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This project explores the national identity of people of the Alsace region of France, which lies on the northeast border with Germany. This region alone contains six dialects that intertwine French and German. Germany defeated France and annexed Alsace in 1871, but the region returned to France following Germany’s defeat in World War I. The territory was then occupied by Germany and was officially part of the Greater German Reich, yet Alsace was never officially annexed back to Germany. The culture of this region is not only a mix of the two nationalities due to shifting national borders, but due to the land historically being a territory that is traded in treaties out of many wars, specifically World War I and II. By interviewing three generations of Alsatians, I sought to discover what national identity they maintain, as well as their perspectives on their regional history. This project is important because it is rooted it in an international debate of identity crisis, specifically national identity.
History, Nazi, World War II, Hitler, France, Oral, Alsace, Identity, Language