This week in the War, 24–30 August 1942: Annexation of Luxembourg
Heinrich Himmler with Waffen-SS officers, Hotel Brasseur, Luxembourg 1940 [Bundesarchiv Bild 101lll-Weill-062-18/ Weill /CC-BY-SA]
This picture of Heinrich Himmler with Waffen-SS officers was taken in 1940, shortly after the German Blitzkrieg rolled over the tiny Duchy of Luxembourg (the entire country being roughly 50 miles × 35 miles in size). The capital city fell within the first few hours and the country was occupied within a day.
A process of ‘Germanification’ began in earnest and conscription into the German army was introduced. All things French were suppressed, and German became the only official language.
This week in the war, on 30 August 1942, Luxembourg was officially annexed and became part of Germany.
Every year, on 31 August, a ceremony is held to commemorate the famous general strike of 1942. It originated with workers in the town of Wiltz, in the Ardennes, and was one of the most significant acts of opposition to the German occupation.
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