Alsace-Lorraine under German Rule

By Charles Downer Hazen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
ALSACE-LORRAINE, 1871-1890

ALTHOUGH the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine was regarded by the Germans, not as a conquest, but as a "recovery" of what was theirs, nevertheless these provinces were treated and have been treated, ever since 1871, as conquered territory and in the approved and standardized Prussian fashion. Arbitrary and dictatorial government, sometimes partially disguised but generally open and harsh, has held the victims of the Treaty of Frankfort as in a vise. Asserting with vocal unanimity and with wearisome iteration that the Alsatians were Germans through and through, the government with doubtful consistency adopted at the outset and has steadily followed a policy of Germanization, thus confessing the falsity of its assumption. A sufficient comment on the success of this policy was furnished in 1914 when a high official of the Empire declared that Alsace was "the enemy's country."

The methods used in this process were in no sense original. They were the traditional ones long in

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