Malmedy from the south
|• Mayor||André Denis|
|• Total||99.96 km2 (38.59 sq mi)|
|Population (1 January 2013)|
|• Density||120/km2 (320/sq mi)|
Malmedy (French pronunciation: [malmədi]; 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.
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 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 95% French speakers and 5% 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.
After World War I
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
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 under the command of Joachim Peiper. This was one of a number of such massacres of prisoners and Belgian civilians which took place in the Malmedy area. On 21 December the town itself, which was then held by US troops, was attacked by German forces under the command of Otto Skorzeny, who were repelled. Moreover, on 23, 24 and 25 December 1944 the city was bombed repeatedly by the United States Army Air Forces in a series of friendly fire incidents. 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.
- Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, with a corner named after Malmedy. Part of the track lies in the municipality.
- Population per municipality on 1 January 2013 (XLS; 607.5 KB)
- Jean Finot. New York Times, May 30, 1915.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Malmedy.|
- (French) (German) (English) (Dutch) Ville de Malmedy (Belgique), official website of the city of Malmedy.
- Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge (VBOB) Official online home
- Pictures from carnival Dominic Jacob
- (French) Recettes Liegeoises et Ardennaises, Recipes from Malmedy and the Liege/Ardennes region.
- (French) L'Etat belgique; données linguistiques