1943 : Absolute war in Alsace Moselle

Absolute war
In Alsace Moselle

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The turning point of the war was reached when Paulus surrendered at Stalingrad on 2 February 1943. The great Reich was then launched into the “Total War” and Alsace and the Moselle with it. In everyday life, rationing is becoming more severe, requisitions and searches for the front are multiplied, prohibitions and repression are intensified.

Propaganda becomes obsessive and ubiquitous against the Bolsheviks and allies, against the hoarders and traffickers, and also against defeatist rumours. The population is also suffering from Allied bombardments, which are destroying economic and military facilities. It’s also time for mass uprising. All unemployed men aged 16 to 65 and women aged 17 to 45 must register at the labour offices. People who had served in the French army in 1939-1940 were forcibly incorporated.

In 1944, the numbers of hours of work per week increased to 72 hours. Factories and businesses that were not producing for the war effort, as well as cinemas and theatres, for example, were closed down.

In 1944, the working week was set at 72 hours. Factories and companies that did not produce for the total war, as well as cinemas and theaters for example, were closed.

In September 1944, as the Allies advanced, all available men between 16 and 65 years of age had to dig trenches and anti-tank structures, while the evacuation of certain localities was ordered. In October, the authorities instituted the Volksturm, a kind of popular militia that forcibly gathered the last available reserves of men (aged 17 to 60). Those who rallied to the government created the Elsässische Freiheits-Front (Free Alsace Front), which fought until the end.

But a month later, Metz, Strasbourg and Mulhouse were liberated.

Pockets of resistance remained. Colmar was liberated on February 2, 1945, the north of Alsace and Moselle at the end of March 1945.