The Saarland, an industrial region in the Southwest of Germany, which shares borders with France and Luxembourg, was occupied by France in 1945 at the end of World War II. In 1947, the Saarland became an autonomous state, which remained under French military protection, also sharing an economical and monetary union with France. When a national anthem was needed for an international soccer match on November 22, 1950, the “Saarlied” was chosen as the official national anthem of the Saarland. The original words were written in 1892 by Richard Limberger, the music was composed in 1921 by Karl Hogrebe, a music teacher from Saarbruecken. In 1950, the local pro-French government decided to alter the song by deleting the second verse and revising the third verse of the song, which emphasized the bonds of the Saarland with Germany. The composer of the music was asked to do the revisions of the text.

In 1957, in accordance with a national referendum, the Saarland once again became a part of Germany. However, the “Saarlied” was retained as the new state’s anthem. In 2003 new lyrics were written by Gerhard Tänzer, and made official (the old lyrics have been out of official use for many years.)

Special thanks to: Reinhard Popp and Jan Scotland for some of this information.