A Brief History of Saarland
Saarland had a turbulent history. It was first occupied by the Celts and the Romans and has been disputed between France and Germany ever since. Its main assets were its coal mines and the 19th-century steelworks. After the First and Second World Wars, France tried to annex the area but on both occasions, an overwhelming majority in plebiscites voted for returning to Germany.
The coal and steel industries declined from the late 1960s and Saarland failed to restructure its economy. It became the poorest area in West Germany. Only in recent years was the economy restructured. Despite its natural beauty, tourist infrastructure is still undeveloped.
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