Saar Protectorate

The Saar Protectorate (German: Saarprotektorat [ˈzaːɐ̯pʁotɛktoˌʁaːt]; French: Protectorat de la Sarre) officially Saarland (French: Sarre) was a French protectorate partitioned from Germany after its defeat in World War II. It was administered by the French Fourth Republic. On rejoining the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1957, it became the smallest "federal state" (Bundesland), the Saarland, not counting the "city states" (Stadtstaaten) of Berlin, Hamburg, and Bremen. It is named after the Saar River.

Saarland
Saarland  (German)
Sarre  (French)
1946–1956
Coat of arms
Anthem: Saarlandlied[1]
  •   Saar Protectorate
StatusProtectorate of France[lower-alpha 1]
Capital
and largest city
Saarbrücken
49°14′N 7°0′E
Common languages
Religion
Secular state
Demonym(s)Saar
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
French Representative 
 1945–1955
Gilbert Grandval[lower-alpha 2]
 1955–1956
Charles de Carbonnel[lower-alpha 3]
Minister-President 
 1947–1955
Johannes Hoffmann
 1955–1956
Heinrich Welsch
 1956–1957
Hubert Ney
LegislatureLandtag
Historical eraCold War
 Establishment
16 February 1946
 Constitution
15 December 1947
23 October 1954
23 October 1955
27 October 1956
 Joined West Germany
1 January 1957
Currency
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Allied-occupied Germany
West Germany
Saarland
Today part ofGermany

The region around the Saar River and its tributary valleys is a geographically folded, mineral-rich, ethnically German, economically important, heavily industrialized area. It has well-developed transportation infrastructure, and was one of the centers of the Industrial Revolution in Germany. Around 1900, the region formed the third-largest area of coal, iron, and steel industry in Germany (after the Ruhr Area and the Upper Silesian Coal Basin). From 1920 to 1935, as a result of World War I, the region was under the control of the League of Nations as the Territory of the Saar Basin.

Geographically, the post-World War II protectorate corresponded to the current German state of Saarland (established after its incorporation into West Germany on 1 January 1957). A policy of industrial disarmament and dispersal of industrial workers was officially pursued by the Allies after the war until 1951 and the region was made a protectorate under French control in 1946. Cold War pressures for a stronger Germany allowed renewed industrialization, and the French returned control of the region to the government of West Germany.


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