The lessening distinction of civilian and soldier in Eastern Europe and it's effects on the individual

Hi, ladies and laddies.

I was wondering whether this would be a decent topic, but I would love to know more about it regardless. We all know that both the Axis and Soviets treated civilians incredibly poorly, but as the war progressed and resistance movements rose up, the very term civilian or non-combatant slowly lost meaning.
For example, in my country(Slovenia), an ordinary person would be caught between the Axis(either Germans, Hungarians, Italians or Croats), their collaborators(local militias) and resistance movements(though unified, the resistance was still made up of different democratic and communist movements). Each group would have it’s set of demands for the local populace and would often violently supress any non-conformity, even if only imagined. Any imagined support for an opposing group would also obviously bring it’s own reprisals.

My question then is how did this maelstrom of confusion, violence and ideology affect individual civilians and families? Are there stories out there of families being split between the two sides? Are there people who were forced to join a side they never wanted, only to keep their lives? To what lengths did people go to, just to make sure they saw another day? You know, individual stories of the little man and woman just trying to make it in some of the worst times ever.

If you feel like my question has already been answered, or is inappropriate, have fun deleting the topic.



Hi gloo and a very heartfelt welcome to the forum. As for families being split, that happened. My great grandmother dumped her husband after he went extreme right. Even after the war he needed permission from the Government to go anywhere. Others in my family received resistance medals and did lots of very risky stuff. Actually the only reason one survived is the bilingual names in Belgium. His name was Willem but everyone called him Guillaume. When the German authorities were looking around for a Willem everyone’s reply was he is not Willem. Sounds funny but must have been scary.

Great question by the, keep em coming, these are very appreciated. Also if you like to share information from youtnfamily/country we would really appreciate it.

And let me/us know if we can help you out.