There was a huge number of underground publications in Belgium, ranging from the serious to the humorous. La Libre Belgique had a regular circulation of 40,000 by January 1942, peaking at 70,000, while the communist paper, Le Drapeau Rouge, reached 30,000.
The spoof Faux Soir, a play on the pro-occupation newspaper Le Soir, was read by 50,000 people. There were 567 separate titles during the occupation.
The major clandestine newspapers during the German occupation were Défense de la France, Résistance, Combat and Libération. After the invasion of the Soviet Union, these were joined by a number of communist publications including L'Humanité and Verité.
A small number of underground presses were also active in printing illegal books and works of literature.
There were over 1,200 separate publications produced in the Netherlands during the years of occupation. The most prominent was Het Parool, which was founded in February 1941 by Frans Goedhart, who went by the pseudonym “Pieter ‘t Hoen” (Peter the Chicken). The Dutch Communist Party produced De Vonk.
The main underground newspaper was London-Nytt, and 12,000 to 15,000 people were involved in distribution alone. In late 1941 the Norwegian communists began producing Friheten. Over 300 titles were produced during the war.
With the Germans not confiscating people’s radios, there was little initial need for an underground press. It was only after the Communist Party was banned in 1941 that they began producing a resistance newspaper. The Nazi crackdown led to a massive growth in illicit publications, with over 500 being produced during the occupation.
Biuletyn Informacyjny, which once reached a print run of 43,000 copies, and Rzeczpospolita were two of the 1,000 titles produced during the war. The Polish underground also published booklets and leaflets from imaginary anti-Nazi German organisations aimed at spreading disinformation and lowering morale among the Germans.
The first resistance newspaper was V boj (“Into Combat”), which reached a circulation of 10,000. Others included the Voice of the People and National Liberation. The Czechoslovak resistance groups also sent anti-Nazi pamphlets into Germany, in the hope that antifascist Germans would rise up against the Nazi regime. One of the better known pamphlets was hidden inside the German tourism brochure Lernen Sie Das Shone Deutschland Kennen (“Learn About Beautiful Germany”) and included a map of the Nazi death camps.
While Greece was occupied by Italy in 1940, it was only after the arrival of the German Army the following year that an underground press emerged. The main resistance group, the National Liberation Front, produced Forward, while the Army of Enslaved Victors was produced by a group of former army officers. The Communist Party produced The Radical.