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              Pierre Grande Guerre
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              LINKS TO THE SPECIAL



              Pierre's Illustrated

              WFA-NL Lecture 

              'UNCLE HANSI" - (Dutch)

              Pierre's Illustrated

              Lecture "Verdun 1916" - (Dutch)

              Pierre's illustrated

              WFA-NL lectures:

              The Tactical Significance 

               of General Gaede - (Bilingual)

              The Difficult Start

              of the L.I.R. 123 - (Eng)

              De Moeizame Start van

              het L.I.R. 123 - (Dutch)

              De Rode Duivels

              op de Hartmannswillerkopf (Dutch)

              De Blauwe Duivels

              in de Vogezen (Dutch)

              Botchkareva en haar

              Vrouwenbataljon (Dutch)

              Mata Hari -

              Het Spionagedossier (Dutch)

              More Special

              Photo Impressions

              of the Western Front (English) 

              Armistice Clearing Compiègne

              Kaiser's Exile Huis Doorn


              Fort de Mutzig - Feste Kaiser Wilhelm II

              Colmar and Hansi, the Illustrator 

              The Red Baron's Crash Site

              Canadian National Vimy Memorial

              SOMME 1918 The Australians

              Fricourt Archeological Excavations

              Traces of Bairnsfather  - Xmas Truce

              Yorkshire Trench and Dugout

              Bayernwald Trenches Inside 

              LINKS TO ALL
              in the CORRECT SEQUENCE


              Chemin des Dames part 1 

              Chemin des Dames part 2 - Dragon's Cave

              Chemin des Dames part 3     

              ALSACE LORRAINE

              The Gap of Charmes - La Trouée de C.

              Avricourt - Leintrey - Reillon - Montreux - Parux 

              Montreux German Front Walk

              The Battle of Morhange - 1914

              French Bunkers - Mnt. Grand Couronné 

              South of Metz - German Bunkers -

              Feste Wagner 


              Tête du Violu - Bernhardstein

              Chaume de Lusse - Haute de Faîte

              Bertrimoutier - Frapelle  

              Ban de Sapt - La Fontenelle

              Senones - la Roche Mère Henry

              Col de la Chipotte - de la Chapelotte

              The Donon - Bunkers - Dug-outs

              ALSACE VOSGES  

              Col du Bonhomme Col de Mandray

              Tête de Faux - Buchenkopf 

              Col du Wettstein - Schratzmännele

              Lingekopf - le Linge  

              Kleinkopf - Barrenkopf 

              Hohrodberg-Giragoutte-Trois Epis  


              Munster Valley Petit Ballon  

              Le Tanet - Bichtstein - Villa Sidi-Brahim

              Route des Crêtes - Hohneck -

              Gr. Ballon - Sudelkopf 

              Hartmannswillerkopf - Vieil Armand  

              Guebwiller - Rimbach - Hirzstein  

              Moosch Nécropole Nationale  

              ALSACE SUNDGAU  

              Zillisheim Illfurth Largitzen Pfetterhouse 

              Burnhaupt-le-Bas Bunker Path     


              Mort Homme Côte 304

              Montfaucon- Romagne s/s Montfaucon

              Butte de Vauquois

              Haute Chevauchée

              The Bunker of the German Crownprince


              Illies - Wicres    

              Neuve Chapelle - Richebourg

              Aubers - 1915 

              Fromelles - 1916  

              Neuville-St. Vaast - Souchez

              Notre Dame de Lorette 


              Arras Wellington Quarry

              Vimy Ridge

              Lichfield Crater


              St. Hilaire le Grand Russian Cmty  Mont Navarin

              Sommepy Mont de Blanc Mont

              La Main des Massiges


              Verberie Néry Villers Cotterêts  

              First Battle of the Marne   

              Belleau Wood - Château Thierry  

              Second Battle of the Marne

              SAINT MIHIEL

              Les Eparges Ridge

              Calonne Trenches Tranchée

              Fort de Troyon

              Apremont Forest Trenches

              Butte de Montsec

              Rémenauville Destroyed Village

              le Bois le Prêtre / das Priesterwald 

              SOMME British Sector


              Auchonvillers Trench

              Mine Craters Lochnagar Hawthorn

              Thiepval Memorial Mouquet Farm  

              Thiepval Wood - Ulster Tower

              Ovillers La Boiselle

              Hawthorn Ridge Beaumont Hamel

              Redan Ridge 

              Newfoundland Memorial Park  

              Serre Hébuterne 

              Sheffield Memorial Park Serre


              Fricourt Deutsche Kriegsgräberstatte 


              Mametz Wood 

              Trones Wood Montauban Guillemont

              Caterpillar Valley Longueval 

              High Wood Longueval

              Delville Wood Longueval



              le Sars Butte de Warlencourt

              Flers Gueudecourt

              Adanac Canadian Cmty. Mireaumont

              SOMME French Sector 


              Rancourt Cimetière National

              Rancourt Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof

              Dompierre - Becquincourt Fay Soyécourt

              Flaucourt Biaches


              VERDUN Citadel 

              Thiaumont - PC 118 & 119 - A 320

              Road To Fort Douaumont       

              Fort de Douaumont

              Douaumont Nécropole Nationale  

              Côte Froideterre - Les 4 Chéminées 

              Fort de Souville 

              Fort de Vaux 

              Tunnel de Tavannes Fort

              La Voie Sacrée

              Bois des Caures - Col. Driant's C.P. 

              Flabas German Reprisals Camp

              The German Camp Marguerre 

              Duzey German 380mm Artillery Base

              Destroyed Villages Bezonvaux - Ornes

              Azannes - Damvillers - La Grande Montagne 


              Menin Road Railway Wood

              Maple Copse - Hill 62 - Hooge

              Clapham Junction Zandvoorde Bunker

              Polygon Wood Zonnebeke

              Hill 60 - Hollebeke -

              St. Elooi - Lankhof Farm

              Messines Ridge

              Pilkem Ridge

              Boezinge Essex Farm Ziegler Bunker

              Langemark Poelkapelle St. Juliaan

              Passchendaele Ridge

              Mount Kemmel Lettenberg Bunkers

              Ploegsteert Wood


              Nieuport Ramskapelle

              Pervijze  Stuijvekenskerke

              Diksmuide Trench of Death 

              Leke Vladslo Houthulst


              Pierre's Nederlandstalige
              artikelen en columns
              over de Grote Oorlog
              (Copy & Paste de titel in de
              Bochkareva en haar Vrouwenbataljon
              Bretonse Bécassine tijdens de Oorlog
              De Vanceboro Bridge Bomaanslag
              Beneath Hill 60
              Tijdreizen Op Internet
              Leutnant Von Forstner Koopt Chocolade
              Duitslands Oudste Oorlogsvrijwilliger
              Marcel's Bajonet
              Souvenir de Bezonvaux
              Namibië-Etnische Zuivering-1904-1908
              Het Beleg van Fort de Vaux
              Explosiecatastrofe In Fort Douaumont 
              Franse Aas der Azen: René Fonck
              Chasseurs Alpins, Franse Alpenjagers
              Prowse Point Cemetery
              Hoe Sgt. Kunze Fort Douaumont
                 veroverde op 25-02-1916.
              Frank Hurley: Fotoshoppen In 1917
              De Kaiserschlacht,
                 een beknopte samenvatting.
              Herdenking Op Douaumont 2008
              Wapenstilstand 1918 -90 Jaar Geleden
              Vijfde Lustrum WFA Nederland,
              Geur van Drukinkt
              De Vallei van Munster
              Der Rote Baron Versus Flyboys 
              De Fantomen van Landowski
              Louise de Bettignies -
                 Queen of English Spies
              Monument Op Vimy Ridge
              De Erewacht van
                 Notre Dame de Lorette
              Tank Tegen Tank 90 Jaar Terug
              Von Richthofen's Laatste Noodlanding
              Generaal Von Lettow Vorbeck
              Grafschennis Notre Dame de Lorette
              Google Earth 
              De Kaiserschlacht 90 Jaar Geleden 
              De Wolfsberg - le Hamel
              Overleden Veteranen
              Franse Sector Aan De Somme
              Kerstbestand 1914
              Raadselachtig Graf
              Caporetto; Kiem Van Fascisme
              Lenin's Treinreis
              Tsjechen Aan Het Westelijk Front
              Mata Hari
              325 Miljoen Voor 12 Zeppelins
              Slagvelden Van de Somme
              Op de Lingekopf
              Weinig Duitse Monumenten
              Soldaten Standbeelden
              Mosterdgas 1917
              Schwaben Redoubt
              Oogst Van Roest
              De Tekenaar Hansi
              Gifgas Bij Vancouver Corner
              Nationaliteit Kwijt?
              Beloond Geduld
              Prins Harry Naar Irak
              De Arm Van De Kaiser
              Artilleriebunkers Nabij Duzey
              Kamp Flabas
              Eerherstel voor "Deserteurs"
              Vredig plekje?
              Moslimmonument in Verdun 
              De Slag aan de Somme
              De Tunnel van Tavannes
              Kapitein Joost van Vollenhoven
              Huis Doorn
                 “Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje II
              Raadselachtig Ansichtkaartje I 



              Colmar and Hansi, the Illustrator
              and Hansi, the Illustrator
              years of visit: 2004-2005-2007-2008. 
              A visit, some 25 kilometres behind the Alsatian front, to the historic city centre of Colmar. Not a battlefield this time, but following some footsteps of his most famous inhabitant, the French patriot, illustrator, caricaturist, and war propagandist, Hansi.
              With the life and works of the artist, Hansi,
              a French Second Lieutenant during the Great War, in our mind,
              we make a walk through the historic city centre of Colmar.
              Concise history of Colmar.
              To help you understand the architecture of Colmar, some of the Alsatian culture, and the work of our leading character, Hansi, I would like to sketch you a concise history of Colmar with the emphasis on the period of 1870-1918.
              In history Alsace Lorraine, a vital and an important industrial area, has always been a bone of contention for the French and the neighbouring German states. In 1679, while the Thirty Years War was still going on, Colmar was ceded to France in the Treaties of Nijmegen. As a result of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 the newly formed German Empire annexed Alsace Lorraine and of course Colmar. Alsace returned to France after World War I.
              So, from 1870 until 1918 Hansi's Alsace Lorraine and Colmar belonged to the German "Reich" as "Reichsland Elzass Lotharingen". The Germans often called Colmar: "Kolmar".
              Though traditionally being used to change authorities, this German "occupation" had quite an impact on the Alsatians.
              The Alsatians became German citizens. They had to obey German laws, had to pay their German taxes, and had to enlist under the conscription law in the German Army. The German government encouraged the migration of more Germans into Alsace Lorraine. German became the official language. The German "Kultur" was superior to the French.
              These conditions, a proces of " Germanisation", were feeding the nationalism and patriottism of French Alsatians like the young Jean-Jacques "Hansi" Waltz.
              Colmar August 1914.
              Early in the Great War, on 22 August 1914, the French troops succeeded to threaten Colmar at Ingersheim, which is nowadays a western suburbs of the modern city of Colmar.
              One of the many units, that were involved in these fights for Colmar, was the 152nd Infantry Regiment, also known as the “Les Diables Rouges", the Red Devils. Our leading character, Hansi, then still a corporal, was serving in this unit.
              Members of the Bayerische Landwehr Infanterie Regiment 1 managed to stop the French advance at Ingersheim. The main force of the Germans withdrew on Colmar.
              Though a weak unit of French Cavalrists knew to reach the centre of Colmar on 23 August 1914.
              From the 28th the Germans drove the French troops back westward to a frontline,
              running roughly from Wintzenheim to Katzenthal. For the rest of the war Colmar would remain in German possession.
              In a matter of weeks the Germans forced the French to withdraw more westward, on the ridges of the Vosges.
              Alsace Lorraine and Colmar returned to France after the Great War, were annexed again by Nazi Germany in 1940, and then reverted to the French authorities in 1945 after the battle of the "Colmar Pocket" .
              We start our walk southwest of the Saint Martin
              at the Place de l'Ancienne Douane.
              Christine stands in front of the Schwendi fountain,
              made by Bartholdi.
              After all these centuries of hostilities and changing nationalities, in the unified Europe of nowadays both the German and French cultures have blended nicely together into
              a pleasant mix and life style.
              You will recognise this rich Franco German culture mix
              in the baroque buildings, like "Le Koifhus", l'Ancienne Douane.
              "Koifhus" means "Kauf Haus", l'Ancienne Douane,
              the old custom house used to be the centre
              of trade administration.
              View from Place de l'Ancienne Douane
              to the Quartier des Tanneurs.
              View from Place de l'Ancienne Douane to the Grande Rue.
              French style and German style fronts are mixed
              and alternating each other.
              In Rue des Marchands we find our first reminder of Hansi.
              The owner of the "Chez Hansi" Restaurant
              adopted Hansi's reputation.
              The menu offers also some typical Alsatian dishes...
              ... like the famous "Choucroute à l'Alsacienne",
              a lushful sauerkraut dish of Franco German origin.
              Hansi designed a postcard with at the back a recipe for this dish.
              Rue des Marchands and in the background the tower
              of the Cathedral of Saint Martin.
              Maison Pfister is one of the most beautiful townhouses in Alsace
              and a landmark in Colmar.
              Maison Pfister
              is named after a previous owner of the 19th century.
              The house was built in 1537 for the hatter, Ludwig Scherer.
              The architecture is still medieval,
              but the decoration of the facade is in Renaissance style.
              The paintings depict Habsburg Emperors of the 16th century, evangelists, and bible scenes.
              In one of his books,
              "The History of Alsace, told to little children by Uncle Hansi",
              Hansi also aquarelled the Maison Pfister,
              relating to the events of 1870 in Colmar during
              the Franco Prussian War.
              Perhaps a portrait of the hatter, Ludwig Scherer?
              At the Place de la Cathédrale we find the Cathedral of St. Martin.
              As in all small villages in Alsace,
              the storks have also here in Colmar their own nest
              on the roof of the church.
              "Martin" and "Martine" are guarding their little ones and the city.
              Storks are the national symbol of Alsace.
              The stork is also an important theme in Hansi's illustrations.
              At the end of the Rue des Marchands we go right to
              the Boulevard des Champs de Mars.
              At the corner with Place Rapp
              stands this memorial bust for Hansi.
              UNCLE HANSI
              Jean-Jacques WALTZ
              CITIZEN OF COLMAR"
              Opposite the Hansi memorial,
              at the other side of the street at number 9,
              the house where Hansi lived from 1921 until his death in 1951.
              "IN THIS HOUSE HAS LIVED
              JEAN-JACQUES WALTZ
              CALLED HANSI
              AND OF THE FRENCH HOPE
              Jean-Jacques "Oncle Hansi" Waltz (1873-1951).
              Hansi ("Little John") was born as Jean-Jacques Waltz on 23 February 1873 in Colmar, a town in Alsace, which at that time belonged to the German ""Reichsland Elzass Lotharingen". After the Franco Prussian War of 1870-1871 the Germans stipulated, that the raw materials and industrial richness of Alsace Lorraine again belonged to the brand new "Kaiser Reich". After their loss of the war the French experienced above all the loss of their Alsace Lorraine as a deep humiliation, which would continue until 1918.

              Hansi was already during his schooldays showing his deep aversion to the prevailing Pan Germanism in drawings and cartoons. During that period Pan Germanism was in full bloom under the direction of the Kaiser. During these days as a youngster he already irritated the authorities.
              Hansi often liked to wander around in the beautiful landscape of Alsace making sketches and drawings of the picturesque villages.
              Professor Knatschke.
              In 1908 Hansi published his satiric novel, "Professor Knatschke", criticising the Germans with his texts and caricatural illustrations.
              This is the cover of a version in the German language.
              "Professor Knatschke
              Selected words of the great German scholar and of his daughter (Elsa).
              Told to the Alsatians
              and illustrated
              by Hansi
              New larger edition."
              This book, indeed, was a revelation.
              His favorite character, the German Gendarme.
              Never had the Germans been so wittily ridiculed.
              Professor Knatschke, visits, as a German Tourist, the Louvre Museum in Paris.
              Hansi introduces also one of his most favourite themes: German Tourists.
              Hansi's written observations are satirical and rather vicious,
              though Hansi avoids excess in his black and white caricatures.  
              L'Histoire d'Alsace racontée aux petits enfants par l'Oncle Hansi.
              In 1912 Waltz published "L'Histoire d'Alsace racontée aux petits enfants par l'Oncle Hansi", "The History of Alsace, told to little children by Uncle Hansi".
              Hansi tells the history of Alsace.
              His text possesses a firm French, patriotic, and anti-German viewpoint.
              Though being a book meant for children, the political message of the illustrations is clear.
              " A Vandal - A government's architect".
              "But the people of Baden then had another speciality, and as soon as the hordes arrived near a farm in Alsace, they looted the lower court.
              They took everything, but they especially preferred eggs.
              They made enormous
              omelettes, which they described as colossal, and so great for to go faster, they broke the eggs with their feet.
              Since that time they are called in Alsace: "Men with egg yolk feet" (in Celtic Galfiesla)."
              "French Republic - United and Undivisonable -
               Here starts the country of Liberty".
              Hansi shows German soldiers of every period in the Alsatian history, always equipped by the spoils of war, and always a clock under their arm.
              This book, but also his later books and postcards, is full of small, corrosive, caricatured jokes about Germans, a political reference of Waltz's aversion to the Germans and their Pan Germanism.
              "The Huns for Strasbourg", Hansi's interpretation of the events in 1870.
              Hansi criticises the growing immigration of German inhabitants in Alsace.
              Hansi shows his irritation about the presence of the German military.
              About the period after 1871 :
              the arrival of German Tourists in Alsace Lorraine.
              For postcards he also drawed caricatures of German Tourists in Paris.
              "ARRIVAL"                                              "ASSIMILATION"

              Mon Village.
              His drawings with a critical wink to his society, and especially his book of 1913, "Mon Village - Ceux qui n'oublient pas", "My Village - For those who not forget", were bringing Waltz into serious trouble with the German authorities.
              This book for children is illustrated with romantic drawings...
              ... of playing children in the villages of Alsace.
              But in his details Hansi is always mocking the German village gendarme.
              Hansi's villages are almost always overlooked by the national symbol of Alsace, the proud stork, "Le Cigogne", on it's nest on the roof of the church.
              A "Prussian" teacher educates the French children of Hansi's village in German. 
              Troubles with the German authorities.
              The German government dragged Waltz, as one of the members of the nationalist group of "Les Revanchards", into Court.
              First for the Tribunal in Colmar, and later to the Court in Leipzig!
              Because of his mockery of German officials, including police officers and teachers, the court condemned Waltz in July 1914 to one year imprisonment.
              Hansi's "Mon Village" and his other books, drawings, and paintings were "deutschfeindlichen Karikaturen" and showed an "anti-deutschen Haltung".
              This caused a national outrage in France, making headlines in newspapers, ...
              ...and inspiring Clemenceau himself to write two editorials in his magazine, "L'Homme Libre".
              Also in "Mon Village" Hansi plays with his favourite theme, the German Tourists.
              This time Hansi shows also the arrival of well clothed French tourists, ...
              ... their visit to Hansi's village, ...
              ... and a German officer arguing with the driver of the car.
              For fellow front travellers a recognisable image:
              The Alsatian children of Hansi's village visit a French memorial and the battlefields of 1870.
              Gretel holds a garland under her arm.
              Hansi's Escape.
              During his trip back from the Leipzig Court to Colmar Waltz managed to escape the German bureaucracy.
              Hansi fled to France, where he immediately enlisted in the famous "Quinze Deux", 15-2, the 152nd Infantry Regiment, as a corporal, soon to be promoted to Second Lieutenant and interpreter of the General Staff of the 41st Infantry Division.
              From the "Bulletin des Armées de la République", no. 27, 12 September 1914:
              "A GREAT VICTORY
                                                                    For my comrades, the brave Poilu's of the 152nd.

              "With the assistance of the Allmighty our incomparable army has reached a great victory in Haute Alsace. Our heroes have made a general prisoner, countless soldiers, and they have token from the enemy a banner and an artillery gun." (Official Bulletin of the German Army)

                                                                                           Munster. France, 2 Sept. 1914."
              On 1 September 1914 the German government in Kolmar announced on placards, that
              "The painter, Jean-Jacques Waltz, called Hansi", and two other notables from Colmar, "who are to be found amongst the French troops, are declared traitors. Anyone who knows of their residence, or is hiding them in his residence, will be shot after war custom. Der Ortskommandant Kolmar, Oberleutnant von Mellenthin".
              Portrait of Jean-Jacques Waltz in 1917.
              During the Great War Hansi went on illustrating, especially propaganda postcards.
              The liberation of an Alsatian village in August 1914 inspired Hansi in August 1918 to make two illustrations for postcards.
              Hansi commented afterwards: "A village somewhere between Thann and Wesserling on 4 August 1914, the first day of the war."
              Hansi: "The same village during the French liberation on 10 August 1914.
              Everybody is happy, even the stork on the roof of the school is in a good mood."
              The allied victory at the Battle of the Marne inspired Hansi also.
              Hansi inscripted the kid's artillery gun with "420", referring to the German canon bombarding Paris.
              A variation on the theme of the German Tourist, or the German citizen.
              "The great Happines of 1915".
              Hansi is referring here to the French successful advances in some parts of Alsace, like in the Munster Valley around Metzeral.
              Hansi's caricatures became more nastier.
              Another favourite theme of Hansi returned: the looting German soldier with a huge clock on his back.
              "German Army - Soldier of the regiment of the Crown Prince (in battledress)."
              The German Crown Prince, who Hansi calls "the micro-brained megalomaniac", is wearing four Iron Crosses.
              "Dambach (near Sélestat) - The stork is happy too!"
              The soldiers are wearing helmets and "horizon blue" instead of their red pantalons.
              But Hansi of course never forgot to educate his little Alsatians and other French children into obeying, but before all, patriotic, French citizens!
              At Chatenois (near Sélestat) a Poilu is even teaching the children "A French Lesson", ...
              ... of course about the "Cigogne", the stork.
              "La petite Alsacienne", Gretel, with Uncle Hansi's doll, ...
              ... indeed a Poilu in 1914 style uniform.
              In November 1918 Waltz entered triumphantly his hometown Colmar with his Red Devils, his 152nd Infantry Regiment.
              After the Great War Hansi returned to live again in Colmar.
              Hansi in the Second world War.
              But in 1940 Jean-Jacques Waltz was forced again to escape from the Germans to the "free" Vichy zone. But the revengeful German authorities had not forgotten him. In April 1941 the Gestapo succeeded to find Hansi in Agen, where they molested him seriously at night in front of his home. The Gestapo assumed that Waltz was dead, and left him for dead behind. Hansi managed again to flee again, this time to Switzerland. Until his dead Waltz would still suffer from these injuries.
              In 1945, when Colmar became again French, he returned home.  0n 10 June 1951 Oncle Hansi Waltz, died of old age (78) at his home on the Boulevard du Champ de Mars. During his life Hansi has been awarded with the title Commandor of the Légion d'Honneur, with the Croix de Guerre 1914-1918 with palms, and the Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 with palms.
              Jean-Jacques Waltz in 1950.
              Links to the mentioned books of Oncle Hansi.
              * The integral illustrated versions of:
              We continue our walk through Colmar through the Rue des Têtes.
              "Oncle Pierre" has told his guests quite enough about Hansi.
              Before "Oncle Pierre" will use further less words for his comments, and before he leaves you to view the rest of the pictures of Colmar, some last remarks about this Hansi phenomenom in our own modern times.
              Hansi products are nowadays a part of Alsatian folklore and also of Alsatian merchandising.
              In every tourist shop in Alsace you will find a lot of Hansi gadgets; from postcards and calendars, to plates, and towels, anything you like with a Hansi print.
              I do realise, that I am not showing you here all the tourist highlights of Colmar, like for instance the Unterlinden Museum.
              I prefer to continue the rest of this photo impression with photo's of Colmar in daily life and concise comments.
              Rue des Clefs.
              Hansi was born at number 41.
              Grande Rue.
              Colmar possesses al lot of pubs and restaurants.
              In the area around Rue St. Jean...
              The last pictures are from the
              Quartier de la Petite Venise, "Little Venice".
               Continue to the next chapter of
              the Special Photo Impressions:


              akim op 17-01-2009 19:14
              Pierre en natuurlijk ook Christine wat een mooi stukje vakwerk.
              Schitterend mooie foto's.
              eigenlijk zou ik zo even naar dat stadje willen gaa..
              Klasse gemaakt.
              Akim aka Ton
              bommelito op 17-01-2009 21:22
              really an opus major . very thorough and indeed most interesting
              Ben op 18-01-2009 09:05
              Netjes Pierre, wederom bedankt voor deze plezierige zondag ochtend.
              Wat opvalt is dat alles zo goed onderhouden is en schoon, das toch niet
              echt Frans?  Maar Colmar staat op de lijst met tebezoeken plaatsen:).
              Ben Aalbers op 18-01-2009 10:05
              Pierre en Christine , gelukkig nieuwjaar et un grande merci voor deze mooie en leerzame reportage over Colmar en Hansi.
              Groet Ben Aalbers , Roparunner
              Pierre op 19-01-2009 18:22
              @ Akim. @ Bommelito. @ Ben vd H.. @ Ben A.
              Heren, bedankt voor jullie lovende commentaar.
              Overigens, Ben, vind ik Frankrijk de laatste jaren wel zeker schoner, ja schoon, geworden en zeker in de Elzas. Ik denk dat veel Fransen milieubewuster zijn en er beter naar handelen dan hier.
              Nogmaals bedankt voor deze reacties!
              John Fils de Gerald op 24-11-2011 07:01
              Well, Fascinating History. Most amazing of all Kolmar or 'Colmar' certainly does look and feel German and because it was ceded to France during the 30 years war it had the French language imposed upon it even though its native language is a German dialect called *Elsässisch*. That is a German dialect and not a French dialect and the town especially since 1945 has had French imposed by force of law as the official language.
              John Fils de Gerald op 24-11-2011 07:01
              Culturally it is obvious even though so many historians have rewritten the history to be as Pro-French as possible. I am of French descent and my opinion is Alsace and a part of Lorraine are naturally German and the people should decide by referendum whether to turn to the east or to the 'ceded' west or to go it alone without let or hinderance and for Elsässisch to be returned as the official native language. Salut..
              John Fils de Gerald op 24-11-2011 07:03
              History is not so black and write when a person does research and I have met many people from Alsace whom would prefer independence from both Germany and France. But this is a fascinating webpage and many many thanks for sharing even if its biased towards France ;)
              Pierre op 24-11-2011 12:51
              @ John Fils de Gerald. Thank you, Mr. Fils de Gerald, for your three reactions and your praising words at the end of your third reaction. I am a Dutchman and for that reason I am impartial or neutral in a possible smoking Alsatian conflict.
              You may call of course my work here biased, being it possibly too much too pro French. To my opinion I am biased indeed, but not about France itself at all! I am biased about Hansi’s work and about the city of Colmar and its inhabitants, yes!
              I only tried here in this photo impression to sketch you how the French Alsatians like Hansi thought about their “German occupation”. If you would visit other photo pages on my website here, for instance about the Vosges, you will find out that I try to give as much attention to the German troops as to the Allies. Whenever I am able to use German sources, period maps or period photos, I also use these German sources.
              I am living nowadays in an United Europe, like the Alsatians of nowadays live together in an United Europe. Finally I am not a historian, but simply an enthusiastic and experienced front traveller, who likes to share his (subjective) impressions of his travels, mixing it with the concise historian back ground information. Not more, not less. But again, Mr. Fils de Gerald, I do highly appreciate your three reactions here; Thank you!

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