Which countries did the Nazis occupy?

The Map highlights the key countries occupied by the Nazis.

(Run your mouse over the map to reveal the dates of invasion or occupation)

On 12 March 1938 the Nazis annexed Austria. Later that year they marched into the Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia, and on 15 March 1939 the German army invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia. This brought over half a million Jews under German control.

The German invasion of Western Poland on 1 September 1939 led to the start of the Second World War (WW2). Between 1939 and June 1941 the German army invaded and occupied many countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Denmark, Yugoslavia, Greece, Norway and Western Poland. By this time many millions of Jews were living in territories under German control.

The experience of Jews in countries that were invaded and occupied by the Nazis was often quite similar to that of the Jews within Germany. However, what was different was the speed at which the Nazis enacted anti-Jewish measures.