|The Territory of the Saar Basin
Le Territoire du Bassin de la Sarre (fr)
|Political structure||Special territory|
|- 1920-1926||Victor Rault|
|- 1926-1927||George W. Stephens|
|- 1927-1932||Sir Ernest Collins Wilton|
|- 1932-1935||Sir Geoffrey Knox|
|Historical era||Interwar period|
|- Treaty of Versailles||January 10, 1920|
|- Plebiscite||January 13, 1935|
|- Disestablished||March 1, 1935|
|- 1933 est.||812,000|
Commission of Government[change | change source]
According to Treaty of Versailles the highly industrialized Saarland was to be governed by the League of Nations for a period of 15 years, and its coalfields given to France. The Commission of Government, which represented the League of Nations, had five members. At least one member had to be French and one a native of the Saar.
At the end of the 15 year period, in 1935, the people of the Saar voted on how they wanted their country. They voted to become a part of Nazi Germany.
It had a currency, the Saar franc, and its own postage stamps during this period.
Chairmen of the Commission[change | change source]
The League of Nations' control to the region was represented by the following Chairmen of the Commission of Government:
- Victor Rault, France (26 February, 1920 - 18 March, 1926)
- George Washington Stephens, Canada (18 March, 1926 - 8 June, 1927)
- Sir Ernest Colville Collins Wilton, United Kingdom (8 June, 1927 - 1 April, 1932)
- Sir Geoffrey George Knox, United Kingdom (1 April, 1932 - 1 March, 1935)
Plebiscite[change | change source]
In 1933, a lot of anti-Nazi Germans fled to the Saar, as it was the only part of Germany left outside the Third Reich's control. As a result, anti-Nazi groups wanted the Saarland to remain under control of League of Nations as long as Adolf Hitler ruled Germany. However, France had a lot of power in the Saar. France had control of the coalmines and even had the Saar's currency called the franc. Not many Saarlanders liked France, and in the plebiscite on 13 January, 1935, 90% of those voting that wished to join Germany, 8.86% wanted to stay with the League of Nations. Only 0.40% (that is, four voters in every thousand) wanted to join France.
Nazi rule[change | change source]
On 17 January 1935, the territory's re-union with Germany was approved by the League Council. On March 1, the Nazi Germany took over the region, and appointed Josef Bürckel as Reichskommissar für die Rückgliederung des Saarlandes, "Reich Commissioner for the re-union of Saarland".
Many former politicians and office holders of the Saargebiet were changed or arrested by the Nazis.
Notes[change | change source]
- Article 45-50 with Annex, Treaty of Versailles
- Saarland in the page about Germany on WorldStatesmen.org
- The extent of the territory is specified in Article 48, Treaty of Versailles
- Paragraph 16-17, Chapter II, Annex to Article 45-50, Treaty of Versailles
Other pages[change | change source]
- Saarland The modern Land of Germany
- Saar, a protectorate under French control (1947-1956)
- Sarre, a département of France (1798-1814)
- Saar River
- Nazi Germany
- Free City of Danzig