During World War II, the German occupation of Luxembourg began in May 1940, when Nazi Germany invaded the Grand Duchy. Luxembourg was first placed under military administration but later turned into a civil administration and eventually annexed directly into Germany when the German Wehrmacht invaded the country on 10 May 1940. As a result, the royal family and government fled to exile in silence. Some people participated in passive resistance while the majority kept their heads down, avoiding conflict with the authorities.
A tiny minority of the population carried out Luxembourg’s resistance. At first, it formed spontaneously and slowly. Beginning in autumn 1940 and continuing through summer 1941, the first groups were formed without coordination and from various motivations, including liberals opposed to anti-Jewish policies and for democracy and conservative Roman Catholics with sometimes more or less national socialist tendencies.
In September 1944, Allied forces liberated Luxembourg. Luxembourg’s capital city was liberated on 10 September 1944 after U.S. forces entered near Petange on 9 September. A total of 5,700 Luxembourgish citizens died during World War II, representing 2% of the population in 1940, the highest casualty rate in Western Europe.
Below are some stunning vintage photos that show what Luxembourg looked like in 1949. Also, check what Luxembourg looked like in the 1990s.