Malmedy

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Malmedy
Municipality of Belgium
Malmedy from the south
Malmedy from the south
Flag of Malmedy
Flag
Malmedy is located in Belgium
Malmedy
Malmedy
Location in Belgium
Coordinates: 50°25′N 06°01′E / 50.417°N 6.017°E / 50.417; 6.017Coordinates: 50°25′N 06°01′E / 50.417°N 6.017°E / 50.417; 6.017
Country Belgium
Community French Community
Region Wallonia
Province Liège
Arrondissement Verviers
Government
 • Mayor André Denis
Area
 • Total 99.96 km2 (38.59 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2013)[1]
 • Total 12,336
 • Density 120/km2 (320/sq mi)
Postal codes 4960
Area codes 080
Website http://malmedy.be

Malmedy (German obsolete Malmünd) is a Walloon city and municipality of Belgium. It lies in the province of Liège. On January 1, 2006, Malmedy had a total population of 11,829. The total area is 99.96 km² which gives a population density of 118 inhabitants per km².

History[edit]

Malmedy Cathedral, built in 1777
Malmedy Abbey, founded in 648, the sister of Stavelot Abbey
Plaque next to the shelter where civilians had been hiding during the bombings of 23–25 December 1944
Malmedy, central square

Some old sources spell the city's name "Malmédy" as this accent was intentionally added when being part of Prussia and Germany, but its official website lists it as "Malmedy", with no accent. In 1919 the city was annexed by the Treaty of Versailles to Belgium from Germany. Along with the neighboring city of Eupen, it formed a German-speaking area of Belgium. Between 1940 and 1945, Malmedy was re-incorporated into Germany. This was reversed after the war.

Under the complex administrative structures of Belgium, which has separate structures for territorial administration and for language community rights, Malmedy is part of Wallonia and of the French Community of Belgium. But since it has a significant German speaking minority, it is one of Belgium's municipalities with language facilities (or "municipalities with facilities"). Malmedy and Waimes are the two Walloon municipalities with facilities for German speakers. The population of Malmedy is approximately 80% French speakers and 20% German speakers. The variety of German spoken is Moselle Franconian.

The main church of Malmedy was built in 1777 and served as a cathedral from 1920 to 1925. It still holds the title of cathedral. Malmedy was historically part of a clerical microstate, the Principality of Stavelot-Malmedy, but was annexed by France in 1795 and by Prussia in 1815.[2]

After World War I[edit]

At the end of the First World War, Malmedy and neighbouring Eupen were subject to a plebiscite to determine whether the region would be separated from Germany and annexed to Belgium. The plebiscite ballots required registration of the names and addresses of the pro-German voters (the others were assumed to be pro-Belgian), and the German-speaking population of Eupen and Malmedy were intimidated. Both were formally annexed on March 6, 1925.

World War II[edit]

In 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, the area was the site of the Malmedy massacre, where 84 American prisoners of war were executed by Nazi SS troops. Moreover, on 23, 24 and 25 December 1944 the city was bombed repeatedly by the United States Army Air Forces, despite the fact it was actually under control of U.S. troops. Approximately 200 civilians were killed in the tragic attacks, while the number of American casualties has never been revealed by the United States Department of Defense.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Population per municipality on 1 January 2013 (XLS; 607.5 KB)
  2. ^ Jean Finot. New York Times, May 30, 1915.

External links[edit]