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HEROES OF THE RESISTANCE

Hundreds of thousands of people joined resistance movements during the Second World War. In every corner of Europe, ordinary men and women from all backgrounds prepared to take on fascism and the Nazi war machine. We remember their bravery in order to honour them. While we mourn humanity at its worst, we also celebrate humanity at its very best.

Why we remember the heroes of the resistance

 

Countries and issues

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Real Stories

Discover more about the real stories of people standing up and fighting fascism. This is the resistance in-depth.

THE COST OF RESISTANCE

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Active resistance against the Axis required great courage, but also presented painful moral quandaries. 

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EUROPEAN RESISTANCE IN WWII

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THE RESCUERS

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During WWII, the Nazis and their allies murdered an estimated 6,000,000 Jews, alongside Romani, Sinti, LGBT+ people and people with disabilities, in the campaign of systematic extermination now known as the Holocaust.

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SETTING EUROPE ABLAZE: THE S.O.E.

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As a central Allied power on the edge of Europe, the UK played a role in assisting resistance efforts elsewhere, particularly through the Special Operations Executive (SOE).

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RESISTANCE OUTSIDE EUROPE

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Whilst our focus is resistance to the Axis in Europe, WWII was fought across many fronts, and Axis campaigns reached into East Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific and elsewhere

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RESISTANCE IN THE GHETTOS

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As swathes of Eastern Europe were swallowed by Nazi occupation, Jewish, Roma and Sinti people were forced into ghettos. These isolated, rundown neighbourhoods were rife with starvation, disease and overcrowding, and staggering mortality rates became the norm. 

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RESISTANCE IN THE CAMPS

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The Nazis established a network of death camps across the occupied East, but the murder of prisoners on the day of their arrival presented a major obstacle to organised resistance.

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THE AMERICANS IN EUROPE

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Though the US did not enter WWII officially until December 1941, the nation had become increasingly involved in the war from 1940 onwards, including sending supplies to the Allies. After declaring war on the Axis following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour, the US fought in the Pacific, in East and Southeast Asia, North Africa and in Europe in WWII. A number of Americans were also involved in resistance efforts in Europe.

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THE UNDERGROUND PRESS

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The underground press was a vital part of the resistance in World War Two. It gave citizens alternative narratives to those of the Nazi occupiers, boosted confidence and hope and of course reported on the activities of the resistance.

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TELLING THE STORIES

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Hundreds of thousands of people joined resistance movements during the Second World War. In every corner of Europe, ordinary men and women from all backgrounds prepared to take on fascism and the Nazi war machine. In this section, we tell a series of stories of heroism through the Heroes of the Resistance video and podcast series.

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