(redirected from Elsass-Lothringen)
Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.


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
..... Click the link for more information.
, France.



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 The Diktaturparagraf was repealed in 1902, a local legislative body—the Landtag—was established in 1911, and Alsace-Lorraine was given three seats in the German Reichsrat.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.



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)
References in periodicals archive ?
Source: Ministerium fur Handel und Gewerbe, Statistik der Knappschaftsvereine des preussischen Staates (Berlin, 1862-1920); Kingdom of Bavaria, Statistik der Knappschaftsvereine im bayerischen Staate (Munchen, 1884-1920); Harry Karwehl, Die Entwicklung und Reform des deutschen Knappschaftswesens (Jena, 1907); Peter Simons, Das deutsche Knappschaftswesen (Mainz, 1895); Heinrich Imbusch, Das deutsche Knappschaftswesen: Eine Darstellung seiner Entwicklung und seines heutigen Standes, unter besonderer Berucksichtigung des Knappschaftsrechts und des Wirkens der Knappschaftsvereine in der Praxis (Koln, 1910); August Kohne, Die deutschen Knappschaftsvereine, ihre Einrichtung und ihre Bedeutung (Hannover, 1915); Georg Pietsch, Das Knapp-schaftswesen in Elsass-Lothringen (Koln, 1911).
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.
Das Elsass 1870-1932 (Colmar, 1938), 4:222; Statistisches Jahrbuch fur Elsass-Lothringen (Strasbourg, 1914), 7:237; Hermann Hiery, "Zwischen Scylla und Charybdis: Carl Graf von Wedel als Statthalter im Reichsland Elsass-Lothringen (1907-1914)," Zeitschrift fur die Geschichte des Oberrheins 34 (1986): 299-328.