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Related to Alsace-Lorraine: Franco-Prussian War


former region, Germany: see under AlsaceAlsace
, Ger. Elsass, former province and former administrative region, E France. It is separated from Germany by a part of the Rhine River. It comprises the departments of Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, and the Territory of Belfort (a department created after the Franco-Prussian
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, France.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a Reichsland (imperial territory) of Germany from 1871 to 1918 that was created from the Alsatian departments of Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin (excluding the territory of Belfort) and part of the Lorraine departments of Meurthe and Moselle, all of which had been won from France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71.

Alsace-Lorraine was initially administered by an Oberpräsident, who was appointed by the emperor and was granted, under Paragraph 10 of the law of Dec. 30, 1871 (the Diktaturparagraf), the right to use all means, including military force, to maintain order. Alsace-Lorraine was given 15 seats in the German Reichstag, nearly all of which, in the 1870’s and 1880’s, were held by candidates of the leftist bourgeois Progress Party. Not until the late 1870’s was a local consultative body—the Landes-ausschuss—established and the Oberpräsident replaced by the Statthalter, a resident representing the chancellor.

The policy of enforced germanization pursued by the German government aroused resistance and resulted in 400,000 persons emigrating to France between 1872 and 1882. The annexation of Alsace-Lorraine, which contained one of Europe’s largest ironore deposits, contributed to Germany’s rapid industrial development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Industrial growth and the influx of German capital drew the local bourgeoisie closer to its German counterpart.

The supporters of autonomy for Alsace-Lorraine within the German Empire grew stronger. The Diktaturparagraf was repealed in 1902, a local legislative body—the Landtag—was established in 1911, and Alsace-Lorraine was given three seats in the German Reichsrat. The policy of ethnic discrimination and forced germanization continued, however, leading in 1913 to a grave political crisis (seeZABERN AFFAIR OF 1913).

Differences over the Alsace-Lorraine question played an important role in the overall conflict of interests between Germany and France that led to the outbreak of World War I. Under the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France. During World War II, Alsace-Lorraine was occupied in 1940 by fascist German troops; it was liberated in late 1944 and early 1945.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


an area of NE France, comprising the modern regions of Alsace and Lorraine: under German rule 1871--1919 and 1940--44. Area: 14 522 sq. km (5607 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Alsace-Lorraine was an issue that erupted between two opposing parties whilst the Kashmir issue resulted due to a hasty British withdrawal from India and their inability to ever learn proper map-drawing (refer to Sykes-Picot for another example of their 'exemplary' map drawing skills).
In Alsace-Lorraine, the ancient feldgraue--most of them French citizens since 1919--are not part of the official, civil and military commemoration of the Great War, mostly focusing on the liberation.
But, as in German areas of Alsace-Lorraine, a few schools very near the front continued to be used as hospitals or barracks until 1918.
The exact number of absent teachers is impossible to establish because official statistics of the Alsace-Lorraine teaching corps listed men at the front as if they were still teaching, at least until they were killed.
Schools in French-occupied Alsace-Lorraine met more regularly and for longer days than did schools in the German areas.
In both French and German areas of Alsace-Lorraine, teachers and administrators complained that canceled classes and half-day instruction led to lower rates of attendance even when school was in session.
As children's fathers, brothers, and uncles went off to war, as more German and French troops occupied Alsace-Lorraine, and as some children experienced firsthand the ensuing destruction and felt wartime deprivations, educators reasoned that children would have their minds on the war anyway, and it was only sensible to use that interest to teach various subjects.
Throughout Alsace-Lorraine, nationalist extremes that had made only occasional appearances in prewar curriculum became commonplace during the war.
In German-occupied Alsace-Lorraine instruction about the war began during the winter of 1914-15.
By 1916, a German normal school director and a school inspector, both in Alsace-Lorraine, had edited a series of manuals to aid teachers in their attempts to bring the war into the classroom.
In another German volume, the geography section included such themes as "The Nasty Enemy Adventure in the Dardanelles" and "Enemy Fortresses in the East and West." History pupils learned the German history of Alsace-Lorraine or about gold in the imperial treasury, the economic advantages of occupying French territory, and why eggs and butter were so expensive; in physics, teachers talked of submarines, torpedoes, and mines.
The most widely used textbook, the Lesebuch fur die Oberklassen evangelischer Elementarschulen in Elsass-Lothringen (reading book for the last four grades of elementary school in Alsace-Lorraine) saw significant changes in the geography section between prewar and wartime editions.