Victor Hugo and the Rhine

The writer Victor Hugo took his second journey through the Rhine from 29th August to 1st November 1840. He used the experience to write the two-volume work “Le Rhin. Lettres á un ami”, published in France and Germany in 1842. It stands today as a classic work of Rhine romance literature. For Hugo, answering the question “to whom does the western Rhine belong?” was a prerequisite for a common future of the peoples. In the conclusion to his book, he dreams of a unified Europe with the Rhine at its core.

As chairman of the 2nd International Peace Conference in 1849, he prophesized: “the day will come upon which your France, your Russia, your Italy, your England, your Germany, your every nation of the continent – without losing your different characteristics or your glorious peculiarities - will closely melt together in a higher sense of unity, and with it form a European brotherhood, just as Normandy, Brittany, Burgundgy, Lorraine, Alsace – all of our regions – have melted into France”.