Luxembourg is a small Grand Duchy surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany. It is a historical miracle that it has survived as an independent country. It was difficulr enough for the Futch and Belgians, for tiny Luxembourg it was a miracle. It is surprisingly rural with the dense Ardennes forest and nature parks in the north. The iron and steel indudtry had began to developp, in part because of the integration of the Grand Duchy into the German Zollverein (1842). Numerous steelworks were founded, mostly in the south. The Luxembourg works became part of the steel industrry complex in the Saarland-Lorraine-Luxembourg region, after 1871, except for Luxenmbourg all opart of the new German Empire through connection to the ecpanding German railway network. One town affected by the industrialization was Dudelange in the south. A rolling mill/foundary D'Schmelz was built becuase of the iron deposits located nearby (1880s). This created a need for workers at the same time that Italians were migrating in large numbers. Industrialization behan in the surronding countries before Luxembourg. As a result, many Luxembourgers emigrated seeking the high-payiong industrial jobs. Thus wihen the D'Schmelz and otherr managers turned to foreign workers. And the Italians were the answer. There were workers from Germany, France and Belgium, but it was mainly Italians who were avaiable in the largest numbers. At the time, the Luuxembourg population was mostly Luxembourgers. That iis not the case today, but at the time foreign workers, especually the Italians were sdomething new.
And these Italian workers created Italian districts' in towns like Esch and Dudelange. This was happening throughout Western Europe as working-class districts were developing in the expanding industril citoes. And in Luxe=mkbourg this included Italian districts with the Italian steel workers. Dudelange was one of the more notble Itlalian communites in the Grand Duchy.
The number of Italaians began to really increase at the turn of the 20th century, reaching 10,000 by the 1910s, but then declined as a result of the War. This occured again during World War II. There was a difference, both times Luxembourg was occupied by the Germans , but in World War I, Italy fought with the Allies, but in World Wat II Italy was a German ally. There was then another influx of Italians after World War II. There was extensive war damage to repaor because of the German Bulge offensice (December 1944). When the Geraman and other Economic Miracles began to take off and workers were needed, the population exceed 20,000 Italians. These may not sound like large numbers, but the population at the time of World War I was only about 260,000 and 300,000 at the time of World War II.
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