metz
and of Strasbourg
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
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
Alsace
and Lorraine
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
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
Lorraine
constitution of 1911 provided for a bicameral state parliament ( Landtag
Landtag
of Alsace-Lorraine (fr)) each recognised religion was entitled to send a representative into the first chamber of the Landtag
Landtag
as ex officio members (the bishops of Strasbourg
Strasbourg
and of Metz, the presidents of EPCAAL and EPRAL, and a delegate of the three Israelite consistories). Religious statistics in 1910[edit] Population 1,874,014 :[22]

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

Statistics (1866–2010)[edit]

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
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 (1914–18); 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 1939–45, Death of young men in the German army in 1942–45, 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
France
known as the Trente Glorieuses

2010 2,890,753 +0.39% population growth per year during 1975–2010, a period marked by deindustrialization, rising unemployment (particularly in Moselle), and the migration of many people from northern and north-eastern France
France
to the milder winters and economic dynamism of the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions of France

Languages[edit]

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

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

Central German
Central German
dialects:

Luxembourgish Franconian aka Luxembourgish in the north-west of Moselle
Moselle
(Lothringen) around Thionville
Thionville
(Diddenuewen in the local Luxembourgish dialect) and Sierck-les-Bains
Sierck-les-Bains
(Siirk in the local Luxembourgish dialect). Moselle
Moselle
Franconian in the central northern part of Moselle
Moselle
around Boulay- Moselle
Moselle
(Bolchin in the local Moselle
Moselle
Franconian dialect) and Bouzonville
Bouzonville
(Busendroff in the local Moselle
Moselle
Franconian dialect). Rhine
Rhine
Franconian in the north-east of Moselle
Moselle
around Forbach
Forbach
(Fuerboch in the local Rhine
Rhine
Franconian dialect), Bitche
Bitche
(Bitsch in the local Rhine
Rhine
Franconian dialect), and Sarrebourg
Sarrebourg
(Saarbuerj in the local Rhine
Rhine
Franconian dialect), as well as in the north-west of Alsace around Sarre-Union
Sarre-Union
(Buckenum in the local Rhine
Rhine
Franconian dialect) and La Petite-Pierre
La Petite-Pierre
(Lítzelstain in the local Rhine
Rhine
Franconian dialect).

Transitional between Central German
Central German
and Upper German:

South Franconian
South Franconian
in the northernmost part of Alsace
Alsace
around Wissembourg (Waisseburch in the local South Franconian
South Franconian
dialect).

Upper German
Upper German
dialects:

Alsatian in the largest part of Alsace
Alsace
and in a few villages around Phalsbourg
Phalsbourg
in the extreme south-east of Moselle. Alsatian was the most spoken dialect in Alsace-Lorraine. High Alemannic
High Alemannic
in the southernmost part of Alsace, around Saint-Louis and Ferrette
Ferrette
(Pfirt in the local High Alemannic
High Alemannic
dialect).

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

Lorrain in roughly the southern half of Moselle, including its capital Metz, as well as in some valleys of the Vosges Mountains
Vosges Mountains
in the west of Alsace
Alsace
around Schirmeck
Schirmeck
and Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines. Franc-Comtois in 12 villages in the extreme south-west of Alsace.

See also[edit]

Franco-Prussian War Unification of Germany French–German enmity Gare de Metz-Ville November 1918 in Alsace-Lorraine Guy Sajer

Notes[edit]

^ 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
Strasbourg
reminds that the term Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
is prohibited and must be replaced by the sentence "the département of Haut-Rhin, the département of Bas-Rhin
Bas-Rhin
and the département of Moselle". While this sentence was considered as too long, some used the term Alsace- Moselle
Moselle
to point to the three concerned départements. However, this instruction has no legal status because it is not based on any territorial authority. ^ The linguistic border ran on the north of the new border, including in the "Alemannic" territories Thionville
Thionville
(also named Diedenhofen under the German Reich), Metz, Château-Salins, Vic-sur-Seille
Vic-sur-Seille
and Dieuze, which were fully French-speaking. The valleys of Orbey
Orbey
and Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines
Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines
were in the same case. Similarly, the town of Dannemarie (and adjoining areas) were also left in Alsace
Alsace
when language alone could have made them part of Territoire de Belfort. ^ As of on October 26, 1914, we can read in Spindler's journal: "Then he recommends to me not to speak French. The streets are infested with informers, men and women, who touch rewards and make arrest the passers by for a simple « merci » said in French. It goes without saying that these measures excite the joker spirit of the people. A woman at the market, who probably was unaware that "bonchour" and "merci" was French, is taken with part by a German woman because she answered her "Guten Tag" by a "bonchour ". Then, the good woman, the fists on the hips, challenges her client : "Now I'm fed up with your silly stories! Do you know what? [here something like "kiss my ..."]! Is that endly also French? » (als: Jetz grad genua mit dene dauwe Plän! Wisse Sie was? Leeke Sie mich ...! Esch des am End au franzêsch?)" ^ We can read in L' Alsace
Alsace
pendant la guerre how the exasperation of the population gradually increased but Spindler hears on September 29, 1914, a characteristic sentence: « ... 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 again French 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 hear a simple man expressing frankly this wish. » ^ One of the famous case was the desertion from all the Alsatian soldiers from their German bataillion the eve of the Verdun offensive to warn the French army from the imminent attack ^ However, on the Colmar
Colmar
prefecture building, the name of Belfort
Belfort
can be seen as a sous-prefecture. ^ (The term actually appeared after World War I.)

References[edit]

^ Roosen, William James (2013). The age of Louis XIV: the rise of modern diplomacy. Transaction Publishers. p. 55. OCLC 847763358.  ^ Cerf, Barry (1919). Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
since 1870. MacMillan.  ^ Finot, Jean (May 30, 1915). "Remaking the Map of Europe". The New York Times.  ^ Churchill, W. S., "The World Crisis, Vol. I: 1911-1914, Bloomsbury Academic, 2015, p. 4." ^ 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 ^ Sophie Charlotte Preibusch: Verfassungsentwicklungen im Reichsland Elsass-Lothringen 1871–1918. In: Berliner Juristische Universitätsschriften, Grundlagen des Rechts. Vol 38, ISBN 3-8305-1112-4, p. 96. (in German) (Google Digitalisat) ^ Les députés "protestataires" d'Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
(French) ^ Frederic H. Seager, "The Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
Question in France, 1871-1914." in Charles K. Warner, ed., From the Ancien Regime to the Popular Front (1969): 111-126. ^ In 1914, Albert Schweitzer
Albert Schweitzer
was put under supervision in Lambaréné, French Equatorial Africa; in 1917, he was taken to France
France
and incarcerated until July 1918. ^ Charles Spindler, L' Alsace
Alsace
pendant la Guerre, 6 septembre 1914 and 11 septembre 1915. ^ Grandhomme, Jean-Noël (2008) Boches ou tricolores. Strasbourg: La nuée bleue. ^ Grandhomme, Jean-Noël. op.cit. ^ Alain Denizot - (1996) - "Guerre mondiale, 1914-1918 - Campagnes et batailles" 67-68 ^ Jacques Fortier, « La chute de l'Empire », Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, 16 November 2008 (Fr.) ^ Jean-Noël Grandhomme, « Le retour de l'Alsace-Lorraine », L'Histoire, number 336, November 2008 (Fr.) ^ Douglas, R.M. (2012). Ordnungsgemäße Überführung - Die Vertreibung der Deutschen nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg (in German). C.H.Beck. pp. 94 f. ISBN 978-3-406-62294-6.  ^ "Tabellarische Geschichte Elsaß-Lothringens / Französische Besatzung (1918-1940)". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25.  ^ Eberhard Jäckel, La France
France
dans l'Europe de Hitler, op. cit., p. 123-124. ^ Eberhard Jäckel, « L'annexion déguisée », dans Frankreich in Hitlers Europa – Die deutsche Frankreichpolitik im Zweiten Weltkrieg, Deutsche Verlag-Anstalg GmbH, Stuttgart, 1966, p. 123-124. ^ Pierre Schlund, Souvenirs de guerre d'un Alsacien, Éditions Mille et une vies, 2011, ISBN 978-2-923692-18-0 ^ Paul Durand, En passant par la Lorraine ; gens et choses de chez nous 1900-1945, Éditions Le Lorrain, 1945, p. 131-132 ^ a b c Rademacher, Michael (2006). "Verwaltungsgeschichte Elsaß-Lothringen 1871–1919" [Administrative History of Alsace- Lorraine
Lorraine
1871–1919] (in German). 

Further reading[edit]

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
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
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
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
Alsace
and Lorraine
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
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
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[edit]

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[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alsace-Lorraine.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Alsace-Lorraine.

http://www.geocities.com/bfel/geschichte5b.html (Archived 2009-10-25) (in German) http://www.elsass-lothringen.de/ (in German) https://web.archive.org/web/20090730200508/http://geocities.com/CapitolHill/Rotunda/2209/Alsace_Lorraine.html France, Germany and the Struggle for the War-making Natural Resources of the Rhineland Elsass-Lothringen video Annuary of Cultur and Artists from Elsass-Lothringen (in French) (in German)

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v t e

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(1871–1918) Gau Baden-Elsaß
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portal

v t e

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topics

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Meurthe-et-Moselle
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Sports

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

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 137798315 LCCN: n81126015 GND: 4014502-5 BNF:

.