Paris: S. E. P. E., 1945. First edition. Hardcover. Quarto. Unpaginated. pp. Original half cloth over illustrated decorative paper covered boards. Photo-illustrated title page. Striking photo-essay on the liberation of Alsace by the Free French forces of Generals de Lattre, Bethouard and de Monsabert. The French liberation army emerged victorious and Alsace-Lorraine* was restored to France in the spring of 1945. This volume is complete with its 3 maps and 68 in-text and full page photogravures. Binding sunned and slightly soiled. Text in French. Binding in overall fair to good-, interior in very good condition. g- to vg. Item #37869
* The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine (German: Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen, or Elsass-Lothringen), was a territory created by the German Empire in 1871 after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle region of Lorraine following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River and east of the Vosges Mountains. The Lorraine section was in the upper Moselle valley to the north of the Vosges Mountains. The Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine was made up of 93% of Alsace (7% remained French) and 26% of Lorraine (74% remained French). For historical reasons, specific legal dispositions are still applied in the territory in form of a local law. In relation to its special legal status, since its reversion to France following World War I, the territory has been referred to administratively as Alsace-Moselle. After France was defeated in the spring of 1940, Alsace and Moselle were not officially annexed by Germany, Adolf Hitler annexed them in 1940 through a law which he kept secret. Through a series of laws which, individually, seemed minor, Berlin actually took the full control over Alsace-Moselle and could forcibly integrate Mosellan and Alsatian people into its army. Those territories were administered from Berlin until German defeat in 1945, when they were returned to France. During the occupation, Moselle was integrated into a Reichsgau named Westmark and Alsace was amalgamated with Baden. From 1942, people from Alsace and Moselle were made German citizens by the German government but, legally speaking, such de facto annexion was not accepted by international laws. Starting from October 1942, Alsatian and Mosellan men, especially young men, were enrolled by force into the German Nazi army either in the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine or Waffen-SS and they were called the malgré-nous (literally in spite of ourselves) which could be translated in English as the "unwillings" or the "against our will". This was a major trauma for the two regions which had become "French-loving" after they reintegrated into France after World War I. Though they were not included in the malgré nous expression, such situation also applied to eastern Belgium and Luxembourg. Finally, 100,000 Alsatians and 30,000 Mosellans were enrolled especially to fight on the east front against Stalin's army. Most of them were interned in Tambov in Russia in 1945. Many others fought in Normandy as the malgré-nous of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich.