Conditions and Politics of Occupied Western Europe (1940-45)
A collection on microfilm of documents from the UK government Foreign Office including 20,000 folders, each folder containing several documents. These are the working papers of the departments within the Foreign Office specialising in distinct problems and geographical areas, providing commentary upon the evidence with which they worked. Evidence came from ambassadorial dispatches, representations from foreign diplomats, telegrams and letters from diplomats abroad, and communications from other British government departments; described as 'foreign affairs with much of the diplomacy left out'.
Countries covered include the occupied states of Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and the Vatican, and the neutral countries, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The documents, divided by year and grouped according to country, cover issues such as the attitude of the Church in occupied countries to German oppression, Germany's plans for France's political future, the shooting of hostages in the Netherlands and the problem of refugees. Also described are the economic strategies of the occupying force: the exchange rate manipulations, the confiscation of industrial equipment and the conscription of labour from 1942 onwards.
Date range: 1940-1945
Significance: Significance in Wales and the United Kingdom
Size: 20,000 folders of documents
Keywords: Politics, Europe, Britain, World War Two.
Notes: A related collection is the Mass Observation Archive, for social coverage of Britain during the same years.