Grand Duchy of Luxembourg    

Die Burg Vianden - A Little Switzerland -- Magical

Liberation of Luxembourg 09/10/1944

Issued in 1984

The Liberation of Luxembourg -- September 10th: The General Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbruck contains more than 1,000 photographs and documents pertaining to the Nazi invasion in May 10, 1940, the period of occupation of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, and the liberation of the country by American troops in September 1944, barely 3 months after coming ashore in Normandie.

About 40 percent of the men of Luxembourg drafted for service refused to serve in the German Wehrmacht and disappeared. Half hid inside the country's borders. Those who escaped to Great Britain joined the Allied Forces. They took part in the Battle of Normandy as part of the 1st Belgian Brigade, also known as the Brigade Piron. It is said that some of the Luxembourgish population openly refused to give the Nazi salute (raising one's arm while shouting "Heil Hitler"). Instead, they said "Drei Liter" ("Three liters", understood as "three liters of beer") as fast as possible and with a strong Luxembourgish accent, which may have fooled any Nazi who wasn't listening too clearly.

Following the war, Luxembourgish troops took part in the occupation of Germany, contributing troops that were in the occupation zone controlled by the French. Luxembourgish forces functioned under overall French command They were responsible for the areas of Bitburg/Eifel and parts of Saarburg (areas adjacent to Luxembourg). Occupational forces left Saarburg in 1948, and Bitburg/Eifel in July 1955.

General Patton was involved in a car accident and passed away a few days later in December 1945. He is buried at the Hamm-Luxembourg cemetery. This cemetery is the final resting place of 5,076 American military dead (including 371 unidentified who are recognized by a memorial there). Vianden Castle was constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries on the foundations of a Roman castellum and a Carolingian refuge. Now restored (1977), it is one of the largest and most beautiful feudal examples of the romanesque and gothic periods. It is real not a Neuschwanstein. Photos de Vianden -- Always good Pictures Here -- Gare Lëtzebuerg and more

What we see today is the remanent of the Duchy, after the primarily French speaking portion was made part of Belgium during the Belgian Revolution from the Dutch. Portions had previously been lost post-Napoléon to the Prussians (1815) and the French (1659). Today it works with the Netherlands and Belgium as an economic unit (Benelux nations) within the Euro zone. Luxembourg has a population of under half a million people in an area of approximately 2,600 square kilometres (1000 square miles). Its capital is Luxembourg City, whose metropolitan district encompasses 100,000 souls. The city-centre occupies a picturesque site on a salient, perched high atop precipitous cliffs that drop into the narrow valleys of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers, which find their confluence at Luxembourg City. Pictures:

Echternach is a commune with city status (in the Canton of Echternach), which is part of the district of Grevenmacher, in eastern Luxembourg. Echternach lies near the border with Germany, and is the oldest town (current population 4,610) in Luxembourg. It grew around the walls of the Abbey of Echternach, which was founded in 698 by St. Willibrord, an English monk of Ripon, who became the first bishop of Utrecht and worked to Christianize the Frisians. As bishop, he directed the monastery as abbot until his death in 739. It is in his honor that the dancing procession takes place annually on Whit Tuesday.

Ettelbruck (Luxembourgish: Ettelbréck, German: Ettelbrück) lies at the exact spot where three rivers touch; the Sauer, the Wark and the Alzette. Ettelbruck's name dates back to the invasion of the Low Countries by Attila the Hun in 451 AD. Attila and his army built a bridge (a"Bruck") and crossed the Alzette river near Schieren. The local language variant of Attila's name was "Ettel" so the bridge became known as the location of Atilla's bridge, or Ettelbruck.

While it is not the oldest town, the capital city, for reasons of its location and natural geography, has through history been a place of strategic military significance. In the Roman era, a fortified tower guarded the crossing of two Roman roads that met at the site of Luxembourg city. Through an exchange treaty with the abbey of Saint Maximin in Trier in 963, Siegfried I of the Ardennes, a close relative of King Louis II of France and Emperor Otto the Great, acquired the feudal lands of Luxembourg. Siegfried built his castle, named Lucilinburhuc ("small castle"), on the Bock Fiels ("Fielsrock"). In 987 Egbert, Archbishop of Trier blessed five altars in the Church of the Redemption (today St. Michael's Church) and the city began to organize from there. By the end of the 12th century, as the city expanded westward around the new St. Nicholas Church (today the Cathedral of Notre Dame of late gothic-style), new fortified walls were built to replace those of the 10th.

About 1340, under John the Blind, new fortifications were built that stood until 1867. In 1443, the Burgundians under Philip the Good conquered Luxembourg. Luxembourg became part of the Burgundian, and later Spanish and Austrian empires and the city experienced numerous sieges as every army tried to take the most fortified place in Europe. Luxembourg was annexed into the French Republic as part of the département of Forêts, with Luxembourg City as its préfecture. Under the 1815 Treaty of Paris, which ended the Napoleonic Wars, Luxembourg City was placed under Prussian military control as a part of the German Confederation, although sovereignty passed to the House of Orange-Nassau, in personal union with the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

When, in 1890, Grand Duke William III died without any male heirs, the Grand Duchy passed out of Dutch hands into an independent line headed by Grand Duke Adolphe. Thus, Luxembourg, which had been independent in theory became a truly independent; although, twicemore occupied by German soldiers (1914, 1940). Luxembourg is a trilingual country; German, French and Luxembourgish are official languages. Luxembourgish, a Franconian language of the Moselle region, is very similar to the local German dialect spoken in the neighboring part of Germany, except that it includes more words borrowed from French. Although a secular state, Luxembourg is predominantly Roman Catholic.

The northern third of the country is known as the Ösling, and forms part of the Ardennes. It is dominated by hills and low mountains, including the Kneiff, which is the highest point, at 560 metres (1,837 ft). The region is sparsely populated, with only one town (Wiltz) with a population of more than four thousand people. The southern two-thirds of the country is the more densely populated area called the Gutland. The Moselle valley is the lowest-lying region, running along the south-eastern border. The Red Lands, in the far south and southwest, are Luxembourg's industrial heartland and home to many of Luxembourg's largest towns.

The English-language service of Radio Luxembourg began in 1933 (with an interim period of Nazi control by William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw)), as one of the earliest commercial radio stations broadcasting to Britain. It was an important forerunner of so-called "Pirate radio," historically an occasional but notable offshore broadcast station, and modern commercial radio in the United Kingdom (after 1973). It boasted the most powerful transmitter in the world (1200 kW broadcasting on medium wave). Radio Luxembourg (English) This Webmaster remembers the strong signal at night into Northern France and Western Germany as well as his visit to RTL's London Studios in the mid-60's, while everyone else was going to SF or Itchycoo Park.

The wide popularity of the pirate radio stations hastened the government’s determination to shut them down, but soon after the closure of Radio Caroline came the launch in 1967 of BBC Radio 1, which blasted a non-stop volley of pop across the country all day long ... The Luxembourg group still lives on today as the Pan-European television broadcaster RTL, which quietly owns Britain’s Channel 5 TV. And these days the radio legend is back. A new Radio Luxembourg is broadcasting online with a classic rock playlist .... see also Memories shared --

French City Links -- Celtic/Frank History

Anglo Saxons -- Reformation from a French-Protestant point of view

Some German History Highlights -- Germaniæ Historicæ -- Germany & Switzerland City Links

LaRoche-en-Ardenne -- Bastogne -- Longwy -- Bitburg

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