After the defeat of
Nazi Germany in
World War II
World War II in 1945, Belgium
planned to annex parts of the territory along the Belgian–German
border. In addition to monetary compensations and the lending of
labour forces, this was considered a way of reparations. In mid-April
Belgium surprisingly waived any interest in most of the
previously claimed areas.
1 Actual assignments
2 See also
4 External links
Map of territorial changes
On 1 April 1949 (prior to the founding of the Federal Republic of
Germany), the border areas in the territories of North
Rhineland-Palatinate were temporarily divested to
Belgium. These included the following areas:
Aachen neighbourhood of Bildchen (a small hamlet west of Aachen).
Some parts of the village Leykaul and several farms in the Monschau
district of Kalterherberg.
Winterspelt municipality in Rhineland-Palatinate.
Originally, several German exclaves enclosed by Belgian territory were
planned. These enclaves still exist, as the route of the Vennbahn
railway is Belgian territory and thus divides the populated places
west of it from the rest of the German territory. These places are:
The farm Rückschlag near Konzen.
The western part of the town Lammersdorf near Simmerath.
Parts of Roetgen
Furthermore, there are several forested areas in the region between
the Belgian town of Elsenborn and the German Kalterherberg.
It was planned that the inhabitants of these areas should
provisionally remain German citizens in spite of the shifted border.
After the war,
Belgium had gradually withdrawn her territorial claims.
According to the Allied order of 26 March 1949, several populated
places and the Vennbahn, which was of special interest for Belgium,
should be handed over. However, on 15 April 1949, a sudden change
of mind occurred in Belgium. The Belgian government officially
declared that it waived the claims to most places and territories that
been assigned to Belgium. This waiver was allegedly not the result of
the ongoing protest by the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia,
but an insight into the inefficiency of the boundary corrections by
Belgium. Because establishing the
Vennbahn railway would require huge
resources over the years, as had been assessed by Belgium, it was
decided to refrain from adding adjacent villages to the military
administration. Moreover, the Belgian government did not see any
support from a majority of the Belgian population for these
The return of the annexed territories to Germany took place on 28
August 1958 due to a German-Belgian border treaty from 24 September
1956. The place Losheimergraben and the western part of the Leykaul
municipality, as well as some forests, were excluded from this
restoration. These areas remained in Belgium, and so did the
previously Belgian municipalities of
Malmedy that had been
incorporated into the German Reich in 1940.
In January 2008, it was announced by Belgian Deputy District
Commissioner Marcel Lejoly that the planned removal of the Vennbahn
rails could have "international consequences", and it was speculated
that the neighbouring areas had to be returned to Germany. But both
the Belgian Foreign Ministry as well as the Foreign Office in Germany
declared, that the boundaries were ultimately covered by contract and
therefore no change would take place. The German-Belgian border treaty
of 1956 cited by the Foreign Office does, however, not contain any
indications as to what should happen if the railway facilities
mentioned in the contract cease to exist. Therefore, the provisions of
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles that are not superseded still govern the
current borders. Moreover, the option of restoring the railway traffic
has not been abandoned and also a bicycle route that has been planned
on the former
Vennbahn track would not change the borderline.
Luxembourg annexation plans after the Second World War
Dutch annexation of German territory after World War II
List of enclaves and exclaves
^ "Karte von der Landesgrenze zwischen dem Deutschen Reiche und
Belgien festgesetzt durch den Grenzregelungsausschuß Januar 1920 -
Oktober 1922 #20". Retrieved 2013-05-04.
^ a b Diet of North Rhine Westphalia. 190, No. 442. 1. Central State
Archives Düsseldorf. Cited by Woelk 1994, p. 87
^ Blank, Bettina (1995). Die westdeutschen Länder und die Entstehung
der Bundesrepublik [The West-German States and the Development of the
Federal Republic]. Studien zur Zeitgeschichte (in German). Munich:
Oldenbourg. pp. 219–220. ISBN 978-3-486-56108-1.
^ "Belgien könnte Staatsgebiet an Deutschland verlieren – Große
Fragen zum Ende einer kleinen Eisenbahn" [
Belgium could lose Territory
to Germany – Great Questions at the End of a Small Railway].
Tagesschau (in German). 9 January 2008. Archived from the original on
19 September 2008.
^ "Belgien behält seine Exklaven in Deutschland" [
Belgium to keep Her
Enclaves in Germany] (in German). Westdeutscher Rundfunk. 17 January
2008. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008.
Elzer, Herbert (2006). Zwischen Rheinstaat und Westeuropäischem
Bündnis. Großbritannien, Frankreich, die kleineren alliierten
Nachbarn und die Besatzung Nordwestdeutschlands 1945 [Between the
Rhine State and the Western European Alliance. Great Britain, France,
the minor Allied Neighbours and the Occupation of North-western
Germany in 1945]. Düsseldorfer Schriften zur Neueren Landesgeschichte
und zur Geschichte Nordrhein-Westfalens (in German). Essen.
pp. 175 ff.
Woelk, Wolfgang (1995). "Das Grenzland von Nordrhein-Westfalen, die
Traktatländereien und die niederländischen Grenzkorrekturen 1949 bis
1963" [The Borderlands of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Treaty Countries
and the Dutch Border Correction from 1949 to 1963]. Jahrbuch. Zentrum
für Niederlande-Studien (in German). Münster: Center for
Netherlands-Studies (5/6): 85 ff.
A map of borderline shifts. University o