Collaboration, resistance and survival

A group of French refugees, including three children, sit in a good vans that they had to travel. They are leaving their occupied towns of France for the unoccupied territory when the Germans came.
© IWM KY 12965B
Thousands of French people left the occupied towns of France for the unoccupied territory when the Germans came. A group in the goods van they had to travel.

In the early parts of the Second World War, the Axis powers, Germany and Japan, made rapid conquests of land in Europe and East Asia. 

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 of 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.

Visit our YouTube channel page to watch Daily life under German and Japanese occupation

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