The war of 1870-1871, largely forgotten and eclipsed by the two World Wars, was nonetheless a decisive conflict that changed the balance of power in Europe.
On the German side, the Treaty of Versailles laid the basis for the unification of a victorious Germany. And on the French side, the disastrous Battle of Sedan accelerated the fall of the Empire and the proclamation of the Third Republic. But it was the loss of Alsace-Lorraine that marked the key turning point in the relations between the two peoples. Losing this border region wounded French patriotism deeply. Over the decades that followed, it would represent a war trophy for some and a dream of revenge for others.
Looking back at this conflict in 2020, some 150 years later, we are reminded how the relationship between the two neighbours has evolved into a privileged friendship between the two peoples.
Bettina Offermann | email@example.com
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Arte, Mediawan Thematics für Toute l’Histoire
Authors & Directors
Hermann Pölking, Linn Sackarnd
Christin Schutta, Anja Zhukova