Coordinates: 48°40′N 7°00′E / 48.67°N 7°E / 48.67; 7
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Imperial Territory of Alsace–Lorraine
Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen
Imperial Territory of the German Empire
Flag of Alsace–Lorraine
Coat of arms of Alsace–Lorraine
Coat of arms

Alsace–Lorraine within the German Empire
Elsässisches Fahnenlied
"The Alsatian Flag's Song"
CapitalStraßburg (Strasbourg)
• 1910
14,496 km2 (5,597 sq mi)
• 1910
 • TypeFederal territory
Head of State 
• 1871–1879
Eduard von Möller [de] (first, as Oberpräsident)
• 1918
Rudolf Schwander (last, as Reichsstatthalter)
• Lower house
10 May 1871
• Disestablished
28 June 1919
Political subdivisionsBezirk Lothringen, Oberelsass, Unterelsass
Preceded by
Succeeded by
French Third Republic
Alsace-Lorraine Soviet Republic
Today part ofFrance

Alsace–Lorraine (German: Elsaß-Lothringen) is a historical region and a former territory of the German Empire, located in modern day France. It was established in 1871 by the German Empire after it had retrieved the region from France in the Franco-Prussian War with the Treaty of Frankfurt and forced France to pay an indemnity of five billion francs.[1] Anger in the French Third Republic about the loss of the territory was one of the contributing factors that led to World War I. Alsace–Lorraine was reoccupied by France in 1920 as part of the Treaty of Versailles and Germany's defeat in the war, although it was annexed by France in 1918.[2]

When created in 1871, the region was named the Imperial Territory of Alsace–Lorraine (German: Reichsland Elsaß–Lothringen or Elsass–Lothringen; Alsatian: 's Richslànd 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; German: Elsaß–Mosel or Elsass–Mosel).[a]

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


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[edit]

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



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 Louis XIII and Louis XIV in the 17th century, while Lorraine was incorporated from the 16th century under Henry II to the 18th century under Louis XV[3] (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).

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 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 despite what the French parts of their population wanted.

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[4][5]

From annexation to World War I[edit]

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.[6] 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."[7]

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.[8]

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 a linguistic perspective, the transfer involved people who for the most part spoke Alemannic German dialects. At the time, ethnic identity was often based primarily on language, unlike the more multifaceted approach focusing on self identification in use today. 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.

On 28 June 1871, the territories Germany just annexed from France became an imperial territory. 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.[citation needed]

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. Wilhelm I himself had had to flee with the Prussian royal family to East Prussia as a nine year old in 1806 and had served in the Battle of Waterloo. 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.

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.[9]

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 be asked to adjudicate on this annexation."[10]

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[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 (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
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]

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.[11]

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.[citation needed]

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:[12] 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.[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 – 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,[13] 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".[13][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,[14][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[edit]

An Alsatian woman 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, Colmar, and Strasbourg in November 1918, in imitation of the soviets of revolutionary Russia, and in parallel to other such bodies set up in Germany.

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 Strasbourg Soviet proclaimed the foundation of a Republic of Alsace–Lorraine, and Jacques Peirotes, the SPD Reichstag representative for Colmar, announced the establishment of French rule, urging Paris to send troops quickly.[15]

The soviet councils disbanded themselves with the departure of the German troops between 11 and 17 November.[16] 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, but this action was not internationally recognized until the Treaty of Versailles was concluded 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.[17][18] All place names were francizised (e.g., Straßburg → Strasbourg, Mülhausen → Mulhouse, Schlettstadt → Sélestat, etc.).

World War II[edit]

Evacuation and deportations[edit]

On 1 September 1939, residents 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. The evacuees were allowed to return in July 1940, after France surrendered to Germany.[19][20]

The area then came under German occupation. Nazi laws against homosexuality were applied to Alsace–Moselle, and homosexuals were deported. The Nazis also deported refugee and resident Jews.[21]

German control and the Malgré-nous[edit]

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.[23] 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.[22]: 123–124 

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][24][25] 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 French was prohibited under German occupation, and learning standard German was obligatory.


Languages used[edit]


The German-linked Alsatian dialect remains the lingua franca of the region, although perhaps used more by older people. Both French and German are taught in the schools.[26][27]

First language use historically (1900)[edit]

  • German and Germanic dialects: 1,492,347 (86.8%)[28]
  • Other languages: 219,638 (12.8%)[28]
    • 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%)


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, 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[edit]

Population 1,874,014:[28]

  • 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)[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 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


Spatial distribution of dialects in Alsace–Lorraine in the 19th century 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[edit]


  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.[citation needed]
  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.[citation needed]
  7. ^ For example, the entry for 26 October 1914 in Spindler's[12] 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?"[12][page needed]
    NOTE ON TRANSLATION:The business woman's final remark (she's speaking in colloquial Alemannic German) was
    "Jetz grad genua mit dene dauwe Plän! Wisse Sie was? Leeke Sie mich ...! Esch des am End au franzêsch?"[12][page needed]
  8. ^ We can read in L'Alsace pendant la guerre[12] 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."[12][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.[14]
  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.


  1. ^ "Germany - Franco-German conflict and the new German Reich". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  2. ^ "Alsace-Lorraine – About this item". Library of Congress.
  3. ^ Roosen, William James (2013). The age of Louis XIV: the rise of modern diplomacy. Transaction Publishers. p. 55. OCLC 847763358.
  4. ^ Cerf, Barry (1919). Alsace-Lorraine since 1870. MacMillan.
  5. ^ Finot, Jean [in French] (May 30, 1915). "Remaking the Map of Europe". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Churchill, W.S. (2015) [April 1923]. 1911–1914. The World Crisis. Vol. I. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 4.
  7. ^ 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, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1974
  8. ^ 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. S2CID 146411340.
  9. ^ Preibusch, Sophie Charlotte (2006). Verfassungsentwicklungen im Reichsland Elsass-Lothringen 1871–1918. Berliner Juristische Universitätsschriften, Grundlagen des Rechts (in German). Vol. 38. Berlin, DE: Berliner Wiessenschafts-Verlag / Juristische Universität Berlin. p. 96. ISBN 3-8305-1112-4 – via Google Digitalisat.
  10. ^ "Les députés "protestataires" d'Alsace-Lorraine". Histoire (in French).
  11. ^ Seager, Frederic H. (1969). "The Alsace-Lorraine Question in France, 1871-1914." in Charles K. Warner, ed., From the Ancien Régime to the Popular Front, pp 111-126.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Spindler, Charles (1915-09-11) [1914-09-06]. L'Alsace pendant la Guerre.[full citation needed]
  13. ^ a b Grandhomme, Jean-Noël (2008). Boches ou tricolores. Strasbourg, FR: La nuée bleue.
  14. ^ a b Denizot, Alain (1996). Guerre mondiale, 1914-1918 - Campagnes et batailles. pp. 67–68.[full citation needed]
  15. ^ Fortier, Jacques (16 November 2008) «La chute de l'Empire», Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (Fr.)
  16. ^ Grandhomme, Jean-Noël (November 2008). "Le retour de l'Alsace-Lorraine". L'Histoire (in French) (336).
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Tabellarische Geschichte Elsaß-Lothringens / Französische Besatzung (1918-1940)". Archived from the original on 2002-03-14.
  19. ^ Williams, Maude. "To Protect, Defend and inform: The Evacuation of the German-French Border Region During the Second World War". Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  20. ^ "Evacuation, phony war and collapse, May-June 1940". Memorial Alsace-Moselle. Un peu d'histoire. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  21. ^ "The deportation of people from Alsace and Moselle". Memorial Alsace-Moselle. Un peu d'histoire. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  22. ^ a b Jäckel, Eberhard (1966) « L'annexion déguisée », dans Frankreich in Hitlers Europa – Die deutsche Frankreichpolitik im Zweiten Weltkrieg, Deutsche Verlag-Anstalg GmbH, Stuttgart.
  23. ^ Jäckel (1966) § "La France dans l'Europe de Hitler"[22]: 123–124 
  24. ^ Schlund, Pierre (2011) Souvenirs de guerre d'un Alsacien, Éditions Mille et une vies, ISBN 978-2-923692-18-0
  25. ^ Durand, Paul (1945) En passant par la Lorraine; gens et choses de chez nous 1900-1945, Éditions Le Lorrain, p. 131-132
  26. ^ "Alsace-Lorraine | Facts, Definition, & History | Britannica".
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  28. ^ a b c Rademacher, Michael (2006). "Verwaltungsgeschichte Elsaß-Lothringen 1871–1919" [Administrative History of Alsace-Lorraine 1871–1919]. eirenicon: Deutsche Verwaltungsgeschichte (in German). Retrieved 29 September 2023.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ashworth, Philip Arthur (1911). "Alsace-Lorraine" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 756–757.
  • 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[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]

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