French reconstruction in the Saar, 1945-1950, Remi Baudouï. In occupying the Saar in July 1945, the French had not only an economic objective. They hoped to contribute to denazification by rebuilding the destroyed cities according to functionalist town planning and architectural principles. But while the group of architects appointed to carry out this job was convinced of the excellence of its mission, it conceived of it in an authoritarian way, without taking into account either the inhabitants' wishes or the advice of municipal councils. Torn between several decision-making bodies, cut off from unconsulted war victims, reconstruction policy a topic of political and national debate had failed barely four years after its inception. Archi- tecture preceded the 1955 referendum by which the Saar became German again.