Under The Nazis

One of the books that recently caught my attention was the diary of a governess for three children on the edge of World War I; An English Governess In The Great War, by Mary Thorp. I bought it and began listening to my wife read short sections to me.

World War I began shortly after Thorp settled in as governess with three little boys in Brussels. The German army made its attack on France through Belgium south curving east through northern France, but failed to drive the British and French out of the war. Belgium became an occupied country which is the story of this diary.

While I have selected German activities that have practically driven my wife out the book, the one that grabbed me most was the gathering up of
men and shipping them off to Germany to perform work there for which there were no longer enough Germans. This, of course, left not enough Belgians to keep that country going. Once in Germany, these men were worked until sick to death when they were shipped home to die. Coal from Belgian mines was confiscated. All metal, including metal household goods (pots and pans, wash tubs) were gathered up in multiple sweeps. And, these are just the beginning.

What I had not realized, was that exactly the same seizures and controls were put in place 20 years later with the Nazi invasion. The more I learn about Nazi behavior which I lived through in WWII, the more I feel the almost complete destruction of German social and physical structure was well deserved.