Watching TV today, we learned that we too traveled through another (former) country (which celebrated its 100th birthday 2019) when I was sailing on the Rhine River 2016.
The country was called “Freistaat Flaschenhals” (Free State Bottleneck) which existed from 1919 – 1924 and even had his own money and stamps. Those facts are now used to pomote tourism.
It existed because of a failure in geometrics of the allied French and British winners of WWI. Maybe they did not have a good natural instinct for science. It had about 8.000 inhabitants (more likely than the 17.000 mentioned on Wikipedia). After Germany was not able to deliver the demanded coal which was part of the punishment after losing WWI. Bottleneck too was seized by the French troops from Morroco 1923 who stayed until 1924. The major of Limburg was arrested and bared in Koblenz.
Until to then the little country was relying on smuggling supply across the Rhine River as all connecting roads and the Rhine harbor were blocked by the winners and there was no direct road across the low mountain range Taunus to Limburg which was the administrative capital of this enclave.
As the French deployed strong beacons on the other side of the Rhine to prevent smuggling some smuggler pulled down their trousers pointing their naughty bits across the Rhine and the French answered with bullets. And they did not use Rubber Duckies.
One time the desperate peasants even stole a complete train with coal to provide for their most basic needs. A comic book has recently been released about the events which we had to get and started to read while enjoying a good bottle of Burgundy wine from the Drachenfels. (at the Rhine River)
Lorch de facto became the capital of Bottleneck as Limburg was out of range. Ruin Nollig is situated above Lorch.
Bacherach on the other side from where the Frensh shot
Credit: Maps Icons Collection, thttps://mapicons.tmapsmarker.com
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