occupation

Jan

15

1944

Germans crack down as Red Army gets closer


15 January 1944: Germans crack down as Red Army gets closer

The overall feeling is that this time the Germans are unable to stop the Russian offensive. In the German administration and also the German military you can see complete chaos. Germany is already finished. Their might is breaking apart and the time for the end is near. This is an all-embracing feeling, but the people who are more realistic are still counting on very difficult days.

Dec

31

1943

Polish resistance turns against the ‘German’ occupiers


31st December 1943: Polish resistance turns against the ‘German’ occupiers

We were in for a surprise: these German soldiers weren’t German. They had Asian features and black, silky hair. They were Russian—speaking Muslims, former Red Army soldiers who, after being captured on the Russian front, had volunteered to fight with the Germans rather than remain in POW camps. When we searched them, We found maps of our area and evidence that, the day before, they had carried out a raid on partisans not far from where we were.

Oct

28

1943

Kusnezovo villagers murdered in ‘anti-partisan reprisals’


28th October 1943: Kusnezovo villagers murdered in ‘anti-partisan reprisals’

“Because,” said he, “you harboured partisans in your village.” But his words were untruthful because we had no partisans in the village and nobody took part in any partisan activities, since there was nobody left. Only old people and small children were left in the village, the village had never seen any partisans and did not know who these partisans were.

Oct

2

1943

Nazis order murderous crackdown on all Poles


2nd October 1943: Nazis order murderous crackdown on all Poles

They were clad in civilian clothes, and sometimes their hands were tied behind their backs. However, as the victims thus brought to the place of execution usually shouted ‘Down with Hitler’, ‘Long Live Poland’, ‘Down with the Germans’, and similar things, the Germans took steps to prevent the possibility of any such disturbances and began to fill their mouths with cement, or seal their lips with adhesive tape. The victims were brought from the ‘Pavwiac’ clad in shirts, or in clothes made out of paper.

Oct

1

1943

The Allies welcomed as they enter Naples


1st October 1943: The Allies welcomed as they enter Naples

They screamed in relief and in pure hysteria. In tens of thousands the dirty ragged children kept crying for biscuits and sweets. When we stopped the jeep we were immediately surrounded and overwhelmed. Thrusting hands plucked at our clothing.

Sep

19

1943

Discovering the end of German occupation in the East


19th September 1943: Discovering the end of German occupation in the East

Germans who had been withdrawn to the rear villages were searching for food from morning till night. They ate, drank alcohol and played cards. According to what prisoners said and [what was written in] letters found on dead German soldiers, the Germans considered themselves the representatives of a higher race forced to live in savage villages. They thought that in the wild eastern steppes one could throw culture aside.

Sep

10

1943

Germans turn against former Allies and Italian civilians


10th September 1943: Germans turn against former Allies and Italian civilians

So they stayed in shelters while the Germans stripped their homes of silver, linen, food, wine, and anything else of value they could find. The people cheered the troops as their liberators and they were bitter toward their former Allies. Unarmed Italian soldiers wandered about the streets or gathered to talk with British Tommies and exchange souvenirs.

Aug

29

1943

Denmark defies Nazi Martial Law


29th August 1943: Denmark defies Nazi Martial Law

Every strike is prohibited. Invitation to strike at the expense of the German Wehrmacht promotes the enemy and will be punished usually by death. Violation of the above rules will be punished by the German state courts. Against any violence, the gathering of crowds etc. ruthless use will be made ​​use of weapons …

Jul

13

1943

A miraculous release from the Gestapo in Warsaw


13th July 1943: A miraculous release from the Gestapo in Warsaw

Three pretty girls, their heads erect, were sitting by me in the van. Their quiet dignity caught my attention. I started to share my joy with them, but they told me that they were to be executed. The Germans had found out that they belonged to the Underground Army. They were Krystyna (16), Barbara (17) and Irena (20). They told me about their fate so simply and openly that I did not know how to reply.

Jun

21

1943

French resistance leader Jean Moulin captured


21st June 1943: French resistance leader Jean Moulin captured

Jean Moulin restated the aims of Free France: “to prosecute the war; to restore freedom of expression to the French people; to re-establish republican freedoms in a state which incorporates social justice and which possesses a sense of greatness; to work with the Allies on establishing real international collaboration, both economic and social, in a world in which France has regained her prestige.”