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A German state on the border with France and Luxembourg. After unsuccessful French attempts at annexation in the Versailles Treaty, it was placed under the trusteeship of the League of Nations for fifteen years. In the 1935 plebiscite, 90 per cent voted to belong to Germany. After World War II, it was administered separately from West Germany, and on 1 April 1948 it entered a customs union with France, which also controlled its main industry, the coal and steel works. The Saar Statute negotiated between Germany and France in 1954 aimed at a ‘Europeanization’ of the Saarland, with its own representatives in European institutions, but this was rejected in a plebiscite on 23 October 1955. The elections of 18 December 1955 produced a majority for those parties who favoured a return to Germany, and on 1 January 1957 the Saarland was incorporated into Germany. This accession of a federal state became a constitutional precedent for the incorporation of the five newly created East German states into West Germany in 1990.

Subjects: Literature — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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