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The German occupation of Luxembourg in World War II began in May 1940 after the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg was invaded by Nazi Germany.Although Luxembourg was officially neutral, it was situated at a strategic point at the end of the French Maginot Line. On 10 May 1940, the German Wehrmacht invaded Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. Luxembourg was initially placed under a Military administration, but later became a civilly administrated territory and finally was annexed directly into Germany. The Germans believed Luxembourg to be a Germanic state, and attempted to suppress what they perceived as alien French language and cultural influences. Although some Luxembourgers joined the resistance or collaborated with the Germans, both constituted a minority of the population. As German nationals, from 1942, many Luxembourgers were conscripted into the German military. Nearly 3,500 Luxembourgish Jews were killed during the Holocaust. The liberation of the country by the Allies began in September 1944, but due to the Ardennes Offensive it was not completed until early 1945.
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.
Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French, German, and the national language, Luxembourgish. The repeated invasions by Germany, especially in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.
The Maginot Line, named after the French Minister of War André Maginot, was a line of concrete fortifications, obstacles, and weapon installations built by France in the 1930s to deter invasion by Germany and force them to move around the fortifications. Constructed on the French side of its borders with Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Luxembourg, the line did not extend to the English Channel due to French strategy that envisioned a move into Belgium to counter a German assault.
The outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939 put Luxembourg’s government in a delicate situation. On the one hand, the population’s sympathy lay with Belgium and France; on the other hand, due to the country's policy of neutrality since 1867's Treaty of London, the government adopted a careful non-belligerent stance towards its neighbours. As of 1 September, Radio Luxembourg stopped broadcasting. In spring 1940, fortifications were erected along the borders with Germany and France. The so-called Schuster Line, named after its constructor, consisted of massive concrete roadblocks with steel doors. The official aim of these road blocks was to slow down the progress of any invading army and give time for the guarantors of Luxembourg's neutrality to take counteractions against the invaders. However, compared to the massive power of the German forces, it only had symbolic character and helped to calm down the population. Except for its small Corps des Gendarmes et Volontaires , Luxembourg did not possess an army, due to the treaty's restrictions.
A non-belligerent is a person, a state, or other organization that does not fight in a given conflict. The term is often used to describe a country that does not take part militarily in a war. The status does not exist in international law.
The Schuster Line was a line of barriers and barricades erected by the Luxembourg government along its borders with Germany and France shortly before World War II. The line was named after Joseph Schuster, Luxembourg's chief engineer of bridges and highways, who was responsible for its construction.
A roadblock is a temporary installation set up to control or block traffic along a road. The reasons for one could be:
After several false alarms in the spring of 1940, the probability of a military conflict between Germany and France grew. Germany stopped the export of coke for the Luxembourgish steel industry.
Coke is a grey, hard, and porous fuel with a high carbon content and few impurities, made by heating coal or oil in the absence of air — a destructive distillation process. It is an important industrial product, used mainly in iron ore smelting, but also as a fuel in stoves and forges when air pollution is a concern.
The steel doors of the Schuster Line were ordered closed on 10 May 1940 at 03:15, following movements of German troops on the east side of the border rivers Our, Sauer and Mosel. In the meantime, German special forces dressed as civilians and supported by Germans living in Luxembourg - the so-called Stoßtrupp Lützelburg - tried to sabotage radio broadcasting and the barricades along the German-Luxembourgish border but their attempt failed. The Royal Family was evacuated from its residence in Colmar-Berg to the Grand Ducal palace in Luxembourg City.
The Our is a river in Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. It is a left-hand tributary of the river Sauer/Sûre. Its total length is 78 kilometres (48 mi).
The Sauer or Sûre (French) is a river in Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. A left tributary of the Moselle, its total length is 173 kilometres (107 mi).
The Brandenburgers were members of the Brandenburg German special forces unit during World War II. Originally the unit was formed by and operated as an extension of the military's intelligence organ, the Abwehr. Members of this unit took part in seizing operationally important targets by way of sabotage and infiltration. Being foreign German nationals who were convinced Nazi volunteers, constituent members had lived abroad and were proficient in foreign languages as well as being familiar with the way of life in the area of operations where they were deployed.
The German invasion, made up of the 1st, 2nd, and 10th Panzer Divisions began at 04:35. They encountered no significant resistance save for some bridges destroyed and some land mines, since the majority of the Luxembourgish Volunteer Corps stayed in their barracks. Luxembourgish police resisted the German troops, however, to little avail; the capital city being occupied before noon. Total Luxembourgish casualties amounted to 75 police and soldiers captured, six police wounded, and one soldier wounded. [ citation needed ] and the 2nd company of the 5th Armoured Battalion, crossed the southern border to conduct a probe of German forces; these units later retreated behind the Maginot Line. By the evening of 10 May 1940, most of the country, with the exception of the south, was occupied by German forces. More than 90,000 civilians evacuated from the canton of Esch-sur-Alzette as a consequence of the advance. 47,000 fled to France, 45,000 fled into the central and northern part of Luxembourg.At 08:00, elements of the French 3rd Light Cavalry Division of General Robert Petiet , supported by the 1st Spahi Brigade of Colonel Jouffault
The 1st Panzer-Division was an elite armoured division in the German Army, the Wehrmacht, during World War II.
The 10th Panzer Division was a formation of the German Army during World War II. It was formed in Prague in March 1939, and served in the Army Group North reserve during the invasion of Poland of the same year. The division participated in the Battle of France in 1940, including the Siege of Calais, and in Operation Barbarossa attached to Army Group Center in 1941.
The 1st Spahi Regiment is an armored regiment of the modern French Army, previously called the 1st Moroccan Spahi Regiment. It was established in 1914 as a mounted cavalry unit recruited primarily from indigenous Moroccan horsemen. The regiment saw service in the First World War, and in the Second World War as part of the Forces Françaises Libres, as well as post-war service in the French-Indochina War and elsewhere. The modern regiment continues the traditions of all former Spahi regiments in the French Army of Africa.
Grand Duchess Charlotte and the government of prime minister Pierre Dupong fled to France, Portugal and the United Kingdom, before finally settling in Canada for the duration of the war. Charlotte, exiled in London, became an important symbol of national unity. Her eldest son and heir, Jean, volunteered for the British Army in 1942. The only official representative left behind was Albert Wehrer, head of a governmental commission, as well as the 41 members of the Chamber of Deputies.
Charlotte reigned as Grand Duchess of Luxembourg from 1919 until her abdication in 1964.
Pierre Dupong was a Luxembourgish politician and statesman. He was the 16th Prime Minister of Luxembourg, serving for seventeen years, from 5 November 1937 until his death, on 23 December 1953, and was also responsible at different times for the ministries of finance, the army, agriculture, labour and social matters. He founded the Christian Social People's Party (CSV) as the main conservative party after the Second World War, having been a founding member of the Party of the Right (PD) in 1914.
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Early on 10 May 1940, the German diplomat Von Radowitz handed the general secretary of the Luxembourgish government a memorandum from the German government, stating that Germany had no intention of changing the territorial integrity or political independence of the Grand Duchy. The following day, a military administration for Luxembourg was set up. Luxembourgish interests were represented by a governmental commission under Albert Wehrer, which consisted of senior civil servants and had been legitimated by the Chamber of Deputies. There was a good relationship between this commission and the military authorities, as Colonel Schumacher showed a broad-minded attitude towards the country's problems and a willingness to solve these in consultation with the government commission.
On 13 July 1940, the Volksdeutsche Bewegung (VdB) was founded in Luxembourg City under the leadership of Damian Kratzenberg, a German teacher at the Athénée de Luxembourg.Its main goal was to push the population towards a German-friendly position by means of propaganda, and it was this organisation that used the phrase Heim ins Reich .
Several Deputies and high-ranking civil servants were of the opinion that Luxembourg could retain a measure of autonomy under the military administration, as had occurred in World War I, and attempts were made to come to some sort of arrangement with Germany. However, it was soon made clear by the authorities in Berlin that Luxembourg's fate would be very different this time. The Nazis considered the Luxembourgish people as just another Germanic ethnic group and the Grand Duchy a German territory. The military authorities were withdrawn from Luxembourg by 31 July 1940, to be replaced by a civil administration under Gustav Simon.
Gustav Simon was appointed Chef der Zivilverwaltung (CdZ; "Chief of the Civil Administration") by the Oberkommando des Heeres on 21 July 1940.Luxembourg was then included into the CdZ-Gebiet Luxemburg on 29 July. While initially subordinate to the military commands in Belgium and northern France, Simon was confirmed in his appointment on 2 August by Adolf Hitler himself, indicating that he reported directly to the Führer and no one else. This granted him a wide degree of autonomy with regards to the military and civil authorities of Nazi Germany.
Simon, who was also the Gauleiter of the neighbouring Gau Trier-Koblenz, later Moselland (Gauleiter being a title denoting the leader of a regional branch of the Nazi party), led a propaganda and later terror campaign, known as Heim ins Reich, to convince the population that they were ethnic Germans and a natural part of the Third Reich. His objective was "to win Luxembourg back over to the German nation as soon as possible."He was convinced that Luxembourgers only needed a level of education and enlightenment in order to voluntarily declare their loyalty to Germany. He deduced this from his belief that they were, in fact, German "by blood and by descent". To the Gauleiter, Luxembourgish independence was an "absurd idea," which existed only because the monarchy and government had nurtured it: if the Luxembourgers were shown evidence of their belonging to the German nation, the will to be independent must disappear.
The general public were slow to react at first, still feeling shock from the invasion of 1914–1918. Furthermore, the royal family and the government had silently fled into exile. The majority of the population kept their heads low to avoid any conflict with the authorities; others participated in acts of passive resistance.
The administration of Simon arrived in Luxembourg fully persuaded that the "German-ness" of the Luxembourgers merely lay under a thin external layer of French influence. This in turn meant that, with a bit of determined "unraveling" by his administration, the German character of the population would essentially reveal itself.
Simon had two clear goals:
His very first series of decrees made this policy very clear:
A massive propaganda campaign was launched to influence the population, while not only dissidents and critics but also teachers, officials and leading business figures were threatened with losing their jobs unless they joined Nazi organisations, which led to much increased recruitment from all professions. A central registry documented the personal opinion regarding the Nazi regime of almost every citizen. People who were openly opposed to the regime lost their jobs or were deported, mainly to eastern Germany and in the worst cases sent to the death camps where many of them died.
The occupation authorities attempted to cover Luxembourg with a net of political, social and cultural organisations, such as also existed in Germany, including the Hitlerjugend, the Bund Deutscher Mädel, the Winterhilfswerk, the NS-Frauenschaft, and the Deutsche Arbeitsfront.
The Catholic Church in Luxembourg was relatively silent during the war, and took no public stance regarding the fate of the Jews or the Nazi regime. On the one hand, the Bishop, Joseph Laurent Philippe, was bedridden due to illness, and was therefore in no state to provide active opposition. On the other hand, the Bishop did not want to further antagonise the occupiers and endanger the already precarious religious life of the Church, which was heavily restricted during wartime. Bishop Philippe did, however, refuse to meet with the Nazi leadership, and made preparations in case his post should fall vacant.
The Church saw its very existence threatened as it was pushed out of public life by the anti-religious policies of the Nazis: public religious events such as the Octave celebration or the dancing procession were banned, Christian organisations were dissolved, religious education in schools was abolished, and a ban on the religious orders was put in place.
At the same time, the diocese administration remained one of very few Luxembourgish institutions that stayed intact during the war, although this was in doubt for a while, and a deportation of the Bishop was considered by the occupation authorities.
The Luxembourgish resistance was carried out by only a small fraction of the population. Its formation was spontaneous and slow at first. The first groups were formed from autumn 1940 to summer 1941.In the beginning they worked without coordination and from different motivations, for instance Liberals opposed to the anti-Jewish policies and in favour of democracy as well as conservative Roman Catholics with sometimes more or less anti-national socialist tendencies. Some of the latter category also were at the same time opposed to the Soviet Union and "Bolshevism", hoping that the generals of the Wehrmacht would defeat Joseph Stalin and the Red Army, while at the same time hiding Jews and anti-Nazi clergy mixed together in their farms. The Luxembourg Resistance was joined by the Communist Party of Luxembourg only after the invasion of the USSR in June 1941.
The activities of the Resistance were largely directed towards undermining the German monopoly on information, and providing moral support to the population, by spreading counter-propaganda by word-of-mouth, leaflets, posters and later whole newspapers. Additionally, the Resistance helped Allied POWs and shot-down pilots, "deserters" from the Wehrmacht and other endangered Luxembourgers to cross the borders into Belgium or France. The introduction of forced labour and conscription into the Wehrmacht added to the Resistance's tasks: a large number of youths who refused to serve in the German armed forces now had to be hidden around the country and kept safe and fed, or helped to escape abroad. Collections of food and money were also made to help the families of those who were arrested, deported, or fired from their jobs. An increasingly important part of the Resistance's activities was to provide military, political and economic intelligence to the Allies. While some acts of sabotage did take place, they were rare and were seen as too risky in a small country with no remote areas to which they could withdraw. For similar reasons, armed combat by the Resistance against the occupiers was rare. Finally, many of the movements made contact with the government-in-exile, the Allies, and the French and Belgian resistance movements, with many young men joining the armed resistance in France and Belgium.
Several well-known Catholic and Communist households, and many parishes and priories, also kept a number of Jewish Luxembourgish civilians and foreign Jews hidden and safe.
Non-violent passive resistance was widespread in Luxembourg during the period. From August 1940, the Spéngelskrich (the "War of Pins") took place as Luxembourgers wore patriotic pin-badges (depicting the national colours or the Grand duchess), precipitating attacks from the VdB.
In October 1941, the German occupiers took a survey of Luxembourgish civilians who were asked to state their nationality, their mother tongue and their racial group, but contrary to German expectations, 95% answered "Luxembourgish" to each question.The refusal to declare themselves as German citizens led to mass arrests.
Conscription was particularly unpopular. On 31 August 1942, shortly after the announcement that conscription would be extended to all men born between 1920 and 1927, a strike began in the northern town of Wiltz.The strike spread rapidly, paralyzing the factories and industries of Luxembourg. The strike was quickly repressed and its leaders arrested. 20 were summarily tried before a special tribunal (in German, a "Standgericht") and executed by firing squad at nearby Hinzert concentration camp. Nevertheless, protests against conscription continued and 3,500 Luxembourgers would desert the German army after being conscripted.
Collaboration with the Nazi occupation is an aspect less often talked about in Luxembourg. Studies have shown that collaboration was a phenomenon in all layers of society. There was, however, an over-representation of civil servants among the collaborators.On average, the collaborators were younger than the general population. In early September 1944, approximately 10,000 people left Luxembourg with the German civil administration: it is generally assumed that this consisted of 3,500 collaborators and their families. In 1945, 5,101 Luxembourgers, including 2,857 men and 2,244 women were in prison for political activities, constituting 1.79% of the population. 12 collaborators were sentenced to death and were shot in Reckenthal in Luxembourg City. 249 were sentenced to forced labour, 1366 were sentenced to prison and 645 were sent to workhouses.
Faced with opposition from the general public the regime took brutal measures against any form of resistance. After the general strike of 1942, Gustav Simon proclaimed a state of emergency and introduced the German Standgerichte. Thousands were arrested and tortured. Hundreds died in the concentration camps. Whole families were deported to eastern Germany and replaced by German families, mainly from South-Tyrol and Eastern Europe. The headquarters of the Gestapo, the Villa Pauly, became the symbol of this terror.[ citation needed ]
In August 1940, the Gestapo had established its headquarters in the Villa Pauly in Luxembourg City, with field offices in the Villa Seligmann in Esch and the Villa Conter in Diekirch.
On 9 September 1942, the Gauleiter announced a "Resettlement operation for Luxembourg. From then until 1944, more than 1,410 families (4,200 individuals) were resettled to the East, the Sudetenland and Upper Silesia. They lost all their property and were to be educated into becoming "good Germans", being forbidden from returning to Luxembourg. From 1943, in addition to families deported for political reasons, the Germans started resettling families whose sons evaded conscription into the Wehrmacht or who had deserted from their units. Out of these resettled people, 73 died in the camps, including 9 children, mostly due to malnutrition and the lack of medical facilities.
Before the invasion, 3,900 Jews lived in Luxembourg, many of them refugees from Germany and Austria.On the night of 10 May 1940, about 1,600 of them left the country. After Simon introduced the Nuremberg Laws, life became unbearable for the Jewish population. Their shops, possessions and money were confiscated and all Jewish employees were fired. They were not allowed inside public buildings or to keep pets. Up until 15 October 1941, a further 1,500 Jews left the country on the orders of the authorities. The Gestapo accompanied them to France and Spain but, since they were rejected there, they went on an endless odyssey.
On 23 August 1941, a curfew was introduced for the Jewish population and they were degraded to second class citizens. The synagogues in Luxembourg City and Esch-sur-Alzette were destroyed;the ones in Ettelbruck and Mondorf-les-Bains were devastated. The Nazis concentrated most of the remaining 800 Jews in the old monastery of Cinqfontaines (Fünfbrunnen). From here, they were deported on 7 trains from 16 October 1941 to 17 June 1943 to the ghetto of Litzmannstadt and the concentration camps of Lublin and Theresienstadt, and from 1943 directly to the extermination camp of Auschwitz.
One prominent Jewish survivor was Alfred Oppenheimer, a member of the Consistoire (similar to the Jewish Councils of occupied eastern Europe). Together with his family, he was deported to a concentration camp, where his wife was killed and then to Auschwitz where his son Rene was gassed. Alfred Oppenheimer survived the death camp and was one of the witnesses at the trial of Adolf Eichmann. He returned to live in Luxembourg until his death aged over 90, and was known for his involvement in public education about the Nazi regime and the Holocaust. The Prix René Oppenheimer was created in memory of his son.
On 17 June 1943, Gustav Simon announced Luxembourg to be Judenfrei . From the 683 deported, only 43 survived.
Luxembourg was liberated by Allied forces in September 1944, specifically U.S. Army Combat Command A (CCA), 5th Armored Division. The first U.S. forces entered Luxembourgish territory near Petange on 9 September, and liberated the capital city on 10 September 1944. 40 km (25 mi) away (see V3), but the Germans did not take the city.The Germans retreated without fighting. By 12 September 90% of the Grand Duchy had been liberated. One month before the start of the Battle of the Bulge, 250 soldiers of the Waffen-SS had unsuccessfully tried to recapture the town of Vianden from the Luxembourgish Resistance during the Battle of Vianden. During the Battle of the Bulge, the northern part of the country was hit by artillery from a special unit that the Germans designed to send shells up to
In total, 5,700 Luxembourgish citizens died during World War II, which corresponds to 2% of the population of 1940, the highest such loss in Western Europe.
The government-in-exile in 1941 declared all measures by the German occupiers to be null and void, which it re-affirmed in 1944. However, it also stated that "[n]ot all is bad in the German system, we would do well to conserve some of the institutions that they have introduced."Hence, when the exiled government returned, it allowed certain German regulations and dispositions in the areas of employment law, tax law and social legislation to stay in effect.
After the war the organisation "Ons Jongen" ("Our Boys") was formed to represent Luxembourgish conscripts into the Wehrmacht. The 10,000 affected young men and their families constituted a significant force in a country of around 300,000 inhabitants; they lobbied both the Luxembourgish government and the Federal Republic of Germany; later, they were represented by the "Federation of Victims of Nazism Forcibly Conscripted". Apart from lobbying, the organisation also undertook commemorative work. It almost certainly contributed to slowing the normalisation of Germano-Luxembourgish relations.
The Centre for Documentation and Research on the Resistance and the Centre for Documentation and Research on forced Conscription were founded in 2002 and 2005, respectively, to conduct research on the period of German occupation. They are funded by the government.
The German occupation period features in the following drama films: Déi zwéi vum Bierg (1985), Der neunte Tag (2004), Réfractaire (2009), and Emil (2010); it is also the subject of the 2004 documentary Heim ins Reich.
The history of Luxembourg consists of the history of the country of Luxembourg and its geographical area.
Luxembourg, also known as Luxembourg City, is the capital city of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the country's most populous commune. Standing at the confluence of the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers in southern Luxembourg, the city lies at the heart of Western Europe, situated 213 km (132 mi) by road from Brussels, 372 km (231 mi) from Paris, and 209 km (130 mi) from Cologne. The city contains Luxembourg Castle, established by the Franks in the Early Middle Ages, around which a settlement developed.
Volksdeutsche Bewegung was a Nazi movement in Luxembourg that flourished under the German-occupied Luxembourg during World War II.
The Military Administration in France was an interim occupation authority established by Nazi Germany during World War II to administer the occupied zone in areas of northern and western France. This so-called zone occupée was renamed zone nord in November 1942, when the previously unoccupied zone in the south known as zone libre was also occupied and renamed zone sud.
Émile Krieps was a Luxembourgish resistance leader, soldier, and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, Krieps served in cabinets under Pierre Werner and Gaston Thorn.
The Luxembourgish general strike of 1942 was a manifestation of passive resistance when Luxembourg was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II. The strikes opposed a directive that conscripted young Luxembourgers into the Wehrmacht. A nationwide general strike, originating in Wiltz, paralysed the country and led to the occupying German authorities responding violently by sentencing 21 strikers to death.
Jean-Pierre Emile Boeres (1890–1944) was a Luxembourg composer, organist and choir master.
Luxembourgish Red Lion or LRL was one of the most famous Luxembourgish Resistance groups during World War II. It was founded in October 1941 in Hautcharage and was active during World War II especially in the south, west and centre of the country. In March 1944, the LRL became one of the founders of the Union of Freedom organizations or Unio'n.
The Luxembourgian Patriot League, was a Luxembourgian Resistance movement during World War II. When Luxembourg was invaded and annexed by Nazi Germany in 1940, a national consciousness started to come about. The LPL was founded in 4. September 1940 at the Lycée of Echternach in Echternach by Raymond Petit.
SS-Gruppenführer Eggert Reeder was a German jurist, civil servant, and district President of several regions. Reeder served as civilian administrator of Wehrmacht occupied Belgium and northern France when Nazi Germany occupied those countries during World War II.
The Luxembourgish government in exile, also known as the Luxembourgish government in London, was the government in exile of Luxembourg during the Second World War. The government was based in London between 1940 and 1944, while Luxembourg was occupied by Nazi Germany. It was led by Pierre Dupong, and also included three other Ministers. The head of state, Grand Duchess Charlotte, also escaped from Luxembourg after the occupation. The government was bipartite, including two members from both the Party of the Right (PD) and the Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP).
The involvement of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in World War II began with its invasion by German forces on 10 May 1940 and lasted beyond its liberation by Allied forces in late 1944 and early 1945.
The German occupation of Belgium during World War II began on 28 May 1940 when the Belgian army surrendered to German forces and lasted until Belgium's liberation by the Western Allies between September 1944 and February 1945. It was the second time that Germany had occupied Belgium in under thirty years.
The Liberation Government was formed on 23 November 1944, when the government in exile came to Luxembourg from London and felt forced to include members of the Unio'n vun den Fraiheetsorgansatiounen, the umbrella group of the Luxembourgish Resistance which had been maintaining order since the liberation by American troops on 10 September 1944, in order to tame its critics.
When Luxembourg was invaded and annexed by Nazi Germany in 1940, a national consciousness started to come about. From 1941 onwards, the first resistance groups, such as the Letzeburger Ro'de Lé'w or the PI-Men, were founded. Operating underground, they secretly worked against the German occupation, helping to bring political refugees and those trying to avoid being conscripted into the German forces across the border, and put out patriotic leaflets encouraging the population of Luxembourg to pull through.
During the German occupation of Luxembourg in World War II, some Luxembourgers collaborated with the country's Nazi occupiers. The term Gielemännchen was adopted by many Luxembourgers, first to describe German Nazis in general, and later for Luxembourgish collaborators. The term came from the yellow uniforms of the Nazi Party. Their number, however, was limited.
The Holocaust in Luxembourg refers to the persecution and near-annihilation of the 3,500-strong Jewish population of Luxembourg begun shortly after the start of the German occupation during World War II, when the country was officially incorporated into Nazi Germany. The persecution lasted until October 1941, when the Germans declared the territory to be free of Jews who had been deported to extermination camps and ghettos in Eastern Europe.
Chief of Civil Administration was an office introduced in Nazi Germany, operational during World War II. Its task was to administer civil issues according to occupation law, with the primary purpose being the support of the military command in the operational areas of the German Army. CdZ would pass his authority to a corresponding civil government after the territory in question became in the rear of the operating armed forces.
The Civil Administration Area of Luxembourg was a German civil administration in German-occupied Luxembourg that existed from 29 July 1940 to 30 August 1942, when Luxembourg was annexed into Gau Moselland.
The Military Administration of Luxembourg was a German military administration in German-occupied Luxembourg that existed from 11 May 1940 to 29 July 1940, when the military administration was replaced with the Civil Administration Area of Luxembourg.