Welcome back. It is wonderful to see you again. In our last lesson, we discussed Nazi ideology and analysed the collapse of German democracy, which allowed the rise of Nazi Germany. Today, I want us to broaden our perspective beyond Germany and better understand German occupation patterns throughout Europe. As we will see, presenting the fate of European citizens under the influence of Hitler is critical for understanding the life and death of Jews in those places. Why did Nazi Germany repeatedly attack its neighbours? One of the things we must remember is that Nazi ideology did not limit itself to the Jews and to the aspiration of their disappearance and annihilation. It also wanted to shape the whole world according to its racial ideology, and create a new order in Europe and beyond. Jews were considered as anti-race, a destructive, undermining, and polluting element. A hazard to humanity. Other people and nations were categorised, rated and ranked according to a racial hierarchy. In the Nazi worldview, Aryans were considered the master race. Consisting, above all, of the Germans and ethnic Germans in Eastern Europe. But also Northwestern populations, such as the Dutch and the Scandinavians. People belonging to this group were not only viewed by the Nazis as superior, but also as those who needed, and deserved, more. More rights, more food, more space-- Lebensraum, living space. From whom and where could this Lebensraum be taken? From those who Nazi Germany saw as subhuman, as Untermenschen. Those were the nations and people who were placed by a Nazi racist ideology at the bottom of the racial scale. Slavic nations, such as the Russians and Poles, as well as others. Generally speaking, Western countries were seen as present or potential future allies of Nazi Germany. The existence of Eastern European nations was to be tolerated by the Nazis only if they serve the superior race. But if so, why did Nazi Germany support Ukrainian nationality, an Eastern Europe nation, and divide France, a Western country by all accounts? Well, "generally speaking" is only really accurate in history. We can portray the larger picture by major trends, but if we want to understand a given historical reality, we will need much more. We will need to take into consideration not only ideology, but also practical and local interest and factors. Keeping this in mind, let us turn to a brief description of some of the rapid and radical changes which swept Europe during the Second World War. We have seen already how Germany continually expanded the Third Reich. Hitler, who learned that his previous violation of international agreements were tolerated as part of the world's appeasement policy, made Poland his next target. Hitler demanded to annex the area around the German-speaking free city of Danzig, called the Polish corridor, in order to have a territorial connection from Germany to the city and East Prussia, also a German enclave. Poland, of course, refused. In view of Nazi Germany's continued aggression, England and France gave Poland international guarantees to keep its territory intact. Yet, in world politics, promises are often one thing, actions are another. On September the 1st, 1939, Nazi Germany attacked Poland in what became the outbreak of World War II. German troops invaded the country from three directions, launching the blitzkrieg, the lightning war, a military doctrine designed to bring a quick conclusion of the battle. As part of the blitzkrieg, not only rapid movements of military, aerial, and ground forces are used, this method deliberately targets civilian population centres in order to raise difficulty for the attacked army to organise an effective counter-offensive. Two days later, on the 3rd of September, 1939, England and France declared war on Germany, as promised. This brought optimism to Poland and pulled hope to hold on until help would arrive. Yet this declaration was never followed by action. Thus, this stage was named the Phoney War, and it lasted until Western Europe was attacked. Meanwhile, in Poland, things got worse. On September 17th, 1939, Soviet Russia also invaded Poland and occupied its eastern parts. This was a result of a secret nonaggression agreement signed with Germany on August 23rd, 1939-- the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. Poland, as a political entity, ceased to exist and was divided into three parts. Its eastern part under Soviet Russia. Its Western parts annexed to greater Germany, the Third Reich. And in what remained, Nazi Germany established the General Government, a separate German administration. In the Nazi racial worldview, Polish people were not entitled to a country and Poland had no place in the European new order. Western European countries carefully watched the brutal steps which were taken in occupied Poland. Polish Jews and polish Christians were both victims of the ruthless Nazi occupation, though they were unequal victims, to use a term phrase by the scholars, Yisrael Gutman and Schmuel Krakowski. But the main interest of the Western European countries was not the fate of Polish citizens, Jewish or non-Jewish. They were mainly busy defending would they saw as their immediate interests, entrenchment of the Maginot Line on the German-French border, and protecting the natural resources in the northern part of the continent. Yet Hitler had his own interest in those areas, economic and ideological, and he planned an integrated attack. On April 9th, 1940, Nazi forces occupied Denmark and invaded Norway in order to protect Germany's trade routes with independent Sweden and guarantee supplies of iron. A month later, on the 10th of May, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg were invaded. Occupied in days, the road to France was opened. On the 22nd of June, Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, one of France's national heroes from World War I and now the prime minister, signed a humiliating surrender agreement, and defeated France was divided into two. It's northern and western parts, consisting of about 60% of the country, were under direct Nazi rule. While in the rest, Vichy France was established, and this includes French colonies in North Africa. In each one of the newly occupied countries, Nazi Germany created a different form of regime. France was divided. In the Netherlands, a civil German occupation administration was established, operating alongside the local administration because the Germans perceived the Dutch as belonging to the greater German tribes. In Belgium and northern France, a military rule. And in Denmark, a strange combination of leaving the Danish democratic government in place alongside moderate German oversight. How could this mixture be explained? A, the countries and areas which became Hitler's new frontiers were all under a direct Nazi rule, meaning it was not only ideology which shaped Hitler's occupation patterns, but also local, military, and other interests. B, because of the racial hierarchy, unlike Poland, none of the Western countries was completely dissolved and their citizens could keep at least some notion of their original nationality. More important, none of those occupation regimes was as cruel as in the East. Being a citizen in the eastern part of Europe or in its western areas were two different stories. Along those occupations-- and I skipped many other fighting arenas in order to concentrate for now on Hitler's spheres of influence-- Nazi Germany extended its influence in other means. In September 1940, the Axis powers, Germany, Italy, and Japan, extended their military pact. In November 1940, Hungary and Romania joined in. And in March 1941, Bulgaria did so, too. Each of those countries was later rewarded by Hitler with territorial benefits for its support. In April 1941, Nazi Germany came to Mussolini's aid when he encountered difficulties occupying Greece. And Yugoslavia, as a punishment for cancelling previous agreements with Nazi Germany, was dissolved and divided. On the 22nd of June, 1941, Nazi Germany attacked its former ally, Soviet Russia, in operation Barbarossa. Within weeks, the German forces swept across the eastern parts of Europe, spreading death and destruction in their wake. The Nazis saw Soviet Russia as both inhibited by untermenschen and as the birthplace of communism. Communism, which was perceived-- as we said in our last lesson-- as a dangerous Jewish influence. Thus, the attack on the Soviet Union was a turning point in the war. A fundamental ideological total war being therefore accompanied by horrible brutality. The great difference between Nazi occupations in the east and west couldn't be more apparent. Thus, between 1933 and 1942, Europe entirely changed its face. Some countries where erased from the map. Others had their borders redrawn. And many different patterns of occupation filled Europe. Yet although hundreds of millions of European citizens were under Nazi influence, their lives differed dramatically. Moreover, whereas Nazi impact on non-Jewish society was sometimes moderate and sometimes devastating, for the Jewish citizens of Europe, it was always profoundly destructive.