In 1942 the workforce in Germany was facing a severe shortage
of manpower, many hundreds of thousands of men were taken from
the factories and sent eastwards to fight the Russians, and like
some insatiable machine, it sucked men into the jaws of death,
thousands upon thousands at a time.
The German High Command was now compelled to recruit any labour
that could be found, resources from the occupied countries were
used to fulfil these needs. Hence in many countries of Europe
able-bodied men were taken to Germany.
of people was common whether to
forced labour camps or death camps.
In France, the Germans introduced the "La Releve"
or the Compulsory Labour Service, and under order from the occupying
forces all Frenchmen between the ages of 19 to 32 were sent
to work for the Todt Organisation in the factories of Germany.
Many frenchmen fled from the sudden sweeps and roundups that
were being forced upon them by the German Police and French
Police "The Milice" who were now determined to search
out and find anyone. In Paris alone 20,000 men a week were taken
and transported to Germany. The combined police forces then
swept through the whole country, every town and village in order
to fill the trains with a "new workforce". (In Holland
50,000 men were rounded up in one day, and transported to Germany.)
in action in occupied France.
those who did not comply, reprisals were taken against their families,
many young men fearing this and the forced labour, made the decision
to flee to the woods and forests throughout France and join together
as brothers in a secret army, they would soon become a fighting
force that would face the enemy in some of the most courageous,
heroic stands for freedom that the world would see. Their names
to be written in the history of France, and in the hearts of the
French nation as
... "The Maquis"