Throughout the course of WWII, Nazi Germany was able to establish control over much of Europe. The response made by these countries varied from cooperation to resistance in response to the Nazi regimes imposed upon their countries. The Nazi's used a variety of methods to maintain these conqured territories, and introduced many new reforms aimed at reducing resistance, and carrying out Nazi style reforms in these countries. To this day, the Nazi occupation of these countries remains in infamy, as well as the huge impact it had on the lives of the people and the country during this time.

Poland

The occupation of Poland was the most brutal of all occupied countries during WWII, and recieved the brunt of German hostility. The number of Poles killed following WWII was the highest of any country throughout the war effort, losing about 20% of it's population. The invasion officially began on September 1, 1939. Hitler used a false flag attack involving Polish prisoners dressed in army uniforms, as a cause for the assualt. The Poles put up a heavy resistance to the German forces, but were mainly composed of outdated cavalry units, and a small number of aircraft. In the face of the German Blitzkreig, the Polish forces were force to retreat. The many fortress's and cities throughout Poland also fell in short order. Danzig suffered under a week of bombardment from German battleships, and the German airforce distroyed many other tactical structures. On September 17 the Soviet Union invaded Eastern Poland, completly crushing any Polish hopes of resistance. The capital of Warsaw was surrounded by German artitllery, and shelled for eleven days, before finally surrendering on September 27, 1939. The Polish armed forces suffered an estimated 664,000 deaths, while about 100 000 managed to retreat to Britian to form a resistance movement.
Poland was viewed by the Nazi government as an extension of the Greater Germany, and it's current inhabitants were labeled as an inferior people. The view supported by Hitler, and many of the Nazi Regime was the need for extermination of the peoples of Poland, to make room for the pure Arayan people. Polish people were thought of as slaves to the occupying forces, and were treated harshly as such. The country of Poland was seen by the Nazi's as an extension of German territory, and the people living there as obstacles in the way of the Greater German nation. The large Jewish community living in Poland during this time numbered around approximatly 3.3 million, and were bore the brunt of the Nazi hostility towards people of the nation. In an excerpt from the diary of a doctor living in Poland during the occupation, the Nazi brutality to the Jewish people is truly revealed.
"Today I planned to try to go to Zamosc again. I woke up very early to be ready, but around 6 A.M. I heard noise and through the window saw unusual movement. This was the beginning of the so-called German displacement of the Jews, in reality a liquidation of the entire Jewish population in Szczebrzeszyn. From early morning until late at night we witnessed indescribable events. Armed SS soldiers, gendarmes, and 'blue police' ran through the city looking for Jews. Jews were assembled in the marketplace. The Jews were taken from their houses, barns, cellars, attics, and other hiding places. Pistol and gun shots were heard throughout the entire day. Sometimes hand grenades were thrown into the cellars. Jews were beaten and kicked; it made no difference whether they were men, women, or small children. By 3 P.M. more than 900 Jews had been assembled. The Germans began moving them to the outskirts of the city. All had to walk except for members of the Judenrat and the Jewish police; they were allowed to use horse-drawn wagons. The action didn't stop even after they were taken out of town. The Germans still carried on the search for Jews. It was posted that the penalty for hiding Jews is death, but for showing their hiding places special rewards will be given. All Jews will be shot. Between 400 and 500 have been killed. Poles were forced to begin digging graves in the Jewish cemetery. From information I received approximately 2,000 people are in hiding. The arrested Jews were loaded into a train at the railroad station to be moved to an unknown location. It was a terrifying day, I cannot describe everything that took place. You cannot imagine the barbarism of the Germans. I am completely broken and cannot seem to find myself. We received news of robberies increasing everywhere. During the last few weeks the incidence of rape has also increased. I have already examined many pregnancies. A few days ago the wife of a well-known farmer and later a young schoolteacher came in for examination."
This excerpt goes through brutal account of the circumstances placed on the Polish people during this time
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Nazi Executions
period. The hunting and extermination of the Jewish people, as well as incentives to turn them in was a key policy kept by the Nazi's, and led to the execution of millions of Polish citizens, including not only Jewish people, but the people who assisted Jews by hiding them, or assisting in their escape. Jewish people were used as slave labour, to clean up the land, and prepare it for the immigrating German population, and along with a large number of other Polish people used as a major labour force for the Nazi industrial machine. Furthermore, Poland was the site in which the Nazi's set up the notorious death camp Auschwitz, where an estimated 2.5 million people were sent to the gas chambers and executed. Many of the Jewish people, not only from Poland, but from around all of Europe as well were sent to this camp, and promptly exterminated in support of the Nazi's final solution. Public executions, and other terror techniques were used to both exterminate resistance, and deter any other factions from revolting against the regime.
After such terrible treatment given out by the Nazi's, the Polish people began to rebel, starting with about 70,000 of the remaining Jewish population. They held out for a little over a month, before being systimatically discovered and executed by German forces, including the SS. Another huge scale uprising took place August 1, 1944, called the Warsaw uprsing, and was meant to liberate the country from Nazi occupation. The battle lasted 63 days, and was eventually crushed by the Nazi's, shortly before the Red Army liberated the city. It has now been discovered that the Soviet forces could have made it to Warsaw in time to save the resistance, but was held back by order of Stalin, to elliminate further opposition once the Soviets took control of the area.
At the end of the war, and the fall of the Nazi's, Poland had suffered enormous casualties to not only her armed forces, but also millions of the civillian population as well. It has been estimated that out of the 30 million inhabitants of Poland, 6 million were killed by the Nazi's, 3 million of those casualties being from the Jewish community. Poland offered tremendous opposition to the Nazi's, from the very beginning of the campaign, through the occupation, and right to the bitter end of the the Warsaw Uprising. For their initial opposition, as well as their view in the German eyes as inferior slaves and Jew's, the people of Poland suffered the brunt of the Nazi brutallity during WWII, being subject to slavery, public executions, and the death camps. But throughout, Polish resolve never faltered, and despite the enourmous numerical advantage held by the Nazi's, the people continued to fight against their oppressors, and the tyrannical regime implemented in the country.




France

The fall of France was a crushing blow to the Allied Forces. The resulting occupation, and terms laid on the country were aimed at both revenge for Versallies, but also to control the local population, and use it's resources to further the war effort. Add to me

Czechoslovakia

The Sudatenland was a part of Czechoslovakia a mountainous land, the population was largely of German descendent given the fact that was the border of Czechoslovakia with Germany. This land was very important to Czechoslovakia because, they could use the mountains in case of war they were important for defense; the majority of the manmade fortifications were there. In other words if the Sudatenland was taken then, the Czechs would become wide open to Germany. The Czechs had an agreement with France in case of invasion, war … In 1938, there were pro-Nazis organization, and this is when Germans started to enter to Czechoslovakia to fight against the communist. However, several of the people that were from German descendent in this land did not even speak German anymore and did not want to join Germany. Hitler demanded Eduard Benes the president of Czechoslovakia, therefore he ask G. Britain for help but Chamberlain made the situation worst with the creation of the Munich germany2.jpgpact, in which the Czechs did not even had a representative.

Making in this way, with the Munich pact legal the occupation of Germany into the Sudatenland and later let to the occupation of all of Czechoslovakia.














Denmark

The battle for Denmark was over in a matter of hours, as the unprepared Danish forces made a simple surrender to the Nazi Juggernaught. As such, the terms laid upon Denmark during the occupation were to a large degree milder than those made on other countries. Add to me
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Norway

Norway was the most heavily fortified country under the Nazi's control during WWII, and used as a strategic sea port to aid the Nazi war effort.
Norway was invaded by Germany. During February 1940 and was planned by General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst. The plan was to invade both Denmark and Norway as quickly as possible. He took about 5 hours to the plan the invasion and then showed it to Hitler. Having been approved it was put into action. Falkenhorst reported in March that units in Heer, Luftwaffe, and Kriegsmarine were ready for attack. Although the Royal Navy was present with the plans of mining Norwegian waters the German forces still managed to initiate the military and naval aspects of the war. British and french armies were suceesful were for a while until they were finally evacauated. The Germans put Vidkun Quilsing in charge as a Norwegian Nazi to be in charge of the country during their occupation.
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Germany made heavy use of Norway's aluminium industry and also imposed an occupation tax which was rejected by the people making Norway a long-term economic liability to Germany.
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The Netherlands

At the outbreak of World War Two the Netherlands had declared themselves neutral to the conflict like they did in the First World War. This neutrallity however played little effect because on May 10 1940, Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in an effort to draw the attention of British and French forces and draw them deeper into Belgium. The Nazis faced little resistance in their conquest of the Netherlands, except for the Dutch army which was outnumbered and had milltary equipment which was inferior to that of the Germans. Once the German forces had achieved victory over the Dutch army they invited the Prime Minister of the Netherlands to come back and collaborate with the Nazi forces as to the means of constracting a new Governmental system. With the Prime Ministers refusal to come back to the Netherlands, the Netherlands had been placed under the control of Arthur Seyss-Inquart a Austrian Nazi, whom implemented a policy of Gleichschaltung which is enforced conformity, that led to the destruction of non-nazi organizations, and the loss of thousands of more jews whom were living in the Netherlands at the time.


Links

Poland
http://worldwar2database.com/html/poland.htm Database on Occupation of Poland
http://www.jewishgen.org/Forgottencamps/Camps/PologneEng.html General Account of Nazi Occupation
http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/poland.htm Doctors Account of Nazi Occupation
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~sarmatia/498/losses.html Polish Deaths

France

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/wwii/frgearm.htm French Armistance

Czechoslovakia


Denmark

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005209 Danish Occupation
http://www.peachtree-online.com/Yellow_Star_no_art/Kids/occupation.htm Breif History of Occupation

Norway

http://introengelsk.cappelen.no/c35009/artikkel/vis.html?tid=35431 Summary of Norwegian Occupation
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWnorway.htm Norway Occupation
The Netherlands