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German-speaking community of Belgium

From Academic Kids

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The German-Speaking Community of Belgium (Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft Belgien in German, short DGB) is one of the three federal communities in Belgium. It is the main part of the so-called East Cantons (German Ost-Kantone) of Belgium. It has an area of 854 km², and a population of over 71,000, of which almost 100% are German speaking. Its capital is Eupen; it is part of Lige and borders on the Netherlands, Germany, and Luxembourg.

The area known today as the East Cantons consists of the German-Speaking Community and the municipalities of Malmedy and Weismes, which belong to the French-Speaking Community of Belgium. The East Cantons were part of the Rhine Province, Prussia, Germany until 1920 (as the counties (Landkreise) of Eupen and Malmedy), but were annexed by Belgium following Germany's defeat in World War I and the subsequent Treaty of Versailles. Thus they also became known as the cantons rdims, "redeemed cantons".

The new cantons had been part of Belgium for just 20 years when in 1940 they were retaken by Germany in World War II. The majority of people of the east cantons welcomed this as they considered themselves German. Following the defeat of Germany in 1945 the cantons were once again annexed by Belgium, and as a result of alleged collaboration with Nazi-Germany an attempt was made to 'un-Germanize' the local population by the Belgian and Wallonian authorities.

Starting in the early 1960s Belgium was divided into four linguistic areas, the Dutch speaking Flemish area, the French speaking area, the bilingual capital of Brussels, and the German speaking area of the east cantons. In 1973, three communities and three regions were established and granted internal autonomy. The legislative Council of the German Speaking Community, Rat der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft, was set up. Today the German-Speaking Community has a fair degree of autonomy, especially in language and cultural matters, but it still remains part of the region of French speaking Wallonia. There has been much argument in the past few years that the German-Speaking Community should also become its own region. Many German-speakers would welcome this. They also demand more fiscal and financial autonomy; fiscal autonomy is still nearly zero for now.

The current Minister-Prsident (governor) of the German-Speaking Community is Karl-Heinz Lambertz. He is one of the persons insisting on full regional autonomy.

Muncipalities in the German-Speaking Community

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Communities, regions and provinces of Belgium Flag of Belgium

Communities: French Community of Belgium | Flemish Community in Belgium | German-speaking community of Belgium

Regions and provinces:

Flanders: Antwerp | East Flanders | Flemish Brabant | Limburg | West Flanders

Wallonia: Hainaut | Lige | Luxembourg | Namur | Walloon Brabant

Brussels-Capital Region

bg:Германска общност в Белгия de:Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft Belgiens fr:Communaut germanophone de Belgique it:Comunit germanofona del Belgio nl:Duitstalige Gemeenschap wa:Kiminlt txhon-czante

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