Some European leaders took refuge in London where they broadcast patriotic messages back to their peoples calling for resistance. The British dropped ammunition and military supplies to resistance fighters in German occupied territories who attacked German guards and military trains.

Thousands of young Jews resisted by escaping from the ghettos into the forests. There they joined Soviet partisan units or formed separate partisan units to harass the German occupiers. Jewish council chairman Moshe Jaffe in Minsk, resisted by refusing to comply when the Germans ordered him to hand over Jews for deportation in July 1942.

Jews in the ghettos and camps made conscious attempts to preserve the history and communal life of the Jewish people despite Nazi efforts to eradicate the Jews from human memory. These efforts included: creating Jewish cultural institutions, continuing to observe religious holidays and rituals, providing education, publishing underground newspapers, and collecting and hiding documentation of crimes against humanity.

In France thousands of men and women worked to sabotage bridges, power stations, communications, and transportation systems. Other forms of nonviolent protest were hiding Jews, listening to Allied radio broadcasts and printing anti-Nazi pamphlets. By 1944 there were over 100,000 members in the various resistance movements in France. Resistance groups made alliances with postal and telephone workers who helped them sabotage German supply lines. The two biggest problems faced by the resistance fighters were food and transportation. Food was rationed by the Germans and most cars had been confiscated shortly after the occupation began. There was no gasoline available to French civilians even if they managed to hide a car or two. Most fighters traveled by bicycle.

A French resistance fighter at work

After the German occupation of Denmark in April 1940, a resistance movement began operations there. Its activities included killing informers, raiding German military facilities, and sabotaging rail lines. In February 1941 the Dutch population mounted a general strike in protest against arrests and brutal treatment of Jews. In countries across Europe, underground resistance movements supplied forged documents to those in danger or arranged for safe hiding places or escape routes.

Members of the Dutch Reistance Movement