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German-occupied Europe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Europe at the height of German expansion in 1942

German-occupied Europe refers to the sovereign countries of Europe which were wholly or partly militarily occupied and civil-occupied, including puppet governments, by the military forces and the government of Nazi Germany at various times between 1939 and 1945, during and shortly before World War II, administered by the Nazi regime under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler.[1] The German Wehrmacht occupied European territory:

In 1941, around 280 million people in Europe, more than half the population, were governed by the Nazis or their allies and puppet states.[2]

Outside of Europe, German forces controlled areas of North Africa, including Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia between 1940 and 1945. German military scientists established the Schatzgraber Weather Station as far north as Alexandra Land in Francis Joseph Land. Manned German weather stations also operated in North America included three in Greenland, Holzauge, Bassgeiger, and Edelweiss. German Kriegsmarine ships also operated in all oceans of the world throughout World War II.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Life in German-Occupied Poland | Animated History



Several German-occupied countries initially entered World War II as Allies of the United Kingdom[3] or the Soviet Union.[4] Some were forced to surrender before the outbreak of the war such as Czechoslovakia;[5] others like Poland (invaded on 1 September 1939)[1] 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.[6] Some countries occupied by Nazi Germany were officially neutral. Others were former members of the Axis powers that were subsequently occupied by German forces, such as Finland and Hungary.[7][8]

Occupied countries

The countries occupied included all, or most, of the following nations or territories:

Country or territory of occupation Puppet state(s) or military administration(s) Timeline of occupation(s) German annexed or occupied territory Resistance movement(s)
Albanian Kingdom Albanian Kingdom 8 September 1943  – 29 November 1944 None Albanian resistance
Bailiwick of Guernsey Bailiwick of Guernsey

Jersey Bailiwick of Jersey

Nazi Germany German Occupied Channel Islands (Part of the Military Administration in France) 30 June 1940  – 9 May 1945 (Bailiwick of Guernsey)

1 July 1940  – 9 May 1945 (Bailiwick of Jersey)

None Channel Islands resistance
Czechoslovakia First Czechoslovak Republic

Czechoslovakia Second CzechoSlovak Republic

Czechoslovakia Third Czechoslovak Republic

Slovak Republic

Nazi Germany German Zone of Protection in Slovakia

1 October 1938  – 11 May 1945 Nazi Germany Gau Bayreuth
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Niederdonau
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Oberdonau
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Sudetenland
Czechoslovakian resistance
Austria Federal State of Austria None. Although there was substantial popular support in Austria for some type of (re)unification with Germany, Chancellors Engelbert Dollfuss and his successor Kurt Schuschnigg wanted to maintain at least some type of independence. Dollfuss had implemented an authoritarian regime now termed Austrofascism, continued by Schussnigg, which imprisoned many members of the Austrian Nazi Party and the Social Democratic Party which both favored unification. Violence by Austrian Nazi Party members including the assassination of Dollfuss, along with German propaganda and ultimately threats of invasion by Adolf Hitler, eventually led Schuschnigg to capitulate and resign. Hitler, however, did not wait for his hand-picked successor, Austrian Nazi Arthur Seyss-Inquart, to be sworn in and ordered German troops to invade Austria at dawn on 12 March 1938, where they were met with cheering crowds and an Austrian army previously ordered not to resist. 12 March 1938  – 9 May 1945 Nazi Germany Reichsgau Kärnten
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Niederdonau
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Oberdonau
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Salzburg
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Steiermark
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Tirol-Vorarlberg
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Wien
Austrian resistance
Free City of Danzig Free City of Danzig None. Upon request of its Nazi-dominated senate, the city was directly annexed to Germany along with the surrounding Polish Pomeranian Voivodeship. 1 September 1939  – 9 May 1945 Nazi Germany Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia Danzigian resistance
France French Republic

Free France

France Provisional Government of the French Republic

 French Tunisia

Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France

Military Administration in France

Realm Commissariat of Belgium and Northern France

10 May 1940  – 9 May 1945 Gau Baden
Gau Westmark
Reichsgau Wallonien
French resistance
Luxembourg Luxembourg Military Administration of Luxembourg

Nazi Germany Civil Administration Area of Luxembourg

10 May 1940  – February 1945 Nazi Germany Gau Moselland Luxembourg resistance
Kingdom of Italy Italian Islands of the Aegean Italian Social Republic Italian Islands of the Aegean 8 September 1943  – 8 May 1945 None
Belgium Belgium Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France

Nazi Germany Realm Commissariat of Belgium and Northern France

10 May 1940  – 4 February 1945 Nazi Germany Gau Cologne-Aachen

Nazi Germany Reichsgau Wallonien

Belgian resistance
Denmark Denmark protectorate state 9 April 1940  – 5 May 1945 None Danish resistance
Kingdom of Greece Kingdom of Greece Nazi Germany Military Administration in Greece 6 April 1941  – 8 May 1945 None Greek resistance
Kingdom of Hungary Kingdom of Hungary 19 March 1944  – May 1945 None Hungarian resistance
Kingdom of Italy Kingdom of Italy Italian Social Republic Italian Social Republic 8 September 1943  – 2 May 1945 None Italian resistance
Norway Norway Nazi Germany Realm Commissariat for the Occupied Norwegian Territories 9 April 1940  – 8 May 1945 None Norwegian resistance
Netherlands Netherlands Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat for the Occupied Dutch Territories 10 May 1940  – 20 May 1945 None Dutch resistance
Kingdom of Yugoslavia Kingdom of Yugoslavia Albanian Kingdom

German occupied territory of Montenegro

Independent State of Croatia Independent State of Croatia

Independent State of Macedonia

Nazi Germany Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia
6 April 1941  – 15 May 1945 Nazi Germany Reichsgau Kärnten
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Steiermark
Yugoslav resistance
Monaco Monaco None 8 September 1943  – 3 September 1944 None
Finland Finland None September 15, 1944  – April 25, 1945 None Finnish resistance
Lithuania Republic of Lithuania

Provisional Government of Lithuania

Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat East 22 March 1939  – 21 July 1940

23 June 1941  – 5 August 1941

Nazi Germany Gau East Prussia Lithuanian resistance
Republic of Poland Nazi Germany Military Administration in Poland

Nazi Germany General Government administration

Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat East

Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat Ukraine

1 September 1939  – 9 May 1945 Nazi Germany Bezirk Bialystok
Nazi Germany Gau East Prussia
Nazi Germany Gau Schlesien
Nazi Germany Gau Oberschlesien
Nazi Germany General Government
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia
Nazi Germany Reichsgau Wartheland
Polish resistance
San Marino San Marino None
(military trespassing)
17 – 20 September 1944 None
Nazi Germany Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia Commissioner Government

Government of National Salvation

April 30, 1941  – January 1945 None Serbian resistance
Slovak Republic Nazi Germany German Zone of Protection in Slovakia 23 March 1939  – May 1945 None Slovakian resistance
Territory of the Saar Basin
None. In a referendum in 1935, over 90% of residents supported reunification with Germany over remaining a League of Nations protectorate of France and the United Kingdom or joining France. 1 March 1935  – April 1945 Nazi Germany Gau Palatinate-Saar

Nazi Germany Gau Saar-Palatinate
Nazi Germany Gau Westmark

Saar Basinian resistance
Ukraine Ukrainian National Government Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat Ukraine 30 June 1941  – September 1941 Nazi Germany General Government Ukrainian resistance
Parts of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Lepel Republic

Nazi Germany Military Administration in the Soviet Union

Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat East

Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat Ukraine

22 June 1941  – 10 May 1945 Nazi Germany Bezirk Bialystok
Nazi Germany General Government
Soviet resistance

Governments in exile

Allied governments in exile

Government in exile Capital in exile Timeline of exile Occupier(s)
Austria Austrian Democratic Union United Kingdom London 1941–1945 Nazi Germany German Reich/Greater German Reich
Free France Free France United Kingdom London

Algiers, French Algeria
(1942 – August 31, 1944)

1940 – August 31, 1944 France French State

Nazi Germany German Reich/Greater German Reich
Nazi Germany Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France
Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat of Belgium and Northern France

Poland Government of the Republic of Poland in exile France Paris
(September 29/30, 1939 – 1940)
France Angers, French Republic
(1940 – June 12, 1940)

United Kingdom London
(June 12, 1940 – 1990)

September 29/30, 1939 – December 22, 1990 Nazi Germany German Reich/Greater German Reich

Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat East
Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat Ukraine
Slovak Republic
Soviet Union Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Poland People's Republic of Poland

Belgium Belgium United Kingdom London
(October 22, 1940 – September 8, 1944)
October 22, 1940 – September 8, 1944 Nazi Germany German Reich/Greater German Reich

Nazi Germany Military Administration in Belgium and Northern France
Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat of Belgium and Northern France

Denmark Denmark None 1943–1945 Nazi Germany German Reich/Greater German Reich
Luxembourg Luxembourg United Kingdom London 1940–1944 Nazi Germany German Reich/Greater German Reich
Greece Kingdom of Greece Egypt Cairo, Egypt April 29, 1941 – October 12, 1944 Nazi Germany German Reich/Greater German Reich

Kingdom of Italy Kingdom of Italy
Bulgaria Kingdom of Bulgaria

Norway Norway United Kingdom London June 7, 1940 – May 31, 1945 Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat for the Occupied Norwegian Territories
Kingdom of Yugoslavia Kingdom of Yugoslavia United Kingdom London June 7, 1941 – March 7, 1945
Albanian Kingdom

Commissioner Government
German occupied territory of Montenegro
Nazi Germany German Reich/Greater German Reich
Government of National Salvation

Independent State of Croatia
Independent Macedonia
Bulgaria Kingdom of Bulgaria
Kingdom of Hungary
Nazi Germany Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia

Netherlands Netherlands United Kingdom London 1940–1945 Nazi Germany Reich Commissariat for the Occupied Dutch Territories
Czechoslovakia Provisional Government of Czechoslovakia France Paris
(October 2, 1939 – 1940)

United Kingdom London
United Kingdom Aston Abbotts, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

October 2, 1939 – April 2, 1945 Nazi Germany German Reich/Greater German Reich

Kingdom of Hungary
Slovak Republic

Axis governments in exile

Government in exile Capital in exile Timeline of exile Occupier(s)
Kingdom of Bulgaria Nazi Germany Vienna, Greater German Reich September 16, 1944 – May 10, 1945 Kingdom of Bulgaria

Kingdom of Greece
Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Vichy France French State Nazi Germany Sigmaringen, Greater German Reich 1944 – April 22, 1945 France Provisional Government of the French Republic
Kingdom of Hungary Nazi Germany Vienna, Greater German Reich

Nazi Germany Munich, Greater German Reich

March 28/29, 1945 – May 7, 1945 Czechoslovak Republic

Kingdom of Hungary
Romania Kingdom of Romania
Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Romania Kingdom of Romania Nazi Germany Vienna, Greater German Reich 1944–1945 Romania Kingdom of Romania
Montenegrin State Council Independent State of Croatia Zagreb, Independent State of Croatia Summer of 1944 – May 8, 1945 Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Slovak Republic Nazi Germany Kremsmünster, Great-German Reich April 4, 1945 – 8 May 1945 Czechoslovak Republic
Government of National Salvation Nazi Germany Kitzbühel, Great-German Reich October 7, 1944 - 8 May 1945 Soviet Union Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Neutral governments in exile

Government in exile Capital in exile Timeline of exile Occupier(s)
Belarus Belarusian Democratic Republic Czechoslovakia Prague, Czechoslovak Republic

Czechoslovakia Prague, Czecho-Slovak Republic

Nazi Germany Prague, German Reich/Greater German Reich

1919 – present Nazi Germany German Reich/Greater German Reich

Nazi Germany Realm Commissariat East
Nazi Germany Realm Commissariat Ukraine
Poland Republic of Poland
Soviet Union Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Estonia Republic of Estonia Sweden Stockholm, Kingdom of Sweden
(1944 – August 20, 1991)

United States New York City, United States of America

June 17, 1940 – August 20, 1991 Nazi Germany Realm Commissariat East

Soviet Union Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Ukrainian People's Republic Poland Warsaw, Republic of Poland

Nazi Germany Prague, German Reich/Greater German Reich

1920 – August 22, 1992 Nazi Germany German Reich/Greater German Reich

Kingdom of Hungary
Romania Kingdom of Romania
Nazi Germany Realm Commissariat Ukraine
Soviet Union Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Spain Republic of Spain France Paris (1939-1940, 1946-1977)

Mexico Mexico City (1940-1946)

April 4, 1939 – July 1, 1977 Spain Second Spanish Republic

See also


  1. ^ a b Encyclopædia Britannica, German occupied Europe. World War II. Retrieved 1 September 2015 from the Internet Archive.
  2. ^ "WWII: population of Germany and occupied areas 1941". Statista. Archived from the original on February 7, 2023. Retrieved 11 March 2023.
  3. ^ Prazmowska, Anita (1995-03-23). Britain and Poland 1939–1943: The Betrayed Ally. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521483858.
  4. ^ Moorhouse, Roger (2014-10-14). The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939–1941. Basic Books. ISBN 9780465054923.
  5. ^ Goldstein, Erik; Lukes, Igor (2012-10-12). The Munich Crisis, 1938: Prelude to World War II. Routledge. ISBN 9781136328329.
  6. ^ Conway, Martin; Gotovitch, José (2001-08-30). Europe in Exile: European Exile Communities in Britain 1940–45. Berghahn Books. ISBN 9781782389910.
  7. ^ Hanson, Victor Davis (2017-10-17). The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won. Basic Books. ISBN 9780465093199.
  8. ^ Cornelius, Deborah S. (2011). Hungary in World War II: Caught in the Cauldron. Fordham Univ Press. ISBN 9780823233434.


  • Bank, Jan. Churches and Religion in the Second World War (Occupation in Europe) (2016).
  • Gildea, Robert and Olivier Wieviorka. Surviving Hitler and Mussolini: Daily Life in Occupied Europe (2007).
  • Klemann, Hein A.M. and Sergei Kudryashov, eds. Occupied Economies: An Economic History of Nazi-Occupied Europe, 1939–1945 (2011).
  • Lagrou, Pieter. The Legacy of Nazi Occupation: Patriotic Memory and National Recovery in Western Europe, 1945–1965 (1999).
  • Mazower, Mark (2008). Hitler's Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 9780713996814.
  • Scheck, Raffael; Fabien Théofilakis; and Julia S. Torrie, eds. German-occupied Europe in the Second World War (Routledge, 2019), 276 pp. online review.
  • Snyder, Timothy. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010), on Eastern Europe.
  • Toynbee, Arnold, ed. Survey of International Affairs, 1939–1946: Hitler's Europe (Oxford University Press, 1954), 730 pp. online review; full text online free.

Primary sources

  • Carlyle Margaret, ed. Documents on International Affairs, 1939–1946. Volume II, Hitler's Europe (Oxford University Press, 1954), 362 pp.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 October 2023, at 22:45
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