World War II

Vichy france: Old guard and new order, 1940-1944

Robert O. Paxton's classic study of the aftermath of France's sudden collapse under Nazi invasion utilizes captured German archives and other contemporary materials to construct a strong and disturbing account of the Vichy period in France.

Spanish anti-fascist ‘prisoners of war’ in Lancashire, 1944–46

Spanish anti-fascist prisoners in Chorley

Fascinating and detailed paper by Richard Cleminson examining the appalling treatment of Spanish anti-fascist resistance fighters during World War II being detained in internment camps in Britain alongside Nazi and fascist prisoners.

Thoughts on the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust

The Holocaust

Some reflections on the capitalist roots of the Holocaust.

Wartime strikes in Kenya - Makhan Singh

Makhan Singh on wartime strikes in Kenya, including struggles against conscript labour, railway strikes, and a general strike in Uganda in January 1945.

WCH E4: Anti-Nazi youth movements in World War II

A group of Edelweiss Pirates

An interview with historian Nick Heath about anti-Nazi youth cultural movements in fascist Europe before and during World War II. In particular we look at the German Edelweiss Pirates and Swing Kids, the French Zazous and the Austrian Schlurfs.

Auschwitz or the great alibi: What we deny and what we affirm

Martin Axelrad's reply to criticisms of his essay "Auschwitz or the Great Alibi". Extract from Prolétaire No. 437, July-August-Sept. 1996.

The pink triangle: the Nazi war against homosexuals

Pink triangles

A detailed account of the treatment of homosexuals by the Nazi party.

The left wing opposition in Italy during the period of the Resistance - Arturo Peregalli

An account of the groups to the left of the PCI, during WW2 by Arturo Peregalli. First published in 'Revolutionary History, Vol.5, No.4' ( Translated by Barbara Rossi and Doris Bornstein. It is based upon Peregalli’s 'Il Partito Comunista Internazionalista', and 'L’altra Resistenza: Il PCI e le opposizioni di sinistra in Italia, 1943–45', which first appeared as a series of fascicles in the 'Studi e Ricerche' series of the Centro Pietro Tresso (nos. 2, 4, 5, 8, 16, 17 and 21) and later as a full length book published by Graphos (Genoa 1991).

Anarchism and the British warfare state: the prosecution of the 'war commentary' anarchists, 1945

Article by Carissa Honeywell, published in 'International Review of Social History', Volume 60, Issue 2, pp. 257-284 (August 2015). This article argues that in the closing months of World War II the British government decided to suppress War Commentary because officials feared that its polemic might foment political turmoil and thwart postwar policy agendas as military personnel began to demobilize and reassert their civilian identities.

Defence of the Polish post office in Danzig

Memorial to the workers outside the post office

A short account of the employees of the Danzig post office who fought the Nazis for 15 hours during the invasion of Poland before they were captured, written by Nikola Budanovic. This article was first published on warhistoryonline.com.