Volume 5: Western and Northern Europe 1940–June 1942 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2021). Executive editors of VEJ 5: Katja Happe, Michael Mayer, and Maja Peers.

Volume 5
Western and Northern Europe 1940–June 1942

In April/May 1940 the German Wehrmacht invaded Northern and Western Europe. The subsequent occupation of Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France brought the Jewish population of these countries – both established residents and refugees – under German control. From autumn 1941 in Luxembourg and from spring/summer 1942 in Belgium, the Netherlands and occupied France, Jews were required to wear the ‘Jewish star’ and many were subjected to forced labour. By mid-1942, deportations from Luxembourg and France to the ghettos and extermination camps in occupied Eastern Europe had already begun, while in the other occupied countries they were imminent. In April 1942 Alfred Oppenheimer, the Jewish elder in Luxembourg, wrote: ‘A dreadful fate hangs over our community again. The worst that can happen has now happened and the Poland transport is a certainty.

This volume covers Norway and Western Europe during the period from the German invasion to mid 1942 (developments in Denmark for this period are documented in vol. 12) and records how Jews in these parts of Europe were excluded from society and stripped of their rights, livelihoods, and property. Letters and diary entries by the persecuted Jews detail life under German occupation and the attempts by many Jews to emigrate. The sources show how Jewish organizations sought to alleviate the impact of persecution, and how the German occupiers and local collaborators targeted Jews with increasingly stringent measures and clamped down on any form of resistance.


Documents Maps Contributors


This volume contains more than 300 source documents about the persecution of the Jews in Northern and Western Europe (Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France) between 1940 and 1942.

Archives represented: 43
Maps: 6
Pages: 916

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This professionally designed map details the specific geographical area in focus in this PMJ volume.

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Europe, December 1941


The efforts of many people went into producing this volume, which is based on its counterpart in the German VEJ series. The contributors are acknowledged here.

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