The Saarland is one of the sixteen states of the Federal Republic of Germany. With its capital at Saarbrücken, it has an area of 2,570 km², in terms of both area and population size – apart from the city-states of Berlin and Hamburg – it is Germanys smallest state. Prior to its creation as the Territory of the Saar Basin by the League of Nations after World War I, until then, some parts of it had been Prussian while others belonged to Bavaria. The inhabitants voted to rejoin Germany in a referendum held in 1935, from 1947 to 1956 the Saarland was a French-occupied territory separate from the rest of Germany. Between 1950 and 1956, Saarland was a member of the Council of Europe, in 1955, in another referendum, the inhabitants were offered independence, but voted instead for the territory to become a state of West Germany. From 1920 to 1935, and again from 1947 to 1959, Saarland is the result of a regulation of the treaty of Versailles and was created in 1919. Prior to this creation, there never existed a comparable administrative unit or a feeling of togetherness, the region of the Saarland was settled by the Celtic tribes of Treveri and Mediomatrici.
The most impressive relic of their time is the remains of a fortress of refuge at Otzenhausen in the north of the Saarland, in the 1st century BC, the Roman Empire made the region part of its province of Belgica. The Celtic population mixed with the Roman immigrants, the region gained wealth, which can still be seen in the remains of Roman villas and villages. Roman rule ended in the 5th century, when the Franks conquered the territory, for the next 1,300 years the region shared the history of the Kingdom of the Franks, the Carolingian Empire and of the Holy Roman Empire. The region of the Saarland was divided into small territories. Most important of the rulers were the counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken. It was not the king of France but the armies of the French Revolution who terminated the independence of the states in the region of the Saarland, after 1792 they conquered the region and made it part of the French Republic. While a strip in the west belonged to the Département Moselle, the centre in 1798 became part of the Département de Sarre, after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the region was divided again.
Most of it part of the Prussian Rhine Province. Another part in the east, corresponding to the present Saarpfalz district, was allocated to the Kingdom of Bavaria, a small part in the northeast was ruled by the Duke of Oldenburg. On 31 July 1870, the French Emperor Napoleon III ordered an invasion across the River Saar to seize Saarbrücken, the first shots of the Franco-Prussian War 1870/71 were fired on the heights of Spichern, south of Saarbrücken. The Saar region became part of the German Empire which came into existence on 18 January 1871, in 1920 the Saargebiet was occupied by Britain and France under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles
Order of Merit of Rhineland-Palatinate
The Order of Merit of Rhineland-Palatinate is a civil order of merit, of the German State of Rhineland-Palatinate. The order is presented for outstanding service to the state and people of Rhineland-Palatinate, the Order of Merit of Rhineland-Palatinate was founded on 2 October 1981, and first awarded in 1982. The order is limited 800 living recipients, through 2009, the order had been awarded 991 times
Order of Merit of Berlin
The Order of Merit of Berlin is this highest award of the German State of Berlin. Awarded in the name of the Senate of Berlin, the order had recognized outstanding contributions to the State of Berlin since 21 July 1987, awarded each year on 1 October, the anniversary of the Berlin Constitution, the order is limited to no more than 400 living recipients. As of 2014 the order had been awarded 409 times, to 144 women and 265 men, the Order of Merit of Berlin is awarded in a single class. The badge of the order is a white enamel Maltese cross edged in red, in the center of the cross is a depiction of the golden crowned Coat of arms of Berlin surrounded by a gold wreath. It is worn around the neck on a ribbon with red edges. Yates, Jr. Heinz Dürr List of Holders of the Order of Merit of Berlin
Order of Merit of the Free State of Saxony
The Order of Merit of the Free State of Saxony is a civil order of merit, and the highest award of the German state of Saxony. First presented in 1997, it is awarded by the Minister-President of Saxony, the order is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the people and state of Saxony. The award is limited to a total of 500 living recipients, as of November 2012 it has been awarded 243 times. Kurt Biedenkopf Reiner Kunze Adolf Merckle Georg Milbradt Stanislaw Tillich Erwin Teufel Udo Zimmermann Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia
The Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia is a civil order of merit, of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia was founded on 11 March 1986 and it is awarded to citizens representing all segments of the population who have made extraordinary contributions to the people and state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The order is limited to 2500 living recipients, from its founding through January 2010, a total of 1357 people have been awarded the Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia. Administrative provisions to the Law on the Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia
Order of Merit of Saxony-Anhalt
The Order of Merit of Saxony-Anhalt is the highest award of the German State of Saxony-Anhalt. Established 23 May 2006, the order is presented by the Minister-President of Saxony-Anhalt, the total number of living recipients is limited to 300. Recipients of the order are recognized for performance over a longer period of time or an extraordinary individual performance for Saxony-Anhalt. Individuals are considered from among the citizens and non-citizens of Saxony-Anhalt, the badge of the Order of Merit of Saxony-Anhalt is a Maltese cross enameled in white with a black and gold border. In the center of the cross is a medallion bearing the Coat of arms of Saxony-Anhalt. Men wear the badge of the order around the neck under the collar of the dress shirt, women wear the badge from a bow of the ribbon about a hands breadth below the left shoulder. The ribbon of the order is half yellow and half black with gold edges
Dieter Thomas Heck
Dieter Thomas Heck is a German television presenter and actor. He is known as the presenter of the TV program ZDF-Hitparade, featuring German Schlager music, as an actor, he starred in the TV play Das Millionenspiel in 1970. Heck was born in Flensburg and grew up in Hamburg, in April 1943, when he was five years old, he developed a stutter after being trapped under a staircase after a nighttime British bombing raid during World War II. The stutter went away after he received training in singing at age 16. After completing Mittelschule and a technical Oberschule he was trained as a Technischer Kaufmann by Borgward in Hamburg and he left the company before it went bankrupt in 1961. In 1959, Heck appeared on Peter Frankenfelds talent show toi, toi, singing Hippe-di-hipp, in 1961, he participated in the preliminary round of the Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson. After employment as a car salesman, Heck worked for a record company and he visited the radio station Südwestfunk in Baden-Baden on 23 November 1963 and was asked to be interviewed because a scheduled guest did not show up.
The moderator asked clumsy questions so Heck took over conducting the interview himself, as a result, Herbert Falk offered him the job of hosting a 90-minute Sendung broadcast every Saturday. Heck worked for Radio Luxemburg from 1965 to September 1966 and it was customary there to use only a first name, and as Dieter was already taken, Heck asked readers of the youth magazine Bravo for an alternative name. The readers chose Thomas, and he has used it since and he collaborated with Frank Elstner and they became friends. He worked for SR1 Europawelle of the Saarländischer Rundfunk and he concentrated on German Schlager music, a topic not favored by other moderators. His series Die Deutsche Schlagerparade was so successful that it was partly recorded, in 1967, he was a co-founder of the award Goldene Europa for German singers, which was first awarded in 1968. Hecks breakthrough came with ZDF-Hitparade, a TV series for the ZDF in Mainz, based on the model of the Schlagerparade and it was considered an influential music feature of the 1970s and 1980s.
He presented it 183 times between 1969 and 1984, Heck initiated the award Goldene Stimmgabel. From 1982 to 1989, he was moderator for the Südwestfunk in the series Gute Laune aus Südwest. He retired from the ZDF in 2007, Heck published his biography in 2011. As an actor, in 1970 he starred in the role of the showmaster in the TV play Das Millionenspiel and he played supporting roles in TV crime series, such as Tatort in 1981, Rosenheim-Cops, Praxis Bülowbogen, and SOKO Stuttgart in 2009. Heck married in 1962 and again in 1976 and he has two sons and one daughter. I. S