Saarland is located in western Germany covering an area of 2,570 km2 (990 sq mi) and a population of 995,600 (2015), the smallest German state in both area and population apart from the city-states of Berlin, Bremen, and Hamburg. Saarbrücken is the state capital and largest city, while other major cities include Neunkirchen and Saarlouis. Saarland is surrounded by France to the west and south and the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate to the north and east.
Saarland was established in 1920 after World War I as the Territory of the Saar Basin, formed from land of Prussia and Bavaria occupied and governed by France and the United Kingdom under a League of Nations mandate. The heavily industrialized region was economically valuable due to the wealth of its coal deposits and location on the border between France and Germany. Saarland was returned to Nazi Germany in the 1935 Saar status referendum, becoming de jure part of Bavaria and de facto part of Gau Westmark. Following World War II, the French military administration in Allied-occupied Germany organized the territory as the Saar Protectorate from 1947, becoming a protectorate of France, and between 1950 and 1956 was a member of the Council of Europe. Saarland rejected the 1955 Saar Statute referendum, and joined the Federal Republic of Germany as a state on 1 January 1957. Saarland used its own currency, the Saar franc, and postage stamps issued specially for the territory until 1959.
|• Body||Landtag of Saarland|
|• Minister-President||Tobias Hans (CDU)|
|• Governing parties||CDU / SPD|
|• Bundesrat votes||3 (of 69)|
|• Total||2,570 km2 (990 sq mi)|
|• Density||390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||DE-SL|
|GDP (nominal)||€35/ $39 billion (2015)|
|GDP per capita||€35,400/ $39,300 (2015)|
The region of the Saarland was settled by the Celtic tribes of Treveri and Mediomatrici. The most impressive relic of their time is the remains of a fortress of refuge at Otzenhausen in the north of the Saarland. In the 1st century BC, the Roman Empire made the region part of its province of Belgica. The Celtic population mixed with the Roman immigrants. The region gained wealth, which can still be seen in the remains of Roman villas and villages.
Roman rule ended in the 5th century, when the Franks conquered the territory. For the next 1,300 years the region shared the history of the Kingdom of the Franks, the Carolingian Empire and of the Holy Roman Empire. The region of the Saarland was divided into several small territories, some of which were ruled by sovereigns of adjoining regions. Most important of the local rulers were the counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken. Within the Holy Roman Empire these territories gained a wide range of independence, threatened, however, by the French kings, who sought, from the 17th century onwards, to incorporate all the territories on the western side of the river Rhine and repeatedly invaded the area in 1635, in 1676, in 1679 and in 1734, extending their realm to the Saar River and establishing the city and stronghold of Saarlouis in 1680.
It was not the king of France but the armies of the French Revolution who terminated the independence of the states in the region of the Saarland. After 1792 they conquered the region and made it part of the French Republic. While a strip in the west belonged to the Département Moselle, the centre in 1798 became part of the Département de Sarre, and the east became part of the Département du Mont-Tonnerre. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the region was divided again. Most of it became part of the Prussian Rhine Province. Another part in the east, corresponding to the present Saarpfalz district, was allocated to the Kingdom of Bavaria. A small part in the northeast was ruled by the Duke of Oldenburg.
On 31 July 1870, the French Emperor Napoleon III ordered an invasion across the River Saar to seize Saarbrücken. The first shots of the Franco-Prussian War 1870/71 were fired on the heights of Spichern, south of Saarbrücken. The Saar region became part of the German Empire which came into existence on 18 January 1871, during the course of this war.
In 1920 the Saargebiet was occupied by Britain and France under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. The occupied area included portions of the Prussian Rhine Province and the Bavarian Rhenish Palatinate. In practice the region was administered by France. In 1920 this was formalized by a 15-year League of Nations mandate.
In 1933, a considerable number of communists and other political opponents of National Socialism fled to the Saar, as it was the only part of Germany that remained outside national administration following the First World War. As a result, anti-Nazi groups agitated for the Saarland to remain under French administration. However, with most of the population being ethnically German, such views were considered suspect or even treasonous, and therefore found little support.
When the original 15-year term was over, a plebiscite was held in the territory on 13 January 1935: 90.8% of those voting favoured rejoining Germany.
Following the referendum Josef Bürckel was appointed on 1 March 1935 as the German Reich's commissioner for reintegration (Reichskommissar für die Rückgliederung des Saarlandes). When the reincorporation was considered accomplished, his title was changed (after 17 June 1936) to Reichskommissar für das Saarland. In September 1939, in response to the German Invasion of Poland, French forces invaded the Saarland in a half-hearted offensive, occupying some villages and meeting little resistance, before withdrawing. A further change was made after 8 April 1940 to Reichskommissar für die Saarpfalz; finally, after 11 March 1941, he was made Reichsstatthalter in der "Westmark" (the region's new name, meaning "Western March or Border"). He died on 28 September 1944 and was succeeded by Willi Stöhr, who remained in office until the region fell to advancing American forces in March 1945.
Under the Monnet Plan France attempted to gain economic control of the German industrial areas with large coal and mineral deposits that were not in Soviet hands: the Ruhr and the Saar area. Attempts to gain control of or permanently internationalize the Ruhr area (see International Authority for the Ruhr) were abandoned in 1951 with the German agreement to pool its coal and steel resources (see European Coal and Steel Community) in return for full political control of the Ruhr. The French attempt to gain economic control over the Saar was more successful at the time, with the final vestiges of French economic influence not ending until 1981. France did not annex the Saar or expel the local German population, as opposed to fate of Upper Silesia which was annexed by Poland in 1949 in accordance with the peace treaty between Poland and the GDR/East Germany (see also Allied-occupied Germany).
In his speech "Restatement of Policy on Germany", made in Stuttgart on 6 September 1946, United States Secretary of State James F. Byrnes stated the U.S. motive in detaching the Saar from Germany: "The United States does not feel that it can deny to France, which has been invaded three times by Germany in 70 years,[Note 1] its claim to the Saar territory". (See also Morgenthau plan for U.S. and UK designs for the Saar.)
From 1945 to 1951, a policy of industrial disarmament was pursued in Germany by the Allies (see the industrial plans for Germany). As part of this policy, limits were placed on production levels, and industries in the Saar were dismantled just as in the Ruhr, although mostly in the period prior to its detachment (see also the 1949 letter from the UK Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin to the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, urging a reconsideration of the dismantling policy).
The Saar Protectorate was headed by a military governor from 30 August 1945: Gilbert Yves Édmond Grandval (b. 1904 – d. 1981), who remained, on 1 January 1948, as High Commissioner, and January 1952 – June 1955 as the first of two French ambassadors, his successor being Eric de Carbonnel (b. 1910 – d. 1965) until 1956. Saarland, however, was allowed a regional administration very early, consecutively headed by:
In 1954, France and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) developed a detailed plan called the Saarstatut to establish an independent Saarland. It was signed as an agreement between the two countries on 23 October 1954 as one of the Paris Pacts, but a plebiscite held on 23 October 1955 rejected it by 67.7%.
On 27 October 1956, the Saar Treaty declared that Saarland should be allowed to join the Federal Republic of Germany, which it did on 1 January 1957. This was the last significant international border change in Europe until the fall of Communism over 30 years later.
The Saarland's unification with the Federal Republic of Germany was sometimes referred to as the Kleine Wiedervereinigung ("little reunification", in contrast with the post-Cold War absorption of the GDR (Die Wende)). After unification, the Saar franc remained as the territory's currency until West Germany's Deutsche Mark replaced it on 7 July 1959. The Saar Treaty established that French, not English as in the rest of West Germany, should remain the first foreign language taught in Saarland schools; this provision was still largely followed after it was no longer binding.
The state borders France (département of Moselle, which forms part of the région of Grand Est)  to the south and west, Luxembourg (Grevenmacher District) to the west and Rheinland-Pfalz to the north and the east.
It is named after the Saar River, a tributary of the Moselle River (itself a tributary of the Rhine), which runs through the state from the south to the northwest. One third of the land area of the Saarland is covered by forest, one of the highest percentages in Germany. The state is generally hilly; the highest mountain is the Dollberg with a height of 695.4 m (2281 feet).
Most inhabitants live in a city agglomeration on the French border, surrounding the capital of Saarbrücken.
See also List of places in Saarland.
Saarland is divided into six districts ("Landkreise" in German):
|Significant foreign resident populations|
The following table shows the ten largest cities of Saarland:
|Pos.||Name||Pop. 2017||Area (km²)||Pop. per km2|
Saarland is the most religious state in Germany. The adherents of the Catholic Church comprise 58.6% of the population, organised in the two dioceses of Trier (comprising the formerly Prussian part of Saarland) and Speyer (for the smaller eastern formerly Palatine part). 18.1% of the Saarlandic population adhere to the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), organised in the two Landeskirchen named Evangelical Church in the Rhineland and Evangelical Church of the Palatinate, both following the same former territorial partition. 23.3% are not affiliated with one of these churches.
Except for the period between 1985 and 1999 – when the centre-left Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) held a majority of seats in the Landtag (state diet) – the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has governed the Saarland, either alone or in coalition, continuously since the accession of the state to the Federal of Republic of Germany in 1957.
After the most recent state elections – held in 2012 following the collapse of the "Jamaica coalition" agreement of 2009 between the CDU, the liberal FDP, and the centre-left Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (The Greens) – the CDU and SPD, as the two largest parties in the Landtag, decided upon the formation of a "grand coalition" under the overall leadership of the current minister-president, Tobias Hans (CDU).
|Minister-president of the Saarland||Tobias Hans||2018||CDU|
|Vice Minister-president of the Saarland and
Minister for the Economy, Employment, Energy, and Transport
|Minister for the Interior and Sport||Klaus Bouillion||2014||CDU|
|Minister for Education and Culture||Ulrich Commerçon||2012||SPD|
|Minister of Justice and
Minister for the Environment and Consumer Protection
|Minister for Social Affairs, Health, Women, and the Family||Monika Bachmann||2014||CDU|
|Minister for Finance and European Affairs||Peter Strobel||2018||CDU|
|Head of the State Chancellery and
Minister plenipotentiary of the Saarland to the Federation in Berlin
Important income sources are automobile industry, steel industry, ceramic industry and computer science and information systems industry. In the past, coal mining was an important branch of industry.
The unemployment rate stood at 5.8% in October 2018 and was higher than the national average but below the EU28 average.
|Unemployment rate in %||9.8||9.0||9.1||9.5||9.2||10.7||9.9||8.4||7.3||7.7||7.5||6.8||6.7||7.3||7.3||7.3||7.2||6.7|
People in the Saarland speak Rhine Franconian (in the southeast, very similar to that dialect spoken in the western part of the Palatinate) and Moselle Franconian (in the northwest, very similar to that dialect spoken along the Moselle River and the cities of Trier or even in Luxembourg). Outside of the Saarland, specifically the Rhine-Franconian variant spoken in the state capital Saarbrücken is generally considered to be the Saarland dialect. The two dialect regions are mainly separated by the das / dat isogloss; in the northwestern portion of the state, including cities such as Saarlouis, standard German das is pronounced with a final [t] instead of an [s].
In general, both dialects are an integral part of Saarland identity and thus a strong source of local patriotism.
Both dialects, particularly in their respective Saarland flavour, share many characteristic features, some of which will be explained below.
Women and girls are often referred to using the neuter pronoun es, with the pronunciation being something like Ähs: Ähs hat mir's gesaat ('it told me so', instead of 'she told me so'; vs. High German: Sie hat es mir gesagt). This stems from the word Mädchen (girl) being neuter in German (es is correct in German when referring to words like Mädchen but would not be used by itself in reference to a woman).
The conjunctive in Rhine Franconian is normally composed with the words dääd (High German tät = “would do”) or gäng (“would go”) as auxiliary verbs: Isch dääd saan, dass... (“I would say that...”) instead of the High German Ich würde sagen, dass....
Declension is rather different:
Diphthongs are less common than in Standard German. This is because the Standard German diphthongs ei and au are each the result of a merger of two Middle High German vowels – however, these mergers did not take place in the Saarland, and only one of the two merged vowels is pronounced as a diphthong. The front rounded vowels ö, ü, and eu are replaced by e, i, and ei respectively.
Both the Rhine Franconian and Moselle Franconian dialects (and Luxemburgish) have merged the palatal fricative sound as in ich with the post-alveolar fricative as in frisch 'fresh', causing minimal pairs such as Kirche 'church' and Kirsche 'cherry' to be pronounced in the same way.
French has had a considerable influence on the vocabulary, although the pronunciation of imported French words is usually quite different from their originals. Popular examples include Trottwaa (from trottoir), Fissääl (from ficelle), and the imperative or greeting aalleh! (from allez!).
The English sentence 'My house is green' is pronounced almost the same in the Rhine Franconian variant: Mei Haus is grien. The main difference lies in the pronunciation of the r sound.
Regional beer brewer Karlsberg has taken advantage of the Saarlandish dialect to create clever advertising for its staple product, UrPils. Examples include a trio of men enjoying a beer, flanked by baby carriages, the slogan reading "Mutter schafft" (meaning "Mom's at work" in Saarlandish, but plays on the High German word "Mutterschaft", or "motherhood"); another depicts a trio of men at a bar, with one realizing his beer has been drunk by one of the others, the slogan reading "Kenner war's" (meaning "It was no one" [Keiner war es] in Saarlandish, but playing on the High German word "Kenner", or "connoisseur", translating to "It was a connoisseur"); a third shows an empty beer crate in the middle of outer space, the text reading "All" (meaning "empty" in Saarlandish, but playing on the same High German word meaning "outer space").
The French language has a special standing in Saarland due to its geographical proximity with France. Today, a large part of the population is able to speak French, and it is compulsory at many schools. Saarbrücken is also home to a bilingual "Deutsch-Französisches Gymnasium" (German-French high school). In January 2014 the Saarland state government announced its aim of making the region fully bilingual in German and French by 2043.
The Saar competed in the qualifying section of the 1954 FIFA World Cup, but failed after coming second to West Germany but ahead of Norway. It also competed as Saar in the 1952 Summer Olympics and the field handball world championships in the beginning of the 1950s.
1. FC Saarbrücken (German: 1. Fußball-Club Saarbrücken e. V.) is a football club based in Saarbrücken, Saarland. The club play in the Regionalliga Südwest, which is the fourth tier of football in the country. The club began its existence as the football department of Turnverein Malstatt formed in 1903. That department split off in 1907 to form the independent football club FV Malstatt-Burbach and on 1 April 1909 was renamed FV Saarbrücken.Amateurliga Saarland
The Amateurliga Saarland was the highest football league in the state of Saarland and the third tier of the German football league system from 1951, when the clubs from the Saar returned to Germany, till the formation of the Oberliga Südwest and the Verbandsliga Saarland below it in 1978.Borussia Neunkirchen
Borussia VfB Neunkirchen is a German association football club based in Neunkirchen, Saarland. The club SC Borussia Neunkirchen was founded out of the 1907 merger of FC 1905 Borussia and SC Neunkirchen.Erwin Wilhelm Müller
Erwin Wilhelm Müller (or Mueller) (June 13, 1911 – May 17, 1977) was a German physicist who invented the Field Emission Electron Microscope (FEEM), the Field Ion Microscope (FIM), and the Atom-Probe Field Ion Microscope. He and his student, Kanwar Bahadur, were the first people to experimentally observe atoms.FC 08 Homburg
FC Homburg is a German association football club based in Homburg, Saarland. The club was founded on 15 June 1908 as Fussball Club Homburg by a group of seventeen young men at the local Hohenburg pub.Homburg (Saar)
Homburg (German pronunciation: [ˈhɔmbʊʁk], French: Hombourg) is a town in Saarland, Germany, the administrative seat of the Saarpfalz (Saar-Palatinate) district. With a population of c. 41,822 inhabitants (June 30th 2017), is the third largest city in its federal state. The medical department of the University of Saarland is situated here. The city is also home to the Karlsberg beer brewery. Major employers include Michelin and Robert Bosch GmbH.Neunkirchen, Saarland
Neunkirchen (German pronunciation: [ˈnɔʏnkɪɐ̯çn̩]) is a town and a municipality in Saarland, Germany. It is the largest town in, and the seat of the district of Neunkirchen. It is situated on the river Blies, approx. 20 km northeast of Saarbrücken. With about 50,000 inhabitants, Neunkirchen is Saarland's second largest city.Oskar Lafontaine
Oskar Lafontaine (German pronunciation: [ˈlafɔntɛn]; born 16 September 1943) is a German politician who served in the government of Germany as Minister of Finance from 1998 to 1999. Previously he was Minister President of the state of Saarland from 1985 to 1998, and he was also Chairman of the Social Democratic Party from 1995 to 1999. After having won the German federal election, 1998 along with new Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, he resigned from all political offices, including his seat in the German Bundestag, only a half year later and positioned himself as a popular opponent of Schröder's policies in the tabloid press.
In the forefront of the federal election, 2005 and as a reaction to Schröder's Agenda 2010 social reforms, Lafontaine joined the newly founded party Labour and Social Justice – The Electoral Alternative in June 2005. Following the merger with the Party of Democratic Socialism in June 2007, he became co-chairman of The Left. After being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009, he announced his resignation from federal political functions in January 2010, citing health reasons. Having been cured from it, he has instead been member of parliament for The Left in Saarland since September 2009 and leader of the opposition since May 2012.SV Elversberg
SpVgg 07 Elversberg is a German association football club, located in Spiesen-Elversberg, Saarland.SV Röchling Völklingen
SV Röchling Völklingen is a German association football club that plays in Völklingen, part of the greater Saarbrücken, Saarland.
The club draws its name from the Röchling family, owners of the Völklingen Ironworks steel factory, a former sponsor of the club which closed down in 1986.Saar (river)
The Saar (French: Sarre; German: Saar) is a river in northeastern France and western Germany, and a right tributary of the Moselle. It rises in the Vosges mountains on the border of Alsace and Lorraine and flows northwards into the Moselle near Trier. It has two headstreams (the Sarre Rouge and Sarre Blanche, which join in Lorquin), that both start near Mont Donon, the highest peak of the northern Vosges. After 246 kilometres (153 mi) (126 kilometres in France and 120 kilometres in Germany) the Saar flows into the Moselle at Konz (Rhineland-Palatinate) between Trier and the Luxembourg border. It has a catchment area of 7,431 square kilometres (2,869 sq mi).
The Saar was very important for the Saarland coal, iron and steel industries. Raw materials and finished products were shipped on it by water via the Canal des houillères de la Sarre, the Marne-Rhine Canal and the Rhine, for instance, to the Ruhr area or the port of Rotterdam.
Although the German part of the Saar has been upgraded to a waterway by deepening, construction of sluices and straightening, there is no significant shipping traffic.
The Saar flows through the following departments of France, states of Germany and towns:
Moselle (F): Abreschviller (Sarre Rouge), Lorquin, Sarrebourg, Fénétrange
Bas-Rhin (F): Sarre-Union
Moselle (F): Sarralbe, Sarreguemines
Saarland (D): Saarbrücken, Völklingen, Wadgassen, Bous, Saarlouis, Dillingen, Merzig
Rhineland-Palatinate (D): Saarburg, Konz.On the banks of the Saar is the UNESCO-World Heritage Site Völklinger Hütte. At Mettlach the Saar passes the well-known Saar loop. The lower Saar in Rhineland-Palatinate is a winegrowing region of some importance, producing mostly Riesling. Until the early 20th century, much more wine was grown on the banks of the Saar, reaching much further up from the mouth of the river, up to Saarbrücken. Only in the early 21st century have some enterprising farmers from the Saarland area started experimenting with winegrowing again.
The name Saar stems from the Celtic word sara (streaming water), and the Roman name of the river, saravus.Saar Protectorate
The Saar Protectorate (German: Saarprotektorat; French: Protectorat de Sarre) was a short-lived protectorate (1947–1956) partitioned from Germany after its defeat in World War II; it was administered by the French Fourth Republic. On rejoining West Germany in 1957, it became the smallest "area state" (Bundesland), the Saarland, not counting the "city states" (Stadtstaaten) of Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen. It is named after the Saar River.
The region around the Saar River and its tributary valleys is a geographically folded, mineral-rich, ethnically German, economically important, heavily industrialized area. It has well-developed transportation infrastructure that was one of the centres of the Industrial Revolution in Germany and around 1900 formed the third-largest area of coal, iron, and steel industry in Germany (after the Ruhr Area and the Upper Silesian Coal Basin). From 1920 to 1935, as a result of World War I, the region was under the control of the League of Nations as the Territory of the Saar Basin. Near the end of World War II it was heavily bombed by the Allies as part of their strategic bombing campaigns.
Geographically, the post–World War II protectorate corresponded to the current German state of Saarland (established after its incorporation into West Germany on 1 January 1957). A policy of industrial disarmament and dispersal of industrial workers was officially pursued by the Allies after the war until 1951 and the region was made a protectorate under French control in 1947. Cold War pressures for a stronger Germany allowed renewed industrialization, and the French returned control of the region to the government of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957.Saar at the 1952 Summer Olympics
A National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Saarland was founded in spring of 1950 in the Saar Protectorate which existed from 1947 to 1956 (German state of Saarland since), a region of Western Germany that was (again) occupied in 1945 by France. As a separate team, they only took part in the 1952 Summer Olympics before being allowed to rejoin the German team for the summer games of 1956. Thirty-six competitors, 31 men and five women, took part in 32 events in nine sports.Saarbrücken
Saarbrücken (German pronunciation: [zaːɐ̯ˈbʁʏkn̩] (listen), French: Sarrebruck [saʁbʁyk], Rhine Franconian: Saarbrigge [zaːˈbʁɪgə]) is the capital and largest city of the state of Saarland, Germany. Saarbrücken is Saarland's administrative, commercial and cultural centre and is next to the French border.
Saarbrücken was created in 1909 by the merger of three towns, Saarbrücken, St. Johann, and Malstatt-Burbach. It was the industrial and transport centre of the Saar coal basin. Products included iron and steel, sugar, beer, pottery, optical instruments, machinery, and construction materials.
Historic landmarks in the city include the stone bridge across the Saar (1546), the Gothic church of St. Arnual, the 18th-century Saarbrücken Castle, and the old part of the town, the Sankt Johanner Markt (Market of St. Johann).
In the 20th century, Saarbrücken was twice separated from Germany: in 1920–35 as capital of the Territory of the Saar Basin and in 1947–56 as capital of the Saar Protectorate.Saarland Football Association
The Saarland Football Association (German: Saarländischer Fussball-Verband), the SFV, is one of 21 state organisations of the German Football Association, the DFB, and covers the state of Saarland.The SFV is also part of the Southwestern Regional Football Association, one of five regional federations in Germany. The other member of the regional association are the Southwest German Football Association and the Rhineland Football Association.In 2017, the SFV had 97,954 members, 370 member clubs and 2,276 teams playing in its league system.Saarland University
Saarland University (German: Universität des Saarlandes) is a modern research university located in Saarbrücken, the capital of the German state of Saarland. It was founded in 1948 in Homburg in co-operation with France and is organized in six faculties that cover all major fields of science. The university is particularly well known for research and education in computer science, computational linguistics and materials science, consistently ranking among the top in the country in those fields. In 2007, the university was recognized as an excellence center for computer science in Germany.
Thanks to bilingual German and French staff, the University has an international profile, which has been underlined by its proclamation as "European University" in 1950 and by establishment of Europa-Institut as its "crown and symbol" in 1951.
Nine academics have been honored with the highest German research prize, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, while working at Saarland University.Saarland national football team
The Saarland national football team (German: Saarländische Fußballnationalmannschaft) was the association football team representing Saarland from 1950 to 1956 during the French occupation following World War II. As France opposed the inclusion of the Saarland in the Federal Republic of Germany until 1956, they administered it separately from Germany as the Saar Protectorate.
As the local population did not want to join France, separate organisations were founded. A National Olympic Committee was founded in 1950, leading to an appearance of Saar at the 1952 Summer Olympics. Also, considering themselves not an independent nation different from Germany, the football team was not designated as a "national team", and was more generally referred to as a "selection" (German: Auswahl) or some similar term.Technischer Überwachungsverein
TÜVs (German pronunciation: [ˈtʏf]; short for German: Technischer Überwachungsverein, English: Technical Inspection Association) are German businesses that provide inspection and product certification services.Territory of the Saar Basin
The Territory of the Saar Basin (German: Saarbeckengebiet, Saarterritorium; French: Le Territoire du Bassin de la Sarre) was a region of Germany occupied and governed by the United Kingdom and France from 1920 to 1935 under a League of Nations mandate. It had its own flag (adopted on July 28, 1920): a blue, white, and black horizontal tricolour. The blue and white stood for Bavaria, and white and black for Prussia, out of whose lands the Saar Territory was formed. Initially, the occupation was under the auspices of the Treaty of Versailles. Its population in 1933 was 812,000, and its capital was Saarbrücken. The territory closely corresponds with the modern German state of Saarland, but was slightly smaller in area. After a plebiscite was held in 1935, it was restored to Germany.