German-occupied Europe refers to the sovereign countries of Europe which were occupied and civil occupied including puppet government by the military forces and the government of Nazi Germany at various times between 1939 and 1945 and administered by the Nazi regime.The furthest east in Europe the German Wehrmacht managed to occupy was the town of Mozdok in the Soviet Union. The furthest north in Europe the German Wehrmacht managed to occupy was the settlement of Barentsburg in the Kingdom of Norway. The furthest south in Europe the German Wehrmacht managed to occupy was the island of Gavdos in the Kingdom of Greece. The furthest west in Europe the German Wehrmacht managed to occupy was the island of Ushant in the French Republic.
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
Military or belligerent occupation is effective provisional control by a certain ruling power over a territory, which is not under the formal sovereignty of that entity, without the violation of the actual sovereign. The territory is then known as the occupied territory and the ruling power the occupant. Occupation is distinguished from annexation by its intended temporary nature, by its military nature, and by citizenship rights of the controlling power not being conferred upon the subjugated population.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
Several German occupied countries entered World War II as Allies of the United Kingdomor the Soviet Union. Some were forced to surrender before outbreak of the war such as Czechoslovakia; others like Poland (invaded on 1 September 1939) were conquered in battle and then occupied. In some cases, the legitimate governments went into exile, in other cases the governments-in-exile were formed by their citizens in other Allied countries. Some countries occupied by Nazi Germany were officially neutral. Others were former members of the Axis powers that were occupied by German forces at a later stage of the war.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
The countries occupied included all, or most of the following:
|Country or territory of occupation||Puppet state(s) or military administration(s)||Timeline of occupation(s)||German annexed or occupied territory||Resistance movement(s)|
|8 September 1943 – 29 November 1944||None||Albanian resistance|
|30 June 1940 – 9 May 1945||None||Guernseyian resistance|
|1 July 1940 – 9 May 1945||None||Jerseyian resistance|
|1 October 1938 – 11 May 1945||Czechoslovakian resistance|
|None, see Anschluss||12 March 1938 – 9 May 1945||Austrian resistance|
|None||1 September 1939 – 9 May 1945||Danzigian resistance|
|10 May 1940 – 9 May 1945||French resistance|
|10 May 1940 – February 1945||Luxembourg resistance|
|8 September 1943 – 8 May 1945||None|
|10 May 1940 – February 1945||Belgian resistance|
|protectorate state||9 April 1940 – 5 May 1945||None||Danish resistance|
|6 April 1941 – 8 May 1945||None||Greek resistance|
|19 March 1944 – May 1945||None||Hungarian resistance|
|8 September 1943 – 2 May 1945||None||Italian resistance|
|9 April 1940 – 8 May 1945||None||Norwegian resistance|
|10 May 1940 – 20 May 1945||None||Dutch resistance|
|6 April 1941 – 15 May 1945||Yugoslav resistance|
|None||8 September 1943 – 3 September 1944||None|
|None||15 September 1944 – 25 April 1945||None||Finnish resistance|
|22 March 1939 – 21 July 1940 |
23 June 1941 – 5 August 1941
|1 September 1939 – 9 May 1945||Polish resistance|
|None||17 September 1944 – 20 September 1944||None|
|April 30, 1941 – January 1945||None||Serbian resistance|
|23 March 1939 – May 1945||None||Slovakian resistance|
|None||1 March 1935 – April 1945||Saar Basinian resistance|
|30 June 1941 – September 1941||Ukrainian resistance|
|22 June 1941 – 10 May 1945||Soviet resistance|
|Government in exile||Capital in exile||Timeline of exile||Occupier(s)|
|1941 – 1945|
(1940 – 1941)
|1940 – August 31, 1944|
(September 29/30, 1939 – 1940)
(1940 – June 12, 1940)
|September 29/30, 1939 – December 22, 1990|
(October 22, 1940 – September 8, 1944)
|October 22, 1940 – September 8, 1944|
|1943 – 1945|
|1940 – 1944|
|April 29, 1941 – October 12, 1944|
|June 7, 1940 – May 31, 1945|
|June 7, 1941 – March 7, 1945|
|1940 – 1945|
(October 2, 1939 – 1940)
|October 2, 1939 – April 2, 1945|
|Government in exile||Capital in exile||Timeline of exile||Occupier(s)|
|September 16, 1944 – May 10, 1945|
|1944 – April 22, 1945|
|March 28, 1945 – May 7, 1945|
|1944 – 1945|
|Montenegrin State Council||1944 – May 8, 1945|
|April 4, 1945 – 8 May 1945|
|Government in exile||Capital in exile||Timeline of exile||Occupier(s)|
(1923 – 1938)
|1919 – present|
(1944 – August 20, 1991)
|June 17, 1940 – August 20, 1991|
(1920 – 1939)
|1920 – August 22, 1992|
Drang nach Osten was a term coined in the 19th century to designate German expansion into Slavic lands. The term became a motto of the German nationalist movement in the late 19th century. In some historical discourse, Drang nach Osten combines historical German settlement in Central and Eastern Europe, medieval (12th-13th-century) military expeditions like those of the Teutonic Knights, and Germanisation policies and warfare of modern German states such as those reflecting the Nazi Lebensraum concept.
The German concept of Lebensraum comprises policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s. First popularized around 1901, Lebensraum became a geopolitical goal of Imperial Germany in World War I (1914–1918) originally, as the core element of the Septemberprogramm of territorial expansion. The most extreme form of this ideology was supported by the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and Nazi Germany until the end of World War II.
There were many areas annexed by Nazi Germany both immediately before and throughout the course of World War II.
The Axis powers, also known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis", were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity.
The Yalta Conference, also known as the Crimea Conference and code-named the Argonaut Conference, held from 4 to 11 February 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union for the purpose of discussing Germany and Europe's postwar reorganization. The three states were represented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin, respectively. The conference convened near Yalta in Crimea, Soviet Union, within the Livadia, Yusupov, and Vorontsov Palaces.
Following the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, the Kingdom of Romania under King Carol II officially adopted a position of neutrality. However, the rapidly changing situation in Europe during 1940, as well as domestic political upheaval, undermined this stance. Fascist political forces such as the Iron Guard rose in popularity and power, urging an alliance with Nazi Germany and its allies. As the military fortunes of Romania's two main guarantors of territorial integrity—France and Britain—crumbled in the Fall of France, the government of Romania turned to Germany in hopes of a similar guarantee, unaware that the then dominant European power had already granted its consent to Soviet territorial claims in a secret protocol of 1939's Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
The European theatre of World War II, also known as the Second European War, was a huge area of heavy fighting across Europe, from Germany's invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 until the end of the war with the Soviet Union conquering most of Eastern Europe along with the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945. The Allied powers fought the Axis powers on two major fronts as well as in a massive air war and in the adjoining Mediterranean and Middle East theatre.
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.), Poland and other Allies, which encompassed Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe (Baltics), and Southeast Europe (Balkans) from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It has been known as the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union and modern Russia, while in Germany it was called the Eastern Front, or the German-Soviet War by outside parties.
The Polish government-in-exile, formally known as the Government of the Republic of Poland in exile, was the government in exile of Poland formed in the aftermath of the Invasion of Poland of September 1939, and the subsequent occupation of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union, which brought to an end the Second Polish Republic.
The concept of Western betrayal refers to the view that the United Kingdom and France failed to meet their legal, diplomatic, military and moral obligations with respect to the Czechoslovak and Polish nations during the prelude to and aftermath of World War II. It also sometimes refers to the treatment of other Central and Eastern European nations at the time.
Operation Margarethe was the occupation of Hungary by Nazi German forces during World War II, as it was ordered by Hitler on 12 March 1944. A plan for the occupation of Romania was devised under the name Operation Margarethe II but was never carried out.
Nearly every country and territory in the world participated in World War II. Most were neutral at the beginning, but only a few nations remained neutral to the end. The Second World War pitted two alliances against each other, the Axis powers and the Allied powers. The leading Axis powers were Nazi Germany, the Kingdom of Italy and the Empire of Japan; while the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union and China were the "Big Four" Allied powers.
Non-Germans in the German armed forces during World War II were volunteers, conscripts and those otherwise induced to join who served in Nazi Germany's armed forces during World War II. In German war-time propaganda those who volunteered for service were referred to as Freiwillige ("volunteers"). At the same time, many non-Germans in the German armed forces were conscripts or recruited from prisoner-of-war camps.
The Georgian Legion was a military formation of Nazi Germany during World War II, composed of ethnic Georgians. It was formed by Georgian émigrés and prisoners of war, and its declared aim was the eventual restoration of Georgia's independence from the Soviet Union under Nazi Party's doctrine and supervision. Some components of the Georgian Legion fell under the operational control of Waffen SS.
The Historiography of World War II is the study of how historians portray the causes, conduct, and outcomes of World War II.
The military history of Bulgaria during World War II encompasses an initial period of neutrality until 1 March 1941, a period of alliance with the Axis Powers until 9 September 1944 and a period of alignment with the Allies in the final year of the war. Bulgaria functioned as an authoritarian state during most of World War II. Tsar Boris III ruled with a prime minister and a parliament.
Crimes against the Polish nation committed by Nazi Germany and collaborationist forces during the invasion of Poland, along with auxiliary battalions during the subsequent occupation of Poland in World War II, consisted of the systematic extermination of Jewish Poles and the murder of millions of (non-Jewish) ethnic Poles. The Germans justified these genocides on the basis of Nazi racial theory, which depicted Jews as a constant threat and regarded Poles and other Slavs as racially inferior Untermenschen. By 1942 the Nazis were implementing their plan to kill every Jew in German-occupied Europe, and had also developed plans to eliminate the Polish people, through mass murder, ethnic cleansing, enslavement, and assimilation into German identity of a small minority of Poles regarded as racially valuable. During World War II the Germans not only murdered millions of Jewish and non-Jewish Poles, but ethnically cleansed millions more ethnic Poles through forced deportation, supposedly to make room for racially superior German settlers.
During World War II, the Soviet Union occupied and annexed several countries effectively handed over by Nazi Germany in the secret protocol Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939. These included Eastern Poland, as well as Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, part of eastern Finland and eastern Romania. Apart from Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and post-war division of Germany, USSR also occupied and annexed Carpathian Ruthenia from Czechoslovakia in 1945.
Following the German invasion of Poland in 1939, many former citizens of the Second Polish Republic from across the Polish territories annexed by Nazi Germany were forcibly conscripted into the Wehrmacht army in Upper Silesia and in Pomerania. They were declared citizens of the Third Reich by law and therefore subject to drumhead court-martial in case of draft evasion. Professor Ryszard Kaczmarek of the University of Silesia in Katowice, author of a monograph titled Polacy w Wehrmachcie noted that the scale of this phenomenon was much larger than previously assumed, because 90% of the inhabitants of these two westernmost regions of prewar Poland were ordered to register on the Nazi Deutsche Volksliste by the invader regardless of will. The number of the conscripts is not known. The data does not exist beyond 1943.
The Holocaust in Russia refers to the Nazi crimes during the occupation of Russia by Nazi Germany.
The diplomatic history of World War II includes the major foreign policies and interactions inside the opposing coalitions, the Allies and the Axis powers. The military history of the war is covered at World War II. The prewar diplomacy is covered in Causes of World War II and International relations (1919–1939).
Mark Mazower is a British historian. His expertise is Greece, the Balkans and, more generally, 20th-century Europe. He is currently a professor of history at Columbia University in New York City.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.