Place:Elsaß-Lothringen, Germany

Watchers
NameElsaß-Lothringen
Alt namesAlsace-Lorrainesource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeFormer State
Located inGermany     ( - 1918)
See alsoAlsace-Lorraine, Francechild
Contained Places
Commune
Birkenwald
Jouy-aux-Arches ( 1940 - 1944 )
Lorry-lès-Metz ( 1940 - 1944 )
Pournoy-la-Grasse ( 1940 - 1944 )
Grafschaft
Saarwerden
Historical county
Dagsburg
Inhabited place
Auenheim ( 1871 - 1918 )
Diedenhofen
Heiteren
Hessen
Saarburg
Kanton
Bad Niederbronn
Barr
Benfeld
Bischweiler
Brumath
Drulingen
Erstein
Geispolsheim
Hagenau
Hirsingen
Hochfelden
Horburg
Illkirch-Grafenstaden
Lauterburg
Markolsheim
Molsheim
Oberehnheim
Saales
Saarunion
Schiltigheim
Schirmeck
Schlettstadt
Selz
Thann
Truchtersheim
Wasselnheim
Weißenburg
Wörth
Zabern
Kreis
Forbach
Volchen
Territory/fiefdom
Altkirch
Lutterbach
Wittelsheim
Unknown
Aboncourt
Achen
Achenheim
Achâtel
Adaincourt
Adamsweiler
Aidlingen
Ajoncourt
Alaincourt
Alben
Alberschweiler
Albesdorf
Algolsheim
Algringen
Allenweiler
Alstingen
Altdorf
Alteckendorf
Altenach
Altenbach
Altenheim
Altenstadt
Althorn
Altlixheim
Altmünsterol
Altpfirt
Altrip
Altthann
Altweier
Alzingen
Alémont
Amanweiler
Ammerschweier
Ammerzweiler
Amélécourt
Ancy
Andlau
Andolsheim
Angweiler
Anserweiler
Antilly
Anzelingen
Anzig
Aoury
Apach
Appenweier
Argancy
Argenchen
Armsdorf
Arry
Ars
Ars-Laquenexy
Arsweiler
Artolsheim
Arzenheim
Arzweiler
Aschbach
Attenschweiler
Attiloncourt
Aubecourt
Aue
Auenheim
Augny
Aulnois Seille
Aumetz
Avancy
Avenheim
Avolsheim
Avricourt
Ay
Azoudange
Aßweiler
Bacourt
Balbronn
Baldenheim
Baldersheim
Balgau
Ballersdorf
Balschweiler
Balzenheim
Ban S. Martin
Banzenheim
Barchingen
Barenbach
Baronsweiler
Baronweiler
Barst
Bartenheim
Bassenberg
Battenheim
Batzendorf
Baudrecourt
Baumbiedersdorf
Bazoncourt
Bebelnheim
Bebing
Beckerholz
Behlenheim
Behren
Beiern
Beinheim
Bellefosse
Belmont
Bendorf
Bennweier
Bensdorf
Bentingen
Berenzweiler
Bergbieten
Bergheim
Bergholz
Bergholzell
Berlingen
Berlize
Bermeringen
Bernolsheim
Bernweiler
Berrweiler
Berstett
Berstheim
Berthelmingen
Berweiler
Bessingen
Bettborn
Bettendorf
Bettlach
Bettsdorf
Bettstein
Beuern
Beux
Biberkirch
Bibisch
Biblisheim
Bickenholz
Bidlingen
Biederthal
Biedesdorf
Biesheim
Bietlenheim
Bilwisheim
Bilzheim
Bindernheim
Bingen
Biningen
Bioncourt
Birlenbach
Bischdorf
Bischheim
Bischholz
Bischofsheim
Bischweier
Bisel
Bisping
Bissert
Bisten
Bitsch
Bitschhofen
Bitschweiler
Bizingen
Bliensbach
Blienschweiler
Blies-Gersweiler
Bliesbrücken
Bliesebersingen
Bliesschweyen
Blodelsheim
Blotzheim
Bläsheim
Bolchen
Boler
Bollweiler
Bolsenheim
Boofzheim
Boozheim
Borny
Bosselshausen
Bossendorf
Bourdonnaye
Bourg-Bruche
Brauweiler
Brechlingen
Brehain
Breidenbach
Breisdorf
Breitenau
Bremmelbach
Bretten
Brettnach
Breuschwickersheim
Brinkheim
Brittendorf
Bronvaux
Brubach
Bruchen
Bruderdorf
Brunstatt
Brückensweiler
Brülingen
Brünighofen
Buchingen
Buchy
Burbach
Burg-Rüttgen
Burgaltdorf
Burgfelden
Burgheim
Burlioncourt
Burscheid
Buschbach
Buschborn
Buschdorf
Buschweiler
Busendorf
Bussingen
Buß
Bärendorf
Bärenthal
Béchy
Béfey
Börsch
Bösenbiesen
Bütten
Bütweiler
Cappel
Carspach
Chailly an der Nied
Chailly bei Ennery
Chambrey
Chanville
Charleville
Charly
Chazelles
Cheminot
Chesny
Chestenholz
Cheuby
Chevillon
Chicourt
Chieulles
Château-Bréhain
Château-Salins
Châtel-S. Germain
Chémery
Chénois
Chérisey
Coin bei Cuvry
Coin bei Seille
Coincy
Colligny
Colmar
Colmen
Colombey
Colroy la Roche
Contchen
Conthil
Corny
Courcelles
Coutures
Craincourt
Crastatt
Crépy
Cuvry
Dachstein
Dahlenheim
Dalem
Dalheim
Dalhunden
Dalstein
Dam
Dammerkirch
Dangolsheim
Dann und Vierwinden
Dannelburg
Daubensand
Dauendorf
Dehlingen
Delme
Dentingen
Dessenheim
Destrich
Dettweiler
Deutschenhag
Deutschoth
Deutschrumbach
Devant les Ponts
Dianenkappel
Didenheim
Didingen
Dieblingen
Diebolsheim
Diedendorf
Diedersdorf
Diedingen
Diedolshausen
Diefenbach bei Hellimer
Diefenbach bei Püttlingen
Diefenthal
Diefmatten
Diemeringen
Diesdorf
Diesen
Dietweiler
Dieuze
Dimbsthal
Dingsheim
Dinsheim
Disselingen
Ditschweiler
Dodenhofen
Dollenbach
Dollern
Dolvingen
Domangeville
Domfessel
Dommenheim
Donjeux
Donnelay
Donnenheim
Dorlisheim
Dornach
Dornot
Dorsweiler
Dorweiler
Drachenbronn
Drechingen
Dreibrunnen
Drusenheim
Dunzenheim
Duppigheim
Durchthal
Durstel
Dédeling
Dürkastel
Dürlinsdorf
Dürmenach
Dürningen
Dürrenbach
Dürrenenzen
Düttlenheim
Eberbach bei Selz
Eberbach bei Worth
Ebersheim
Ebersmünster
Ebersweiler
Ebingen
Eblingen
Ebringen
Eckartsweiler
Eckbolsheim
Eckwersheim
Edelingen
Egelshardt
Egisheim
Eglingen
Eichhofen
Eichwald
Elingen
Ellbach
Ellweiler
Elsaß
Elsenheim
Elsingen
Elwingen
Emlingen
Enchenberg
Endorf
Engenthal
Engweiler
Ennery
Enschingen
Enschweiler
Ensisheim
Entringen
Enzheim
Epfig
Eppingen
Erchingen
Ergersheim
Erkartsweiler
Erlenbach
Ernstweiler
Ersdorf
Ersingen
Eschau
Eschburg
Eschen
Eschenzweiler
Escheringen
Eschweiler bei Wolmünster
Eschweiler
Esingen
Essesdorf
Ettendorf
Ettingen
Etzlingen
Ewingen
Ewringen
Eyweiler
Failly
Falk
Falkenberg
Falkweiler
Fameck
Farschweiler
Faulbach
Faxe
Fegersheim
Feldbach
Feldkirch
Felleringen
Fentsch
Filsdorf
Finstingen
Fislis
Fixem
Flachslanden
Flasdorf
Fleisheim
Fletringen
Fleury
Flexburg
Flocourt
Flévy
Flörchingen
Folklingen
Folpersweiler
Folschweiler
Fonteny
Forstfeld
Forstheim
Fort Louis
Fortschweier
Fossieux
Fouday
Foulcrey
Foville
Franken
Fraquelfing
Frauenberg
Freialtdorf
Freiburg
Freibuß
Freimengen
Freisdorf
Fremersdorf
Fresnes en Saulnois
Friedolsheim
Friesen
Friesenheim
Frohmühl
Frontigny
Frécourt
Frémery
Fröningen
Fröschweiler
Furchhausen
Féy
Fêves
Füllern
Füllingen
Fürdenheim
Galfingen
Gambsheim
Gandern
Gandringen
Garburg
Garsch
Gaubivingen
Gauwies
Gebenhausen
Geberschweier
Gebesdorf
Gebling
Gebweiler
Gehnkirchen
Geinslingen
Geishausen
Geispitzen
Geistkirch
Geiswasser
Geisweiler
Gelmingen
Gemar
Genesdorf
Genweiler
Gerbécourt
Gereuth
Germingen
Gerstheim
Gerstlingen
Gertingen
Gertweiler
Geudertheim
Gevenatten
Gewenheim
Geßlingen
Gildweiler
Gimbrett
Gingsheim
Girlingen
Gischingen
Gisingen
Gisselfingen
Givrycourt
Glashütte Sophie
Glatigny
Goin
Goldbach
Gommersdorf
Gondreville
Gondrexange
Gongelfangen
Gorze
Gosselmingen
Gottenhausen
Gottesheim
Gottesthal
Goxweiler
Grandfontaine
Gras
Grassendorf
Graufthal
Gravelotte
Grendelbruch
Greningen
Grenzingen
Greßweiler
Gries
Grigy
Grindorf
Gross-Rederchingen
Großblittersdorf
Großhettingen
Großmoyeuvre
Großtänchen
Grube
Grundweiler
Grussenheim
Grémecey
Gugenheim
Gumbrechtshofen-Bad Niederbronn
Gumbrechtshofen-Oberbronn
Gundershofen
Gundolsheim
Gungweiler
Gunstett
Gunzweiler
Gänglingen
Gänsbacherhof
Görlingen
Görsdorf
Götzenbrück
Güblingen
Günsbach
Haarberg
Habsheim
Habudingen
Hagenbach
Hagendingen
Hagenheim
Haiß
Halleringen
Hallingen im Püttelingen
Hallingen
Halsdorf
Ham unter Varsberg
Hambach
Hampont
Han
Hanau-Lichtenberg
Handschuhheim
Hangenbieten
Hangweiler
Hanhofen
Hannocourt
Hanweiler
Hargarten
Harprich
Harraucourt
Harskirchen
Hartmannsweiler
Harzweiler
Haselburg
Haspelscheid
Hassenburg
Hatten
Hattigny
Hattmatt
Hattstatt
Hauconcourt
Hausen
Hausgauen
Havingen
Hayingen
Hecken
Heckenrausbach
Hecklingen
Hegenheim
Heidolsheim
Heidweiler
Heiligenburg
Heiligenstein
Heiligkreuz
Heimersdorf
Heimsbrunn
Heiningen
Heinkingen
Heinrichsdorf
Heiweiler
Helfrantskirch
Helleringen
Hellimer
Hellingen
Hellohof
Helsdorf
Hemilly
Heming
Henflingen
Hengweiler
Herbitzheim
Herbsheim
Heringen
Herlingen
Hermelingen
Hermersweiler
Herrchweiler
Herzing
Hessange
Hessenheim
Hettenschlag
Heßdorf
Hilbesheim
Hilsenheim
Hilsprich
Himlingen
Hindisheim
Hindlingen
Hinsburg
Hinsingen
Hipsheim
Hirschland
Hirzbach
Hirzfelden
Hoblingen
Hochstatt
Hochstett
Hochwalsch
Hof
Hofen
Hohatzenheim
Hohenfrankenheim
Hohengöft
Hohrod
Hohwald
Hohweiler
Holacourt
Holbach bei Bitsch
Holbach bei S. Avold
Hollingen
Holvingen
Holzheim
Holzweier
Homburg
Homburg-Bidingen
Hommartingen
Hommert
Hottweiler
Huentingen
Hunaweier
Hundlingen
Hundsbach
Hunkirch
Hunspach
Häsingen
Häusern
Hönheim
Hördt
Hültenhausen
Hüningen
Hüntingen
Hürtigheim
Hüsseren-Wesserling
Hüttendorf
Hüttenheim
Ibigny
Ichtratzheim
Illfurt
Illhäusern
Illingen
Illzach
Imbsheim
Imlingen
Immeldingen
Ingenheim
Ingersheim
Inglingen
Ingolsheim
Ingweiler
Innenheim
Insmingen
Insweiler
Iplingen
Irmstett
Isenheim
Issenhausen
Ittenheim
Ittersweiler
Ittlenheim
Jallaucourt
Jebsheim
Jettersweiler
Jettingen
Johanns-Rohrbach
Jouy-aux-Arches
Jungmünsterol
Jury
Jussy
Juville
Kalemburg
Kalhausen
Kaltenhausen
Kammern
Kanfen
Kappelkinger
Kappeln
Karlingen
Kattenhofen
Katzenthal
Kauffenheim
Kaysersberg
Kechingen
Kedingen
Keffenach
Kembs
Kemplich
Kerbach
Kerlingen
Kerprich
Kerzfeld
Keskastel
Kesseldorf
Kestenholz
Kienheim
Kienzheim
Kiffis
Kilstett
Kindweiler
Kingersheim
Kinzheim
Kirberg
Kirchberg am Wald
Kirchberg
Kirchheim
Kirchnaumen
Kirsch
Kitzingen
Klangen
Kleeburg
Klein Bessingen
Klein Ebersweiler
Klein Rederchingen
Kleinfrankenheim
Kleingöft
Kleinlandau
Kleinmoyeuvre
Kleinrosseln
Kleintänchen
Klimbach
Kluingen
Kneuttingen
Knöringen
Knörsheim
Kochern
Kogenheim
Kolbsheim
Koßweiler
Krastatt
Krautergersheim
Krautweiler
Kreuz
Kreuzwald
Kriechingen
Kriegsheim
Kröttweiler
Krüt
Kuhmen
Kurzel
Kurzenhausen
Kutzenhausen
Königsmachern
Köstlach
Kötzingen
Kühlendorf
Künheim
Künzig
Küttingen
Küttolsheim
Lach
Ladonchamps
Lagarde
Lambach
Lampertheim
Lampertsloch
Landersheim
Landingen
Landonvillers
Landorf
Landser
Laneuveville en Saulnois
Laneuveville
Langd
Langenberg
Langensulzbach
Lanningen
Laquenexy
Largitzen
Lascemborn
Laubach
Laumesfeld
Launsdorf
Lautenbach
Lautenbachzell
Lauterfangen
Lauterfingen
Lautermingen
Leberau
Leidingen
Leimbach
Leimen
Leiningen
Leitersweiler
Lellingen
Lembach
Lemberg
Lemmersdorf
Lemoncourt
Lemud
Lengelsheim
Lesse
Lessy
Leutenheim
Ley
Leyweiler
Lezey
Lichtenberg
Liebenzweiler
Liebsdorf
Liederscheid
Liedersingen
Limersheim
Linderchen
Lindre Basse
Lindre Haute
Lingolsheim
Linsdorf
Linthal
Liocourt
Lipsheim
Littenheim
Lixhausen
Lixheim
Liéhon
Lobsann
Lochweiler
Logelnheim
Lommeringen
Longeville bei Cheminot
Longeville
Lorenzen
Lorry
Lorry-Mardigny
Losdorf
Louvigny
Lubeln
Lubécourt
Lucy
Luffendorf
Lupershausen
Luppy
Lupstein
Luttenbach
Lutter
Luttern
Lutzweiler
Lörchingen
Lümschweiler
Lüttingen
Lützel
Lützelburg
Lützelhausen
Lützelstein
Lüxdorf
Macher
Machern
Mackenheim
Mackenhofen
Mackweiler
Magny
Maiweiler
Maizeroy
Maizery
Malancourt
Malaucourt
Mallingen
Malmerspach
Malroy
Mandern
Manhoué
Mansbach
Marange-Silvange
Marieulles
Marimont
Markirch
Marlenheim
Marly
Marsal
Marsilly
Marspich
Marthil
Masmünster
Mattstall
Matzenheim
Maursmünster
Maxe
Maxstadt
Meienheim
Meisengott
Meisenthal
Meistratzheim
Melsheim
Memersbronn
Memmelshofen
Menchhofen
Mengen
Menglatt
Menskirchen
Merkweiler
Merlenbach
Merschweiler
Merten
Merxheim
Merzen
Merzweiler
Metrich
Mettingen
Metz
Metzeral
Metzeresch
Metzerwiese
Metzingen
Michelbach
Mietesheim
Minversheim
Mitschdorf
Mittelbergheim
Mittelbronn
Mittelhausbergen
Mittelhausen
Mittelmüspach
Mittelschäffolsheim
Mittelweier
Mittersheim
Mitzach
Mollau
Mollkirch
Molringen
Mombronn
Momersdorf
Mommenheim
Moncheux
Moncourt
Mondelingen
Mondorf
Monhofen
Monneren
Monsweiler
Mont
Montdidier
Montenach
Monterchen
Montigny
Montois la Montagne
Montoy
Moos
Moosch
Morlingen
Morsbach
Morsbronn
Morschweiler
Morville an der Nied
Morville bei Vic
Morzweiler
Mothern
Moulins
Moussey
Moyenvic
Mulcey
Mundolsheim
Munweiler
Murbach
Mussig
Mussy l'Évêque
Mutterhausen
Mutzenhausen
Mutzig
Männolsheim
Méchy
Mécleuves
Métairies-Saint-Quirin
Méy
Möhringen-Zondringen
Mörchingen
Mörnach
Mühlhausen
Mülhausen
Münzenheim
Münzthal-Sankt Louis
Müttersholz
Nambsheim
Natzweiler
Nebing
Neeweiler
Nehweiler
Neiderehnheim
Nellingen
Neubreisach
Neudorf
Neufmoulins
Neufvillage
Neugartheim
Neuhäusel
Neukirch
Neunhäuser
Neuscheuern
Nidange
Nieder Fillen
Niederaspach
Niederbetschdorf
Niederbruck
Niederburbach
Niederburnhaupt
Niederehnheim
Niederenzen
Niederginingen
Niederhagenthal
Niederham
Niederhaslach
Niederhausbergen
Niederhergheim
Niederhof
Niederhomburg
Niederjeutz
Niederkontz
Niederlarg
Niederlauterbach
Niedermagstatt
Niedermichelbach
Niedermodern
Niedermorschweier
Niedermorschweiler
Niedermüspach
Niederrentgen
Niederrödern
Niederschäffolsheim
Niederseebach
Niedersept
Niederspechbach
Niedersteinbach
Niedersteinbrunn
Niederstinzel
Niedertraubach
Niederum
Niederweiler
Niederwiese
Niffer
Nilvingen
Nitting
Noisseville
Nordhausen
Nordheim
Norroy le Veneur
Northen
Nothalten
Nouilly
Novéant
Obenheim
Ober Fillen
Ober Rentgen
Ober Sülzen
Oberaspach
Oberbetschdorf
Oberbronn
Oberbruck
Oberburbach
Oberburnhaupt
Oberenzen
Obergailbach
Oberhagenthal
Oberhaslach
Oberhausbergen
Oberhergheim
Oberhomburg
Oberhost
Oberjeutz
Oberkontz
Oberlarg
Oberlauterbach
Obermagstatt
Obermichelbach
Obermodern
Obermorschweier
Obermorschweiler
Obermüspach
Oberranspach
Oberrödern
Obersaasheim
Oberschäffolsheim
Oberseebach
Obersept
Obersierck
Oberspechbach
Obersteinbach
Obersteinbrunn
Oberstinzel
Obertraubach
Oberwiese
Obreck
Obrick
Odern
Odratzheim
Offendorf
Offenheim
Offweiler
Ogy
Ohlungen
Ohnenheim
Oltingen
Olwisheim
Ommeray
Oriocourt
Ormersweiler
Orny
Oron
Orschweier
Orschweiler
Osenbach
Osthausen
Ostheim
Osthofen
Ostwald
Ottersthal
Ottersweiler
Ottmarsheim
Ottrott
Pagny
Pange
Peltre
Petersbach
Petersberg
Pettoncourt
Pewingen
Pfaffenheim
Pfaffenhofen
Pfalzburg
Pfalzweier
Pfarrebersweiler
Pfastatt
Pfetterhausen
Pfettisheim
Pfirt
Pfulgriesheim
Philippsburg
Pieblingen
Pierrevillers
Pisdorf
Plaine
Plappeville
Plesnois
Plobsheim
Pommérieux
Pont à Chaussy
Pontigny
Pontoy
Porcelette
Postdorf
Pouilly
Pournoy la Chétive
Pournoy la Grasse
Preisch
Preuschdorf ( 1871 - 1918 )
Prinzheim
Prévocourt
Puberg
Puche
Pulversheim
Puttigny
Puzieux
Quatzenheim
Rahlingen
Rakringen
Rammersmatt
Rangen
Rangwall
Ranrupt
Ranspach
Rantsweiler
Rappoltstein
Rappoltsweiler
Ratzweiler
Rauweiler
Rech
Rederchen
Redingen
Redlach
Regisheim
Reich
Reichenweier
Reichersberg
Reichsfeld
Reichshofen
Reichstett
Reichweiler
Reimelingen
Reimeringen
Reimersweiler
Reinhardsmünster
Reiningen
Reipertsweiler
Reitweiler
Remelfangen
Remelfingen
Remeringen
Remsinger
Reningen
Ressaincourt
Retonféy
Retschweiler
Rettel
Retzweiler
Reutenburg
Rexingen
Reyersweiler
Rezonville
Rheinau
Richeval
Richlingen
Richtolsheim
Riedheim
Rieding
Riedisheim
Riedselz
Riedweier
Riespach
Rimbachzell
Rimlingen
Rimsdorf
Ringeldorf
Ringendorf
Rintingen
Rittershofen
Ritzingen
Rixheim
Rixingen
Rodalben
Rode
Rodemachern
Rodt
Roggenhausen
Rohr
Rohrschweier
Rohrweiler
Rolbingen
Rollingen
Romansweiler
Rombach
Rommelfingen
Roncourt
Roppenheim
Roppenzweiler
Roppweiler
Rosenau
Rosenweiler
Rosheim
Rosteig
Rothau
Rothbach
Rothendorf
Rott
Rottelsheim
Rozérieulles
Roßbrücken
Roßfeld
Roßlingen
Rufach
Ruhlingen
Runzenheim
Rupigny
Ruplingen
Ruprechtsau
Ruxweiler
Ruß
Rädersdorf
Rädersheim
Rémilly
Römerhof
Rörchingen
Röschwoog
Rüderbach
Rülisheim
Rüsdorf
Rüssingen
Rüstenhart
Rüttgen
Saaralben
Saaraltdorf
Saareinsberg
Saareinsmingen
Saargemünd
Saasenheim
Sablon
Sailly
Saint Bernard
Saint Blaise
Saint Epvre
Saint Julien
Saint Jure
Saint Louis
Saint Médard
Saint Privat la Montagne
Saint Privat
Saint Quirin
Sainte Barbe
Sainte Marie aux Chênes
Sainte Ruffine
Salenthal
Salival
Salmbach
Salonnes
Sand
Sankt Amarin
Sankt Avold
Sankt Blasius
Sankt Cosman
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the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine ( or Elsass-Lothringen), was a territory created by the German Empire in 1871 after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle region 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 and east of the Vosges Mountains. The Lorraine section was in the upper Moselle valley to the north of the Vosges Mountains.

The Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine was made up of 93% of Alsace (7% remained French) and 26% of Lorraine (74% remained French). For historical reasons, specific legal dispositions are still applied in the territory in form of a local law. In relation to its special legal status, since its reversion to France following World War I, the territory has been referred to administratively as Alsace-Moselle.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Background

The modern history of Alsace-Lorraine was largely influenced by the rivalry between French and German nationalisms.

Since the Middle Ages, France sought to attain and preserve its "natural boundaries", which are the Pyrenees to the southwest, the Alps to the southeast, and the Rhine River to the northeast. These strategic aims led to the absorption of territories located west of the Rhine river. What is now known as Alsace was progressively conquered by Louis XIV in the 17th century, while Lorraine was integrated in the 18th century under Louis XV.

The German nationalism which arose following the French occupation of Germany, sought to unify all the German-speaking populations of Europe in a single nation-state. As Alsace and Moselle (northern Lorraine) were mostly composed of German dialects speakers, these regions were coveted by the German Empire.

From annexation to World War I

The newly created German Empire's demand of territory from France in the aftermath of its victory in the Franco-Prussian War was not simply a punitive measure. The transfer was controversial even among the Germans themselves - German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck was strongly opposed to a transfer of territory that he knew would provoke permanent French enmity towards the new State. However, German Emperor Wilhelm I eventually sided with Helmuth von Moltke the Elder and other Prussian generals and others who argued that a westward shift in the new Franco-German border was necessary and desirable for a number of reasons. From a nationalistic perspective, the transfer seemed justified, since most of the lands that were annexed were populated by people who spoke Alemannic German dialects. From a military perspective, shifting the Franco-German frontier away from the Rhine would give the Germans a strategic advantage over the French, especially by early 1870s military standards and thinking. Indeed, thanks to this annexation, the Germans took control of the fortifications of Metz, a French-speaking town, and also of most of the iron resources available in the region.

However, domestic politics of the new Empire might have been the decisive factor. Although it was effectively led by Prussia, the German Empire was a new and highly decentralized creation. The new arrangement left many senior Prussian generals with serious misgivings about leading diverse military forces to guard a pre-war frontier that, except for the northernmost section, was part of two other states of the new Empire – Baden and Bavaria. As recently as the 1866 Austro-Prussian War, these states had been Prussia's enemies. Both states, but especially Bavaria had been given substantial concessions with regards to local autonomy in the new Empire's constitution, including a great deal of autonomy over military matters. For this reason, the Prussian General Staff argued that it was prudent and necessary that the new Empire's frontier with France be under their direct control. 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 Prussian control. Thus, by annexing territory, Berlin was able to avoid delicate negotiations with Baden and Bavaria on such matters as construction and control of new fortifications, etc. The governments of Baden and Bavaria, naturally, were in favour of moving the French border away from their territories.

Memories of the 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 as an aggressive people. In the years prior to 1870, it is arguable that the Germans feared the French more than the French feared the Germans. Many Germans at the time thought 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 (now the French département of Territoire de Belfort) was unaffected, because its inhabitants were predominantly French speakers and because Belfort had been defended by Colonel Denfert-Rochereau, who surrendered only after receiving orders from Paris. The town of 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, despite the fact that they were a Protestant enclave, as it belonged to Württemberg from 1397 to 1806. This area corresponded to the French départements of Bas-Rhin (in its entirety), Haut-Rhin (except the area of 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 (four-fifths of it) and the northeast of Meurthe (one-third of Meurthe), which were the eastern part of Lorraine.

The remaining département of Meurthe was joined with the westernmost part of Moselle which had escaped German annexation to form the new département of Meurthe-et-Moselle.


The new border between France and Germany mainly followed the geolinguistic divide between Romance and Germanic dialects, except in a few valleys of the Alsatian side of the Vosges mountains, the city of Metz and in the area of Château-Salins (formerly in the Meurthe département), which were annexed by Germany despite the fact that people there spoke French. In 1900, 11.6% of the population of Alsace-Lorraine spoke French as mother language (11.0% in 1905, 10.9% in 1910).

The fact that small francophone areas were affected was used in France to denounce the new border as hypocrisy, since Germany had justified them by the native Germanic dialects and culture of the inhabitants, which was true for the majority of Alsace-Lorraine. 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.

The Treaty of Frankfurt gave the residents of the region until October 1, 1872 to choose between emigrating to France or remaining in the region and having their nationality legally changed to German. By 1876, about 100,000 or 5% of the residents of Alsace-Lorraine had emigrated to France.

The "being French" feeling stayed strong at least during the first sixteen years of the annexation. During the Reichstag elections, the fifteen deputies of 1874, 1881, 1884 (but one) and 1887 were called protester deputies (fr: députés protestataires) because they expressed to the Parliament their opposition to the annexation by means of the 1874 motion in French language: « May it please the Reichstag to decide that the populations of Alsace-Lorraine that were annexed, without having been consulted, to the Germanic Empire by the treaty of Frankfurt have to come out particularly about this annexation. » The infamous Saverne Affair put a severe strain on the relationship between the imperial state of Alsace-Lorraine and the remainder of the German Empire.

Under the German Empire of 1871-1918, the territory constituted the Reichsland or Imperial Province of Elsass-Lothringen. The area was administered directly by the imperial government in Berlin and was granted some measure of autonomy in 1911. This included its constitution and state assembly, its own flag, and the Elsässisches Fahnenlied as its anthem.

Reichstag election results 1874–1912

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
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 1.4 0.0 1.8 0.5 14.0
Centre Party (Zentrum) (Z) 0.0 0.6 7.1 31.1 5.4
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
Regional Parties (Autonomists) (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
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

Alsace-Lorraine, during this time, was a geo-political prize contested between the French and German powers. The increased militarization of Europe, coupled with the lack of negotiation between major powers, led to harsh and rash actions taken by both parties in respect to Alsace-Lorraine.

As soon as war was declared, both the French and Germans used the inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine as pawns in the growing conflict between France and Germany.

Alsatians living in France were arrested and placed into camps by the French authorities. Upon entering certain villages, veterans of the 1870 conflict were sought out and arrested.

The Germans responded with similar atrocities: the Saverne Affair had convinced the high command that the whole population was intensely hostile to the German Reich and that it should be terrorized into submission.

Due to the proximity of the front, German troops confiscated homes. The German military were highly suspicious of French patriots.

Whereas German authorities usually had been relatively tolerant with the use of French, they started to develop policies aimed at reducing the influence of French. French street names in Metz, which were displayed before in both languages, were suppressed on January 14, 1915. Six months later, on July 15, 1915, German became the only official language in the region, leading to the Germanification of the towns’ names by an order of September 2, 1915.

Prohibiting the speaking of French in public further increased the exasperation of the natives, who were long accustomed to mixing their conversation with French language (see code-switching); however, the use even of one word, as innocent as "bonjour", could incur a fine.

Ethnic Germans took part in the persecution as a way to demonstrate patriotism, listening closely and ready to denounce to the police anyone they heard using the prohibited language. Thus, the population was divided between an all-powerful minority and a majority which could only keep its fist in its pocket and wait for the hour of revenge.

German authorities became increasingly worried about this renewed French patriotism, as Reichslands governor stated in February 1918: "Sympathies towards France and repulsion for Germans have penetrated to a scary depth the petty bourgeoisie and the peasantry".

In order to spare them possible confrontations with relatives in France, the soldiers from Alsace-Lorraine were mainly sent to the Eastern front, or the Kaiserliche Marine.

In October 1918, the German Imperial Navy, which had spent most of the war since the Battle of Jutland in ports, was ordered to fight, in order to weaken the British Royal Navy for the time after the war. However, the sailors refused to obey. At that time, about 15,000 Alsatians and Lorrainers had been incorporated into the Kaiserliche Marine. Some of them joined the insurrection and the German Revolution, and decided to rouse their homeland to revolt against the monarchy of the Emperor.

Annexation to the French Republic

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


In this chaotic situation, Alsace-Lorraine's Landtag proclaimed itself the supreme authority of the land with the name of Nationalrat, the Soviet of 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.

While the soviet councils disbanded themselves with the departure of the German troops between November 11 and 17, the arrival of the French Army stabilized the situation: French troops put the region under occupatio bellica and entered Strasbourg on November 21. The Nationalrat proclaimed the annexation of Alsace to France on December 5, even though this process did not gain international recognition until the signature of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

Alsace-Lorraine was divided 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). Today, these territories enjoy laws that are significantly different from the rest of France – these specific provisions are known as the local law.

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.

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 prior to 1870), B (descendants of such French citizens), C (citizens of Allied or neutral states) and D (enemy aliens - Germans). Until July 1921 100,000 people categorized as "D" were expelled to Germany. German-language Alsatian newspapers were also suppressed.


World War II

After France was defeated in the spring of 1940, Alsace and Moselle were not officially annexed by Germany, Adolf Hitler annexed them in 1940 through a law which he kept secret. Through a series of laws which, individually, seemed minor, Berlin actually took the full control over Alsace-Moselle and could forcibly integrate Mosellan and Alsatian people into its army. Those territories were administered from Berlin until German defeat in 1945, when they were returned to France. During the occupation, Moselle was integrated into a Reichsgau named Westmark and Alsace was amalgamated with Baden. From 1942, people from Alsace and Moselle were made German citizens by the German government but, legally speaking, such de facto annexion was not accepted by international laws.

Starting from October 1942, Alsatian and Mosellan men, especially young men, were enrolled by force into the German Nazi army either in the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine or Waffen-SS and they were called the malgré-nous which could be translated in English as the "unwillings" or the "against our will". This was a major trauma for the two regions which had become "French-loving" after they reintegrated France after World War I. Though they were not included in the malgré nous expression, such situation also applied to eastern Belgium and Luxembourg.

Finally, 100,000 Alsatians and 30,000 Mosellans were enrolled especially to fight on the east front against Stalin's army. Most of them were interned in Tambov in Russia in 1945. Many others fought in Normandy as the malgré-nous of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich.

Geographical and historical data

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