Talk:German occupation of Luxembourg during World War II

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I've just read this article out of interest, I'm actually exceedingly ignorant of Luxemburg's history. I have, however, some concerns. Why is there not a single footnote? Why does the article abound in weasel words ('most of the population' and such)? I can't judge the truth content of the article, but that's the point: I should be able to check up on each statement through the rigorous use of referencing. That seems to be lacking. --Helmold (talk) 22:52, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

may 1940 and the exile government[edit]

Just a note on my recent correction, and also a comment on the exile government.

The Luxembourgish army at this time was very small and had no orders to confront the invaders (that the invasion was imminent was well known, no one knew the exact date but that it would occur had been circulating for months). The only preparations taken locally were in order to insure the duties of a neutral state. That is road blocks were preparred that were supposed to be closed once the news of the actual invasion arrived. Except for a few cases these blocks were not closed in time and in only one case (I'm basing myself on my recollection of Henry Koch-Kent's histories (my copies of those books were lost/stolen)) did this lead to an actual delay in a german advance. According to the same source there is only one documented case of an exchange of fire before the border clash at Esch-Alzette (between french spahi and a german column, the germans actually believing they fired at by civilians...). That case was a gendarme (or douanier) firing his pistol at a number of suspect people during the invasion night at a border post (the gendarme/douanier was subsequently killed iirc). One of the reason of the failure of the road blocks was probably the infiltration of german troops in civilian garb during the night supported by some german immigrants.

So in short, there was no resistance and the germans could not be said to have been attacking as very few shots were fired before the luxembourgish-french border was reached.

Now to the government. Here my memory is even shadier (which is why I left that section unchanged) and again based on Kock-Kent (who as a member of the french secret service was among those warning the grand-duchess of the invasion and who fled the country with them). They did actually leave on the day of the invasion (morning of the 10th) barely escaping capture. They first headed towards France expecting to set up an exile government in Paris. Later, realising the situation in France was untennable they crossed the Spanish border and finally arrived in Portugal from where they embarked for England (and some already for New York). An exile government was then indeed set up in London, but the grand duchess eventually left for New York (government in London, head of state in New York). During the course of the war prince consort Felix and heir (and future grand duke) Henry joined the British Army (other people like Henri Koch-Kent joined other British services). A battalion of Luxembourgers was also eventually raised and took part in several campaigns with the belgian 1st brigade (brigade Piron). The first Luxembourgers to land back on the continent though were part of no. Commando 10 (4 or 6, I believe no. 10 but not sure) on june 6 1944.

In short, the move was not simply Luxembourg London, rather a first attempt to establish a government in France and then a rather hazardous escape via Iberia to England and a split setup between London and New York.

--Caranorn 13:19, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

My knowledge of the evacuation is just as you describe it. The Grand Ducal Family initially moved through Lisbon, before departing for the United States on USS Trenton in late June 1940. Charlotte initially went to London with the government, but joined the family in North America in October, having set up (and established the legitimacy of) the government in exile. However, they didn't stay in New York after Jean and Félix joined the British Army; the USA's neutrality did not afford the Grand Duchess the political freedom that she desired, so the remaining members moved to Montréal. Bastin 14:12, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I edited that part of the article in that sense. Tell me if you feel it's okay that way, or feel free to edit (or revert).--Caranorn 16:45, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Spanish Inquisition article rewrite[edit]

First the article looks good but I am astonished by some of the statements I worked on so far.

1) In the Eve of the Invasion section I removed At that time nobody could predict that Germany would invade the Grand Duchy and annex it. At least some people did predict the attack (and only if I cite my great-aunt I'd have one such), not an exact date, but the preparations were obvious to those leaving along the border. Henri Koch-Kent as I recall was also very clear about this.

2) In the Invasion section you state that the road blocks were closed at a precise time. What I recall from Koch-Kent (I no longer have his book as it was lost, but maybe I do have Trausch's) was that most of the doors were never closed (lack of orders and sabottage). In any case I recall only mention of a single road block effectively delaying the german advance (and that because the pioneers who eventually blew it up arrived late...) and a few causing minimal delay.

In the same section I can assure you that the counter attack (really a probe) by french cavalry was not on the scale of three entire divisions. I even doubt it involved three divisions (out of memory there were only 3 DLC's left in France by may 1940, and the spahi were brigaded). For now I've changed your sentence to note elements of 3 cavalry divisions. I will try to find which units could have been involved (but my library is a mess right now as I'm moving all my hisotyr and military material to a new office) but that could take a few days.

The first elements of the German army arrived in Esch by the evening, but as you don't give an exact hour your statement is correct, in any case movement in the city was still possible leading to the mentionned evacuations (including my father's family who witnessed the brief clashes in Esch and fled next morning).

I will continue to look over the rest of the article later today. I will try not to make any content changes unless I am either 100% certain or have a source at hand.--Caranorn 12:39, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

2) I can now confirm, there were no three french cavalry divisions in the vicinity. There were only two cavalry units in the immediate area, the 3rd Light Cavalry Division (DLC) and the 1st Spahi Brigade. So I'd say the error is obvious and I corrected it accordingly.--Caranorn 12:54, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

3) In the Casualties and damage section. Placing Luxembourg behind the Netherlands with the highest ratio of victims (actually this is already my modified variant), is this proven? That is how does this ratio compare to the Soviet Union's casualties and to China's casualties? I really find this disturbing (and yes, I have relatives among those 5703).--Caranorn 14:22, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

First of all thanks a lot for your work. I got most of this on a webside on from Trausch's book for secondary school. I got myself a copy of the exhibition book Exposition "Questions sur le Luxembourg et la Deuxiéme Guerre Mondiale." Publication scientifique du Musée d'Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg. page 32, Luxembourg 2002. It's pretty detailed and I hope that the data ist trustworthy. Unfortunately I didn't have time to go thorugh it yet, but I will. Promise :-)
1) that statment was from this website of luxembourgish teachers. But you're right. any realistic person could think about the odds espescially thinking about what happened in 1914.
2)I'll check thatin thebook mentioned above. At least it got the french cavalery thing correct.
3)Well AFAIK URSS had the highest absolute number of casualties but since Luxembourg had such a small population the ratio goes up. This was said by Trausch, but my father tld me this guy is like the official historian of the Grand Duchy so maybe not that trustworthy on the details. I'll check that to. But again, you can do funny things with statistics.
Thanks again. Spanish Inquisition 17:43, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Luxembourg's relative casualty rate, whilst high, was not nearly as high as other countries. Five countries (USSR, Germany, Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania) lost over 10% of their populations. See: World War II casualties; although some of its figures are inaccurate (including that for Luxembourg, which is given as one-third of the actual figure), it's a good guide. If one changes Luxembourg's figures to 5703 out of 290000, Luxembourg falls behind Albania*, China, Czechoslovakia*, Estonia, Finland, French Indo-China*, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia*, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, the Pacific Islands*, Poland, Portuguese Timor*, Romania, Singapore*, the USSR, and Yugoslavia (those marked with asterisks weren't countries upon outbreak of war). Thus, Luxembourg was twenty-second, or fifteenth if one includes only countries that were independent in September 1939 (although the latter is complicated, because there are no figures given for the Czech or Slovakian puppet states, etc). Bastin 17:56, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Ok, better delete that sentence about the casualties and just state the actual number without ratio, just the total population which was 290230. I mean this subject should not be mistaken as a competition of who had more victims. I hate that. Seems that this was again one of these stories that run around in Luxembourg without anyone checking them. I didn't find hard evidence except for Trausch from a book that is already more than 15 years old. Spanish Inquisition 18:28, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

And yes, Trausch is one of the best local historians, on WWII he is probably the best source now that Koch-Kent and Marque (and I almost forgot Cerf) are dead. I also think he is pretty neutral which is very important. Oh and sorry for my english in the previous posts here, that was an aweful collection of errors, even for me. Ah another remark, I find the books/catalogues edited by the City's History Museum quite interesting, I only have a few so far but they did some impressive research.--Caranorn 19:01, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

I figured out how the error in my first verion came into existance. The article I read did not clame that the numbers stated did only refer to western europe where a Vernichtungskrieg did not take place like it did in eastern europe! still I think we should just state the number without the ratio and without a highscore for casualties. That's just disgracing the victims. Spanish Inquisition 22:03, 12 September 2006 (UTC)


The article mentions the Schusterline, a series of roadblocks and barricades along the border with France and Germany. I have two questions. Firstly, the map does not show the line extending along the Belgian border; was this because Belgium was also a neutral nation, and is there a source we could reference for that statement? Secondly, there are only 31 Google hits for Schusterline, and the only ones that have something to say are mirrors of Wikipedia's article. "Schuster line" luxembourg returns just six hits. Wikipedia's article mentions that it was named after its constructor; what was his full name? Did the line have a name? Is it possible to listen to Led Zeppelin IV with fresh ears? -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 19:39, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Luxembourg had no reason to fear invasion from Belgium in 1939 or 1940. Like the Luxembourgers, the Belgians just wanted the belligerent nations to leave them in peace, and they weren't interested in attacking anyone. Therefore, it makes sense that Luxembourg would erect defenses on the German and French frontiers, but not with Belgium. The Belgians did the same thing. They fortified their borders with Germany and France, but not with Holland--a country that also wanted no part of the war. Jsc1973 (talk) 00:01, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
And yet another person who believes that GOOGLE is the ultimate and only source of wisdom and truth. You know why there are no hits on Schuster line? Because nobody gives a f*** about Luxembourg. That's why. At least nobody who speaks English. Don't take this personal, but that's just the way it is. Speaking another language and reading books occasionally sure helps. Here's a short list. Have fun
  • Michael Eberlein & Norbert Haase (Hg. und Bearb.) Luxemburger Zwangsrekrutierte im Wehrmachtgefängnis Torgau - Fort Zinna 1943 - 1945 Dresden: Stiftung Sächsische Gedenkstätten zur Erinnerung an die Opfer politischer Gewaltherrschaft, 1996 (Reihe: Lebenszeugnisse - Leidenswege, Heft 1) ISBN 3980552705
  • Michael Erbe: Belgien, Niederlande, Luxemburg. Geschichte des niederländischen Raumes. Stuttgart, Berlin, Köln 1993. ISBN 3-17-010976-6
  • René Fisch: Die Luxemburger Kirche im 2. Weltkrieg. Dokumente, Zeugnisse, Lebensbilder, Luxbg. 1991
  • Club des Jeunes ELL: Lëtzebuerger am Krich 1940 - 1945 : eng kleng Natioun erzielt / Club des jeunes, cop. 2001 Luxemburg: Sankt Paulus ISBN 2-9599925-1-2
  • Club des Jeunes ELL: "D'Krichjoeren 1940-45 zu Lëtzebuerg. Wéi eng Jugend de Kirch erlieft huet." /Club des Jeunes ELL, cop. 1997 , Sankt-Paulus ISBN - 2-9599925-0-4
  • Even Georges: "Krichserliefnisser 1940-1945. Luxemburger Zeitzeugen erzählen." , 2003, cop. Editions Guy Binsfeld ISBN: 2-87954-128-x.
  • Even Georges: "Deemools am Krich 1940-1945. Schicksale in Luxemburg. Menschen erzählen.", 2005, cop. Editions saint-paul, ISBN: 2-87963-586-1.
  • Even Georges: "Frauen erleben den Krieg", 2007, cop. éditions saint-paul, ISBN: 978-2-87963-681-8
  • Kergen, Pierre: Kriegserinnerungen eines Öslinger Resistenzlers / Pierre Kergen. - An: Rappel : organe de la Ligue luxembourgeoise des prisonniers et déportés politiques. - Luxembourg. - année 56(2001), n° 1, p. 66-101, ill. ; n° 2, p. 237-253, ill. ; n° 3, p. 346-382, ill. ; n° 4, p. 509-538, ill.
  • Milmeister, Jean: Die Ardennen-Schlacht 1944-1945 in Luxemburg 1994, Editions Saint Paul
  • MacDonald, Charles B.: The Battle of the Bulge 1984, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London.
  • Franz Petri, Ivo Schöffer, Jan Juliaan Woltjer (Hg.), Geschichte der Niederlande. Holland, Belgien, Luxemburg, München 1991 (Auszug aus Handbuch der europäischen Geschichte, hg. von Theodor Schieder; berücksichtigt die Geschichte des Großherzogtums Luxemburg seit 1815)
  • Andreas Pflock: Auf vergessenen Spuren. Ein Wegweiser zu Gedenkstätten in den Niederlanden, Belgien und Luxemburg Hg. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung Bonn 2006 (Reihe: Themen und Materialien) Bestellen:[1] ISBN 389331685X
  • Rasqué, Fritz: Das Oesling im Krieg, Imprimerie St. Paul, Lëtzebuerg, 1946.
  • Toland, John: Die Ardennenschlacht 1944 (Originaltitel: Battle: The Story of the Bulge) Alfred Scherz Verlag, Stuttgart, 1960
  • Gilbert Trausch, « Le Luxembourg à l’époque contemporaine.“ 2ème édition, Luxemburg 1981

greetings Spanish Inquisition (talk) 16:30, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed and graded as start class. --dashiellx (talk) 15:09, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

propaganda article[edit]

This article is the best example for none-encyclopedic and propaganda-like material which grossly violates neutral point of view. It is also un-cited and mostly nonsense. Must be deleted and re-written to comply with NPOV.--Defender of NPOV (talk) 02:40, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

New article[edit]

I have copied and pasted text from this article to form a new one specifically about the Invasion of Luxembourg. Hopefully, that should bring it within the scope set by its title. Best wishes, --Brigade Piron (talk) 12:54, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
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Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 00:52, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Deletion from "Life in Occupied Luxembourg"[edit]


I have removed the following chunk from the article

This attitude became obvious through subtle but effective actions:

  • From 15 August 1940, many Luxembourgers wore a pin bearing the Grand Duchy’s coat of arms, a red lion, which they had worn the previous year during the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of Luxembourgish independence. Members of the collaborationist Volksdeutsche Bewegung would try and rip off the insignia: occasionally, bloody fights ensued.[1] Wearing the pins, an act of symbolic resistance, was seen by the authorities as an "anti-German" provocation, and resulted in several people being arrested.[2] Nevertheless, this Spéngelskrich ("pin war") continued throughout the occupation, and many young people found themselves in the Sondergericht (special court) accused of anti-German action.[1]
  • On 21 October 1940, the national monument “Gëlle Fra“, a memorial for Luxembourgish volunteer soldiers who had fought in World War I with the Western Allies, was demolished. Hundreds of people protested and were brutally dispersed by the Gestapo. 13 people were arrested.
  • 10 October 1941: Expecting their propaganda campaign to be successful, the occupation authorities organised a census, which included seemingly innocuous questions about nationality, mother tongue and ethnicity. Resistance organisations were quick to recognise this as a thinly disguised attempt to incorporate Luxembourg into the Reich and mounted a massive underground awareness-raising campaign (Dräimol Lëtzebuergesch: "Three times Luxembourgish"), turning the census into a referendum. The result was that 93-98% declared their Luxembourgish identity.[2] When the regime became aware of the fiasco, the census was immediately stopped. For the suppressed population, this was an enormous moral victory.
  • 30 August 1942, the military draft for the men born between 1920 and 1927 was introduced.[2] The drafting into the Wehrmacht provoked a general strike against the occupying authorities, which started in Wiltz on 31 August and soon spread out over the rest of the country. The action was violently suppressed – Gauleiter Simon declared a state of emergency, 20 strikers were executed, and another 125 handed to the Gestapo and deported to concentration camps.[2]
  • About 40% of the men drafted for service refused to serve in the German Wehrmacht and went into hiding, half of them inside the country's borders. Those who escaped to Britain joined the Allied Forces and took part in the Battle of Normandy as part of the 1st Belgian Brigade also known as the Brigade Piron.
  • Some Luxembourgish refused to give the Nazi salute, i.e. rising one's arm while shouting "Heil Hitler". Instead, they said "Drei Liter" ("Three liters", understood as "three liters of beer") as fast as possible and with a strong Luxembourgish accent, which fooled any German who could hear it.

At very least, this is in the wrong section - this is clear "passive resistance". I do wonder whether it is too detailed as well for an article of such a wide scope which is, after all, intended to be a summary. Perhaps it could be re-integrated in Luxembourg Resistance?

In my opinion, given that this article already has a decent section on passive resistance (including some repeats) this seems excessive - and there is some repetition. List are also always less preferable to texts for content such as this.Brigade Piron (talk) 10:43, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Grand Duke[edit]

I recall reading somewhere that Luxembourg-Ville was liberated by allied forces commanded by the current or future Grand Duke. Anyone else know anything about that? (talk) 19:28, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

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  1. ^ a b Dostert, Paul (2002). "La résistance luxembourgeoise (1940-1944)" (PDF). Ons Stad (71). 
  2. ^ a b c d Cite error: The named reference :0 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).