A Dutch woman entering military captivity with her husband, a German soldier, 1944

Here a Dutch woman appears with her husband, a German soldier, whom she married during the German occupation of the Netherlands. Refusing to leave his side, he marched with German prisoners to the prisoner of war center. Photo taken in Walcheren, Zeeland, Netherlands. November 1944.

After the Dutch government refused to return after the German invasion, the Netherlands was controlled by a German civilian governor, unlike France or Denmark, which had their own governments, and Belgium, which was under German military control. The civilian government, the Reichskommissariat Netherlands, was led by the Austrian Nazi Arthur Seuss-Inquart.

The German occupiers implemented a policy of Gleichschaltung ("enforced conformity"), and systematically eliminated non-Nazi organizations. Not all Dutch offered active or passive resistance against German occupation.

Some Dutch men and women chose or were forced to ally with German rule or joined the German army (which would usually mean being placed in the Waffen-SS).

After the war, some accused of collaborating with the Germans were executed without trial or otherwise punished. The men fighting alongside the Germans in the Wehrmacht or Waffen-SS were used to clear mines and take losses accordingly.

Others were sentenced by the court for treason. Dutch women who had sex with German soldiers were publicly humiliated. Some were wrongfully arrested and at times were cleared of charges after prolonged detention.

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