Belgium under Nazi Occupation

Started by <k>, March 16, 2017, 11:13:09 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

<k>

#15
Germany 1940-Annexation of Eupen, Malmedy and Moresnet.jpg


Germany 1940-Annexation of Eupen, Malmedy and Moresnet-.jpg

German stamps, 1940.   Annexation of Eupen, Malmedy and Moresnet.


Nazi Germany issued two stamps to celebrate the annexation of Eupen-Malmedy.

The text reads : "Eupen-Malmedy German again".
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#16
Modern Belgium.jpg

Modern Belgium.


By June 1940, Nazi Germany also controlled France, the Channel Islands, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway and Denmark, as well as much of central Europe. It must have seemed as if the Nazis would dominate Europe forever, and the citizens of the occupied territories had to decide how to live their lives under the New Order.

Some Nazis, such as Heinrich Himmler, dreamed of an "Aryan Commonwealth", in which Germans, Scandinavians and the Low Countries would all be equal. Hitler, however, was a German nationalist first and foremost, and a very petty, cruel and vindictive one. Non-German territories would either be annexed to Germany or occupied and exploited.

The small Belgian authoritarian or semi-fascist parties reacted in different ways. The leader of Verdinaso proscribed the production of any pro-Nazi literature by his members, but he himself was killed by French troops who had identified him as an extremist. Verdinaso now fell apart, with some becoming collaborators and others joining the resistance. De Clercq, the leader of the rival VNV, immediately went over to the Nazis. Hitler was reluctant to give too much power to any Belgians, but he enjoyed playing divide and rule with the two linguistic groups. It became clear that the Nazis favoured Flemings, however, and this caused resentment among the Walloons. On the map above, you see the geographical extent of Flanders and Wallonia.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

King Leopold was keen to find an accommodation with Germany in 1940, hoping that Belgium would remain as a unified and semi-autonomous state within a German-dominated Europe. In November 1940, Leopold visited Hitler to ask for Belgian prisoners of war to be freed. An agreement was not reached and Leopold returned to Belgium.This fueled the belief that Leopold, who had expressed anti-Semitic views before the war, was collaborating with the Nazis rather than defending his country's interests. During the war, Leopold was held under house-arrest in the Palace of Laeken.

Attempts by the government-in-exile to pursue Leopold to defect to the Allied side were unsuccessful. He consistently refused to publicly support the Allies or to denounce German actions such as the deportation of Belgian workers.  In 1941, while still incarcerated, he married Mary Lilian Baels, undermining his popularity with the Belgian public who disliked Baels and considered the marriage to discredit his claim to martyr status. Despite his position, Leopold remained prominent in the occupied territory, and coins and stamps continued to carry his portrait or monogramme. In January 1944, Leopold was moved to Germany where he remained for the rest of the war.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

The German administration had competing objectives of maintaining order while extracting material from the territory for the war effort. The German government levied the costs of the military occupation on the Belgians through taxes, while also demanding "external occupation costs" (or "Anti-Bolshevik charge") to support operations elsewhere. In total, Belgium was forced to pay nearly two-thirds of its national income for these charges.

As in all occupied countries in Europe, food, fuel and clothing were strictly rationed by the German authorities. Even with the stringent rationing, the food and materials which civilians should officially have been entitled to were not always available. A significant black market also existed in the country, supplying food illegally at very high prices to those that could afford it. Information and the press were strictly controlled by the German government and news was greatly restricted.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#19
Belgium 5 centimes 1942-D.jpg


Belgium 5c 1941-Fr.jpg

Both versions of the zinc 5 centimes coin.


From 1941, occupation issue coins began to circulate. They were made of zinc, even though it quickly corroded, so that the more important metals could be used for the war effort. With one or two exceptions, the coin designs were the same as before the war. In countries where the monarch had fled, such as Norway and the Netherlands, a new design series was introduced, but in Denmark and Belgium, where the monarchs had stayed with their people, the Nazis allowed the royal emblems to exist as before.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#20
Belgium 10c 1942-.jpg


Belgium 10c 1942.jpg


Here is a 10 centimes coin of 1942.

The Dutch legend appears first.

These are not pretty coins.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#21
Belgium 25c 1942-Fr.jpg


Belgium 25c 1942-Fr-.jpg


Here is a 25 centimes coin of 1942, with the French legend appearing first.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#22
Belgium 25c 1942-D.jpg


Here is a 25 centimes coin of 1942.

The Dutch legend appears first.

Notice the corrosion.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#23
Belgium 1 franc 1943-D-.jpg


Belgium 1 franc 1943-D.jpg


Here we have a 1943 franc, Dutch language first.

It now has a very different design on both obverse and reverse.

I do like the lion on the obverse.

However, the "L" for Leopold is filled with an over-elaborate and rather ugly motif.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#24
Belgium 1 franc 1942-Fr.jpg


Here is a 1942 version that shows the French language first.

I do like that acorn at the top of the design.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#25
Belgium 5fr 1941-Fr--.jpg


Belgium 5fr 1941-Fr---.jpg


Another new design now for the 5 francs, which is also in zinc.

The King now faces to the right.

I do not like the motif that fills the numeral 5 on the reverse.

It is once more over-elaborate and ugly.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#26
Belgium 5 francs 1941-D.jpg


Here we see a rather poor example of the obverse of the 5 francs.

The legend translates as "Leopold III, King of the Belgians".

In the exergue you see the surname of the designer, Marcel Rau.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#27


Here is a reminder of the King's portrait on the obverse of the pre-war 50 francs.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#28
Leon Degrelle, traitor.jpg

Here you see Leon Degrelle in Nazi uniform.


After Belgium was invaded, the Rexist Party was split over the matter of resistance. Its leader, Degrelle, proclaimed reconstructed Rexism to be in close union with Nazism. Degrelle started contributing to a Nazi news source, Le Pays RĂ©el. In August 1941 Degrelle joined the Walloon legion of the Wehrmacht, which was raised to fight against the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#29
S-Wallonian Legion.jpg

Waffen-SS, Wallonian Legion: military field stamps of 1941.


In December 1941 the Wallonian Legion issued a set of four military field stamps.

The man on the 100 francs stamp resembles Degrelle.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.