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January, 10, 1919

Discussion in '"Today in History", Literature & Media Review' started by Martin Antonenko, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    The "Free State Bottleneck" ...!

    I'm starting the continuation of this little series with such a small absurdity in the shadow of world history, which is almost completely unknown:

    The so-called "Free State Bottleneck" Original German name "Freistaat Flaschenhals", because the geographic shape of the building actually resembled a bottle neck.

    After the end of the First World War, the Compiègne armistice established the occupation of the area on the left bank of the Rhine by the Allies and additional bridgeheads at Cologne (British), Koblenz (US) and Mainz (French).

    When determining these "occupation zones" - because it was nothing else - the Allies made a measurement error on the map!

    When US and French troops move into "their" bridgeheads on January 10, 1919, due to this measurement error, a good piece of Germany remains vacant:


    A narrow strip between the Rhine Valley and Limburg an der Lahn, in which 17,363 inhabitants live in the places Lorch, Kaub, Lorchhausen, Sauerthal, Ransel, Wollmanders, Welterod, Zorn, Strüth, Egenroth and Laufenselden.


    Neither the Americans nor the French, who meticulously adhere to the agreed limits of their bridgeheads, have nothing to say there. And neither is the weak German government, since the area is in fact isolated from the rest of Germany.

    The so-called "Freestate Bottleneck" is completely left to its own devices, the supply of the isolated population with food, medicines and everyday items is becoming a huge problem!

    There are no longer any traffic routes on which the "Bottleneck" locations - for example from Limburg - can be reached. All roads are blocked at the borders of the bridgeheads (here near Limburg!) ...


    ... trains go through without stopping. A supply by water or air is also not possible.

    The residents are resorting to self-help, and smuggling is flourishing on winding "ant trails".

    In their distress they even kidnap an entire French train with coal!



    The provisional "Head of State" of the "Freestate Bottleneck" or "Emergency Mayor" will be Edmund Anton Pnischeck, the previous mayor of Lorch ...:


    Otherwise the "Bottleneckers" try to make the best of their situation with a lot of humor ...:


    They even issue their own emergency stamps ...:


    And they print their own emergency money ...:



    And whoever thinks that the allies quickly corrected their mistake is wrong!

    The "Free State Bottleneck" will exist for more than four years!

    Only on February 25, 1923, a few days after the occupation of the Ruhr area, did Moroccan auxiliaries of the French army march into the "Free State" ...


    "Head of State" Pnischeck is arrested and imprisoned (but later released again without many circumstances)!

    The existence of the "Freestate Bottleneck" will finally end with the end of the occupation of the Ruhr on November 15, 1924. From that day on, the area is again part of the German Empire!

    Let's be honest: did you know that ...?

    And because many feel the same way, the "Republiquette" is now a tourist attraction ...:



    The whole thing shows astonishing parallels with the "Free Republic of Schwarzenberg" in the Saxon part of the Ore Mountains, which initially remained vacant after the Second World War due to a similar oversight between the Americans and the Soviets and which inevitably organized itself ...:


    However, the existence of the "Free Republic of Schwarzenberg" only lasted 42 days before the Soviets sacked it and not four years, as with the "Free State Bottleneck" ...
    Blind Pew, Old Pete, jai and 4 others like this.
  2. grasshopper A Fixture

    That’s totally insane! Wow
    Martin Rohmann likes this.
  3. Airkid PlanetFigure Supporter

    Amazing! And nobody was prepared to admit their error and try to sort it out. Nothing changes eh? Nice work Martin(y)

    Blind Pew likes this.
  4. DaddyO A Fixture

    Brilliant (y)

    Did leave to ask what was the common denominator in both episodes . . . ;):D (Just kidding)

  5. jai A Fixture

    good story
    always on the subject of the separation of territories
    my grandfather was in Teschen, now Cieszyn in Poland and Český Těšín in the Czech Republic, at the end of the war, he returned home in 1921 he left at the age of 17 in 1917
    two photos from 1920 together with French soldiers
    img + nonno005.jpg img + nonno013.jpg

    and two at the beginning and at the end of his participation img + nonno002.jpg img + nonno008.jpg
    Blind Pew and Martin Rohmann like this.
  6. Martin Antonenko A Fixture


    This doesn't have to stay "my" category! Everyone of you who has something to contribute or add is cordially invited to take part!

    Our hobby has a lot to do with history (I always say that figures are "painted history"), so that historical additions can only be good for a figure forum ...!

  7. grasshopper A Fixture

    Bravo sir
  8. Nap Moderator


    Well done Martin

    A great piece of history and definately something I wasn't aware of

    Fascinating details and pics not only on your thread but also on jai's post


    jai likes this.

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