Collaboration, resistance and survival

Collaboration, resistance and survival

At the height of Axis expansion, there were an estimated 675 million people under their control - around 175 million in Europe under the Germans and around 500 million in East Asia under the Japanese. Though all these people were under occupation, their experiences varied widely depending on where they were and who they were. Some people chose to risk their lives to resist their occupiers, others chose to collaborate, and many simply tried to get on with their lives as best they could. But all of them would face consequences for their actions during and after the war.

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Majdanek served as a slave labour camp that provided materials and manpower for German construction projects in occupied Poland and the Soviet Union. This jacket is part of the uniform worn by prisoners at Majdanek.
Holocaust
What Was The Holocaust?
The Holocaust was the systematic murder of Europe's Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Second World War. For the first time in history, industrial methods were used for the mass extermination of a whole people. Between 1933 and 1945, Jews were targeted for discrimination, segregation and extermination.
Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin sumperimposed on either side of a map showing the German Invasion. The text reads: Why Barbarossa Failed
Second World War
Operation Barbarossa Explained: Why Hitler failed to defeat Russia
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Adolf Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union. Beginning in June 1941, this blitzkrieg attack on Russia and its leader Joseph Stalin would ultimately decide the Second World War. In this episode of IWM Stories, John Delaney takes a look at why Operation Barbarossa failed with the help of archive film, photographs and battle maps.
Thin men suffering from starvation are shown at work in a valley. In the foreground a man is digging at the face of a bank, with another passing a boulder to a fellow POW, and a chain of men passing rocks behind. To the centre-left a man is hitting a metal pole into the ground with a mallet, whilst another man holds the pole in place. To the far back left, men are working at the face of a hill, and some men shown climbing the face by rope.
Second World War
What Life Was Like For POWs In The Far East During The Second World War
Japan's early successes in the Far East during the Second World War resulted in over 190,000 British and Commonwealth troops being taken prisoner. Conditions varied, but in the worst camps - such as those along the Thailand-Burma ‘Death Railway’ - prisoners suffered terribly.
Holocaust exhibition with two visitors
©IWM
Permanent display

The Holocaust Galleries

IWM London
Permanent

Visitors exploring the Second World War exhibition
Permanent display

Second World War Galleries

IWM London
Permanent