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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a nationality comprising the inhabitants of Alsace; a French national minority. According to a 1975 estimate, the Alsatians number 1,400,000. Their literary languages are French and German. About three-fourths of religious believers are Roman Catholics; the rest are Lutherans and Calvinists.

The Alsatians developed from Celtic tribes influenced by the Germans, especially the Alamanni. Their ethnographic uniqueness is explained by their location on the border between France and Germany, to both of which they have belonged in the course of history. The democratic principles of the French Revolution played a decisive role in the formation of the Alsatian ethnic consciousness. From 1871 to 1918, when Alsace belonged to Germany, the Alsatians resisted enforced germanization; from 1940 to 1945 they joined with the French in their struggle against the fascist German invaders.

The Alsatians have preserved their traditional culture, including its folklore and festivals at which national costumes and dances are demonstrated. About 50 percent of the Alsatians are employed in various industries, and about 11 percent in agriculture.


Narody zarubezhnoi Evropy, vol. 2. Moscow, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cairns told the court that the alsatians were owned by her partner Tony Thackeray and she not only had nothing to do with them but did not even like dogs.
In her last chapter she examines French and Alsatian reactions to Nazism, resistance, and French women's enfranchisement.
"The dogs, large alsatians, were still in the fields and I could see them going towards other sheep.
* I READ in the Telegraph (May 27) about a man who neglected his dog, which you described as an Alsatian.
The region of Alsace, located between France and Germany, was a trophy of war four times between 1870 and 1945, causing Alsatians to invoke regionalism to defend their interests against the nationalist claims of the two countries.
"When the owner came outside, he managed to control the alsatians but contacted paramedics when it was obvious the 21-year-old was badly injured.
West Mercia Police spokesman said: "We are investigating these incidents along with a report that two Alsatians and a Rottweiler were seen loose on March 7.
A spokesman for Pershore Police said: "We are investigating these incidents along with a report that two Alsatians and a Rottweiler were seen loose at Peopleton Rough on March 7.
Since everyone seems to have a personal definition, I decided to go back to the originals and see what the common threads may in fact be between Alsatian Pinot Gris and Pinot Gris made in the "Alsatian style." After all, the Alsatians have been working with Pinot Gris for more than 400 years, which is a solid track record, so I wanted to discover what they had to offer to today's growing throng of Pinot Gris drinkers.
Yet the worst insult you can throw at the Alsatians is to assume that they are Germans.
The Dangerous Dogs Act clearly states that every type of dog is potentially dangerous, not just Alsatians and Dobermans.