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In the Eifel hills

In the Eifel hills
Source: Otto Filgers

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In for life

Blink stays German! Blink, you see, is a village in the Eifel border country. In return, other villages are given a life sentence in Belgium. An agreement between the Federal Republic and Belgium on 24 September 1956 finalises the exact location of their common border.

Immediately after the war, Belgium gets the Allies to confirm her claims to German border areas in NRW, though Brussels never seriously seeks occupation of some of the land in question. Negotiations drag on.

In 1956 the decision is final for the 56 inhabitants of Losheimergraben: their village is now in Belgium. But the Federal Republic has grown in size. There's a net gain: a total of 648 persons living in other marginal areas come back into Germany.

For the Federal Republic, the arrangement comes at no small price, but Bonn thinks it's worth the 15 million Belgian francs.

Dirk Bitzer

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