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date: 26 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses everyday life under foreign occupation during the Second World War. Living conditions were very different depending on class, race, location, and time. People living in Poland, Greece, Yugoslavia, and the occupied territories of the Soviet Union were not only much more exposed to terror and mass crimes; their standards of living were also much lower than in western Europe. Some experiences, however, were shared. The chapter focuses on certain common daily experiences: procuring food and other daily necessities; the relationship between peasants and urban populations; the working and living conditions in cities and towns; the role of families and the importance of networks; and the impact of terror, destruction, and insecurity on society and individuals. Living under foreign occupation partly corrupted the moral standards governing human relations, but there was also solidarity which focused on a core group of people consisting of family and close friends.

Keywords: everyday life, food, survival strategies, terror, rural–urban relations, families

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