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The SAARLAND (German: _das Saarland_, pronounced ; French : _la Sarre_ ) is one of the sixteen states (or _Bundesländer_) of the Federal Republic of Germany. With its capital at Saarbrücken , it has an area of 2,570 km² and its population (as of 30 April 2012) is approximately 1,012,000. In terms of both area and population size – apart from the city-states of Berlin
Berlin
, Bremen and Hamburg
Hamburg
– it is Germany's smallest state. The wealth of its coal deposits and their large-scale industrial exploitation, coupled with its location on the border between France
France
and Germany, have given the Saarland
Saarland
a unique history in modern times.

Prior to its creation as the Territory of the Saar Basin by the League of Nations
League of Nations
after World War I
World War I
, the Saarland
Saarland
(or simply "the Saar", as it is frequently referred to) did not exist as a unified entity. Until then, some parts of it had been Prussian while others belonged to Bavaria
Bavaria
. The inhabitants voted to rejoin Germany
Germany
in a referendum held in 1935.

From 1947 to 1956 the Saarland
Saarland
was a French-occupied territory (the " Saar Protectorate ") separate from the rest of Germany. Between 1950 and 1956, Saarland
Saarland
was a member of the Council of Europe . In 1955, in another referendum , the inhabitants were offered independence, but voted instead for the territory to become a state of West Germany
Germany
.

From 1920 to 1935, and again from 1947 to 1959, the inhabitants of the Saarland
Saarland
used money ( Saar franc ) and postage stamps issued specially for the territory .

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Before World War I
World War I
* 1.2 Interwar history * 1.3 History after World War II
World War II

* 2 Geography

* 2.1 Districts

* 3 Demographics

* 3.1 Religion

* 4 Politics

* 4.1 Current government of the Saarland
Saarland
* 4.2 See also

* 5 Economy * 6 Education

* 7 Culture

* 7.1 Local dialect * 7.2 French

* 8 Sports * 9 Notes * 10 References * 11 External links

HISTORY

BEFORE WORLD WAR I

Map of the Saar Region in the year 1793

Saarland
Saarland
is the result of a regulation of the treaty of Versailles and was created in 1919. Prior to this creation, there never existed a comparable administrative unit or a feeling of togetherness.

The region of the Saarland
Saarland
was settled by the Celtic tribes of Treveri and Mediomatrici . The most impressive relic of their time is the remains of a fortress of refuge at Otzenhausen in the north of the Saarland. In the 1st century BC, the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
made the region part of its province of Belgica
Belgica
. The Celtic population mixed with the Roman immigrants. The region gained wealth, which can still be seen in the remains of Roman villas and villages.

Roman rule ended in the 5th century, when the Franks
Franks
conquered the territory. For the next 1,300 years the region shared the history of the Kingdom of the Franks
Franks
, the Carolingian Empire and of the Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
. The region of the Saarland
Saarland
was divided into several small territories, some of which were ruled by sovereigns of adjoining regions. Most important of the local rulers were the counts of Nassau- Saarbrücken . Within the Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
these territories gained a wide range of independence, threatened, however, by the French kings , who sought, from the 17th century onwards, to incorporate all the territories on the western side of the river Rhine and repeatedly invaded the area in 1635, in 1676, in 1679 and in 1734, extending their realm to the Saar River and establishing the city and stronghold of Saarlouis in 1680.

It was not the king of France
France
but the armies of the French Revolution who terminated the independence of the states in the region of the Saarland. After 1792 they conquered the region and made it part of the French Republic
French Republic
. While a strip in the west belonged to the Département Moselle
Moselle
, the centre in 1798 became part of the Département de Sarre , and the east became part of the Département du Mont-Tonnerre . After the defeat of Napoleon
Napoleon
in 1815, the region was divided again. Most of it became part of the Prussian Rhine Province . Another part in the east, corresponding to the present Saarpfalz district, was allocated to the Kingdom of Bavaria . A small part in the northeast was ruled by the Duke of Oldenburg .

On 31 July 1870, the French Emperor Napoleon
Napoleon
III ordered an invasion across the River Saar to seize Saarbrücken. The first shots of the Franco-Prussian War 1870/71 were fired on the heights of Spichern , south of Saarbrücken . The Saar region became part of the German Empire which came into existence on 18 January 1871, during the course of this war.

INTERWAR HISTORY

Main article: Territory of the Saar Basin

In 1920 the Saargebiet was occupied by Britain and France
France
under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
. The occupied area included portions of the Prussian Rhine
Rhine
Province and the Bavarian Rhenish Palatinate . In practice the region was administered by France. In 1920 this was formalized by a 15-year League of Nations
League of Nations
mandate. _ A postage stamp from the French occupation of Saarland
Saarland
(Sarre_ in French)

In 1933, a considerable number of communists and other political opponents of National Socialism fled to the Saar, as it was the only part of Germany
Germany
that remained outside national administration following the First World War. As a result, anti-Nazi groups agitated for the Saarland
Saarland
to remain under French administration. However, with most of the population being ethnically German, such views were considered suspect or even treasonable, and therefore found little support.

When the original 15-year term was over, a plebiscite was held in the territory on 13 January 1935: 90.8% of those voting favored rejoining Germany.

Following the referendum Josef Bürckel was appointed on 1 March 1935 as the German Reich
German Reich
's commissioner for reintegration (_ Reichskommissar für die Rückgliederung des Saarlandes_). When the reincorporation was considered accomplished, his title was changed (after 17 June 1936) to _ Reichskommissar für das Saarland_. In September 1939, in response to the German Invasion of Poland , French forces invaded the Saarland
Saarland
in a half-hearted offensive, occupying some villages and meeting little resistance, before withdrawing. A further change was made after 8 April 1940 to _ Reichskommissar für die Saarpfalz_; finally, after 11 March 1941, he was made _ Reichsstatthalter
Reichsstatthalter
in der "Westmark"_ (the region's new name, meaning "Western March or Border"). He died on 28 September 1944 and was succeeded by Willi Stöhr , who remained in office until the region fell to advancing American forces in March 1945.

HISTORY AFTER WORLD WAR II

Further information: Saar (protectorate)

After World War II
World War II
, the Saarland
Saarland
came under French occupation and administration again, as the Saar Protectorate .

Under the Monnet Plan France
France
attempted to gain economic control of the German industrial areas with large coal and mineral deposits that were not in Soviet hands: the Ruhr
Ruhr
and the Saar area. Attempts to gain control of or permanently internationalize the Ruhr
Ruhr
area (see International Authority for the Ruhr
Ruhr
) were abandoned in 1951 with the German agreement to pool its coal and steel resources (see European Coal and Steel Community ) in return for full political control of the Ruhr. The French attempt to gain economic control over the Saar was more successful at the time, with the final vestiges of French economic influence not ending until 1981. France
France
did not annex the Saar or expel the local German population, as opposed to fate of Upper Silesia which was annexed by Poland
Poland
in 1949 in accordance with the peace treaty between Poland
Poland
and the GDR/East Germany
Germany
(see also Allied-occupied Germany
Germany
).

In his speech "Restatement of Policy on Germany
Germany
", made in Stuttgart on 6 September 1946, United States Secretary of State James F. Byrnes stated the U.S. motive in detaching the Saar from Germany: "The United States does not feel that it can deny to France, which has been invaded three times by Germany
Germany
in 70 years, its claim to the Saar territory". (See also Morgenthau plan for U.S. and UK designs for the Saar.)

From 1945 to 1951, a policy of industrial disarmament was pursued in Germany
Germany
by the Allies (see the industrial plans for Germany
Germany
). As part of this policy, limits were placed on production levels, and industries in the Saar were dismantled just as in the Ruhr, although mostly in the period prior to its detachment (see also the 1949 letter from the UK Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin to the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman , urging a reconsideration of the dismantling policy).

In 1948, the French government established the Saarland
Saarland
University under the auspices of the University of Nancy . It is the principal university in the _Bundesland_, the other being HTW .

The Saar Protectorate was headed by a military governor from 30 August 1945: Gilbert Yves Édmond Grandval (b. 1904 – d. 1981), who remained, on 1 January 1948, as High Commissioner
High Commissioner
, and January 1952 – June 1955 as the first of two French ambassadors, his successor being Eric de Carbonnel (b. 1910 – d. 1965) until 1956. Saarland, however, was allowed a regional administration very early, consecutively headed by:

* a President of the Government:

* 31 July 1945 – 8 June 1946: Hans Neureuther, Non-party

* a Chairman of the (until 15 December 1947, Provisional) Administration Commission:

* 8 June 1946 – 20 December 1947: Erwin Müller (b. 1906 – d. 1968), non-party

* Minister-presidents (as in any _Bundesland_):

* 20 December 1947 – 29 October 1955 Johannes Hoffmann (b. 1890 – d. 1967), CVP * 29 October 1955 – 10 January 1956 Heinrich Welsch (b. 1888 – d. 1976), Non-party * 10 January 1956 – 4 June 1957 Hubert Ney (b. 1892 – d. 1984), CDU

In 1954, France
France
and the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
(West Germany) developed a detailed plan called the _Saarstatut_ to establish an independent Saarland. It was signed as an agreement between the two countries on 23 October 1954 as one of the Paris Pacts , but a plebiscite held on 23 October 1955 rejected it by 67.7%.

On 27 October 1956, the Saar Treaty declared that Saarland
Saarland
should be allowed to join the Federal Republic of Germany, which it did on 1 January 1957. This was the last significant international border change in Europe until the fall of Communism .

The Saarland's reunification with the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
was sometimes referred to as the _ Kleine Wiedervereinigung _ ("little reunification", in contrast with the post-Cold War absorption of the GDR). Even after reunification, the Saar franc remained as the territory's currency until West Germany's Deutsche Mark replaced it on 7 July 1959. The Saar Treaty established that French, not English as in the rest of West Germany, should remain the first foreign language taught in Saarland
Saarland
schools; this provision was still largely followed after it was no longer binding.

Since 1971, Saarland
Saarland
has been a member of SaarLorLux , a euroregion created from Saarland, Lorraine , Luxembourg
Luxembourg
, Rhineland Palatinate , and Wallonia .

GEOGRAPHY

"Saarschleife " (Bend in the Saar) near Mettlach

The state borders France
France
(_département_ of Moselle
Moselle
, which forms part of the _région_ of Grand Est ) to the south and west, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
( Grevenmacher District ) to the west and Rheinland-Pfalz to the north and the east.

It is named after the Saar River , a tributary of the Moselle
Moselle
River (itself a tributary of the Rhine
Rhine
), which runs through the state from the south to the northwest. One third of the land area of the Saarland is covered by forest, one of the highest percentages in Germany. The state is generally hilly; the highest mountain is the Dollberg with a height of 695.4 m (2281 feet). Districts of Saarland
Saarland
(towns dark-coloured, position of number in the capital)

Most inhabitants live in a city agglomeration on the French border, surrounding the capital of Saarbrücken.

See also List of places in Saarland .

* Saar-Warndt coal mining basin

DISTRICTS

Saarland
Saarland
is divided into six districts ("Landkreise" in German):

* Merzig-Wadern
Merzig-Wadern
* Neunkirchen * Saarbrücken * Saarlouis * Saarpfalz-Kreis * Sankt Wendel

DEMOGRAPHICS

SIGNIFICANT FOREIGN BORN POPULATIONS

NATIONALITY POPULATION (2017)

Italy
Italy
18,796

Syria
Syria
12,660

Turkey
Turkey
10,656

France
France
6,806

Romania
Romania
6,327

Poland
Poland
5,877

Luxembourg
Luxembourg
3,603

Bulgaria
Bulgaria
3,153

Russia
Russia
2,278

Kosovo
Kosovo
2,050

Hungary
Hungary
1,730

Bosnia 1,641

Ukraine
Ukraine
1,357

Greece
Greece
1,321

Serbia
Serbia
1,217

RELIGION

RELIGION IN SAARLAND – 31 DECEMBER 2015

religion

percent

Roman Catholics   59.8%

EKD Protestants   18.4%

Other or none   21.8%

The adherents of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
comprise 59.8% of the population, organised in the two dioceses of Trier
Trier
(comprising the formerly Prussian part of Saarland) and Speyer (for the smaller eastern formerly Palatine part). 18.4% of the Saarlandic population adhere to the Evangelical Church in Germany
Germany
(EKD), organised in the two Landeskirchen named Evangelical Church in the Rhineland and Evangelical Church of the Palatinate , both following the same former territorial partition. 21.8% are not affiliated with one of these churches.

Saarland
Saarland
has the highest concentration of Roman Catholics of any German state, and is one of two states (the other being Bavaria
Bavaria
) in which Catholics form an absolute majority (over 50%).

POLITICS

Main article: Politics of Saarland

Except for the period between 1985 and 1999 – when the centre-left Social Democratic Party of Germany
Germany
(SPD) held a majority of seats in the Landtag (state diet) – the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has governed the Saarland, either alone or in coalition , continuously since the accession of the state to the Federal of Republic of Germany
Germany
in 1957.

After the most recent state elections – held in 2012 following the collapse of the "Jamaica coalition " agreement of 2009 between the CDU, the liberal FDP , and the centre-left Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (The Greens) – the CDU and SPD, as the two largest parties in the Landtag, decided upon the formation of a "grand coalition " under the overall leadership of the current minister-president , Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU).

CURRENT GOVERNMENT OF THE SAARLAND

Main article: Saarland state election, 2017

OFFICE INCUMBENT SINCE PARTY

Minister-president of the Saarland Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer 2011 CDU

Vice Minister-president of the Saarland
Saarland
and Minister for the Economy, Employment, Energy, and Transport Anke Rehlinger 2014 SPD

Minister for the Interior and Sport Klaus Bouillion 2014 CDU

Minister for Education and Culture Ulrich Commerçon 2012 SPD

Minister of Justice and Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection Reinhold Jost 2014 SPD

Minister for Social Affairs, Health, Women, and the Family Monika Bachmann 2014 CDU

Minister for Finance and European Affairs Stephan Toscani 2012 CDU

Head of the State Chancellery and Minister plenipotentiary of the Saarland
Saarland
to the Federation in Berlin Jürgen Lennartz 2005 CDU

SEE ALSO

* List of Ministers-President of the Saarland

ECONOMY

Important income sources are automobile industry, steel industry, ceramic industry and computer science and information systems industry. In the past, coal mining was an important branch of industry.

EDUCATION

Saarland
Saarland
is home to the Saarland University .

CULTURE

LOCAL DIALECT

People in the Saarland
Saarland
speak Rhine
Rhine
Franconian (in the southeast, very similar to that dialect spoken in the western part of the Palatinate) and Moselle
Moselle
Franconian (in the northwest, very similar to that dialect spoken along the Moselle
Moselle
River and the cities of Trier
Trier
or even in Luxembourg). Outside of the Saarland, specifically the Rhine-Franconian variant spoken in the Landeshauptstadt Saarbrücken is generally considered to be _the_ Saarland
Saarland
dialect. The two dialect regions are mainly separated by the "das/ dat" isogloss; in the northwestern portion of the state, including cities such as Saarlouis, standard German "das" is pronounced with a final instead of an .

In general, both dialects are an integral part of the “Saarlandish” identity and thus a strong source of local patriotism.

Both dialects, even more so in their respective Saarland
Saarland
flavour, share many characteristic features, some of which will be explained below.

Women and girls are often referred to using the neuter grammatical gender , _es_, with the pronunciation being something like _Ähs_. _ÄHS hat mir's gesaat_ (_IT told me so_, instead of _SHE told me so_; vs. High German: _SIE hat es mir gesagt_). This stems from the word _Mädchen_ (girl) being neuter in German (_es_ is correct in German when referring to words like _Mädchen_ but would not be used by itself in reference to a woman).

The conjunctive in Rhine
Rhine
Franconian is normally composed with the words _dääd_ (High German “tät” = “would do”) or _gäng_ (“would go”) as auxiliary verbs: _Isch dääd saan, dass..._ (“I would say that...”) instead of the High German _Ich würde sagen, dass..._.

Declension is rather different:

* The genitive case does not exist at all and is entirely replaced by constructs with the dative case . * In most instances, a word is not altered when cast into the dative case. Exceptions are mostly pronouns . * The same holds for the accusative case. Even more so, it is accepted practice to use the nominative case instead of the accusative.

Diphthongs
Diphthongs
are less common. This is because the Standard German diphthongs _ei_ and _au_ are each the result of a merger of two Middle High German vowels – however, these mergers did not take place in the Saarland, and only one of the two merged vowels is pronounced as a diphthong. The front rounded vowels _ö_, _ü_, and _eu_ are replaced by _e_, _i_, and _ei_ respectively.

Both the Rhein-Franconian and Mosel-Franconian dialects (and Luxemburgish) have merged the palatal fricative "ich" sound with the post-alveolar fricative (the sound in _Schule_ 'school') causing minimal pairs such as _Kirche_ 'church' and _Kirsche_ 'cherry' to be pronounced in the same way.

French has had a considerable influence on the vocabulary, although the pronunciation of imported French words usually is quite different from their original. Popular examples comprise _Trottwaa_ (from _trottoir_), _Fissääl_ (from _ficelle_), and the imperative or greeting _aalleh!_ (from _allez!_).

The English phrase _My house is green_ is pronounced almost the same (in the Rhine
Rhine
Franconian variant): _Mei Haus is grien_. The main difference lies in the pronunciation of the _r_ sound.

Regional beer brewer Karlsberg has taken advantage of the Saarlandish dialect to create clever advertising for its staple product, UrPils. Examples include a trio of men enjoying a beer, flanked by baby carriages, the slogan reading _"Mutter schafft"_ (meaning "Mom's at work" in Saarlandish, but plays on the High German word "Mutterschaft", or "motherhood"); another depicts a trio of men at a bar, with one realizing his beer has been drunk by one of the others, the slogan reading _"Kenner war's"_ (meaning "It was no one" in Saarlandish, but playing on the High German word _"Kenner"_, or "connoisseur", translating to "It was a connoisseur"); a third shows an empty beer crate in the middle of outer space, the text reading _"All"_ (meaning "empty" in Saarlandish, but playing on the same High German word meaning "outer space").

FRENCH

The French language has a special standing in Saarland
Saarland
due to the fact that France
France
sought to incorporate the region into the French state shortly after World War II
World War II
and subsequently pressed the Federal German government to promote French as a second language in schools (ahead of English or any other foreign language education in the state). Today, a large part of the population is able to speak French, and it is compulsory at many schools. Saarbrücken is also home to a bilingual "Deutsch-Französisches Gymnasium " (German-French high school). In January 2014 the Saarland
Saarland
state government announced its aim of making the region fully bilingual in German and French by 2043.

SPORTS

The Saar competed in the qualifying section of the 1954 FIFA World Cup , but failed after coming second to West Germany
Germany
but ahead of Norway . It also competed as Saar in the 1952 Summer Olympics and the field handball world championships in the beginning of the 1950s.

NOTES

* ^ In 1870 , 1914 and 1940 .

REFERENCES

* ^ "Fläche und Bevölkerung - Stand: 31.12.2015 (Basis Zensus 2011)" (PDF). _ Statistisches Amt des Saarlandes _ (in German). July 2016. * ^ "Regional GDP per capita in the EU28 in 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-09-10. * ^ "State population". _ Portal
Portal
of the Federal Statistics Office Germany_. Retrieved 2007-04-25. * ^ "Statistische Ämter des Bundes und der Länder". Statistik-portal.de. Retrieved 2014-03-17. * ^ Google Maps * ^ 31 Dec. 2014 German Statistical Office. _Zensus 2014: Bevölkerung am 31. Dezember 2014_ * ^ _A_ _B_ Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland - Kirchemitgliederzahlen Stand 31.12.2015 EKD Januar 2017 * ^ "Last coal marks end of Saarland
Saarland
mining – The Local". Thelocal.de. Retrieved 2014-03-17. * ^ Stedje, A. (2007). Deutsche Sprache gestern und heute. Munich, Germany: Wilhelm Fink. * ^ Steitz, L. (1981). Grammatik der Saarbrücker Mundart. Saarbrücken: Saarbrucker Druckerei und Verlag GmbH. * ^ "Kernlehrpläne – Gesamtschule". Saarland.de. Retrieved 2014-03-17. * ^ "BBC News – German region of Saarland
Saarland
moves towards bilingualism". Bbc.co.uk. 2014-01-21. Retrieved 2014-03-17.

EXTERNAL LINKS

* _ Germany
Germany
portal

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