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9. Of Occupied Territories and Lost Provinces

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Chapter Summary

The territories of Alsace-Lorraine, northern France, and Belgium represented both the battleground and prize of World War I, at least on the Western Front. This chapter explores propaganda during World War I with primary reference to Alsace and Lorraine, but uses Belgium as a useful touchstone. In particular, it examines how each side tried to appeal to the people of Alsace and Lorraine, then turns how each dealt with propaganda with their domestic audiences as well as foreign constituencies. Germany's actions, or the perceptions of German actions, made it easy for allied propagandists to weave a demand for a return for Alsace and Lorraine into a broader tapestry of German brutality and oppression during the war; moreover, Allied, and especially the French, proved far more deft and focused at articulating and disseminating their case with regard to the two provinces.

Keywords: Alsace; Belgium; entente propaganda; Germany; Lorraine; northern France; World War I

10.1163/9789004264571_011
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