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Eupen and Malmedy


EUPEN AND MALMEDY, two districts acquired by Bel gium from Rhenish Prussia in 1919, with the small district of Moresnet. The latter, by an oversight in the Treaty of Vienna in 1815 was not assigned to either Belgium or Prussia, and part of it therefore remained neutral territory between the two countries. It comprised little over 3,00o inhabitants (census of 191o).

Eupen and Malmedy

Prior to 1914 the boundary of Germany overlooked the valley of the right bank tributaries of the Meuse. The cession of Malmedy took the frontier eastward to the watershed between the feeders of the Meuse and those of the Moselle and Rhine, while the cession of Eupen removed the frontier from the vicinity of Verviers to that of Aachen. These changes transferred to Belgium important sections of the German railway system which had been developed near this frontier.

Eupen and Malmedy contain some 6o,000 persons of whom less than one-sixth are Walloon and French-speaking, and five sixths German. It was contended at the Peace Conference that these inhabitants had been systematically Prussianized since 1815. It seems true that the majority spoke French before that date, and were, in origin, Walloons. The conference theref ore declined to sanction a plebiscite, but the inhabitants were permitted to ex press their opinions in registers for six months after the ratifica tion of the treaty, Jan. Io, 192o. The League of Nations, to which the case was referred, ultimately assigned the areas to Belgium. By a decree of March 6, 1925, Eupen and Malmedy were joined to the province of Liege.

The Allied Powers (reply to the German observations on the draft treaty, June 16, 1919) based the fate of these areas on grounds other than those of self-determination. Eupen and Mal medy had been made a basis for German militarism, and had a close economic connection with Belgium. Moresnet, which had valuable woods, was assigned to Belgium "in partial compensation for the destruction of Belgian forests." BIBLIOGRAPHY.-H. W. V. Temperley, ed. History of the Peace ConBibliography.-H. W. V. Temperley, ed. History of the Peace Con- ference (192o).

belgium, german and inhabitants