THE SAAR: Expensive Tug-of-War

Just when it looked as if the French and Germans might forget some of their differences in the common peril, an ancient trouble spot set them snarling at each other. The spot: the smoky Saar basin, a tiny wedge of the Rhine valley on the Franco-German frontier. Barely larger (743 sq. mi.) than Allegheny County, Pa., though its population (900,000) is the densest in Europe, the Saar has both strategic position and rich mineral resources, and it has been a tug-of-war ground for centuries.

German until World War I, a League of Nations mandate of the French for 15 years...

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