Nazi Occupation


     The wartime resistance to Nazi occupation ultimately set the stage for a more
unified Europe after World War II. The war itself was responsible for changing
the opinions of many about the idea of a unified Europe. For centuries, a great
deal of nationalism caused many European nations to dispel any notions of a

European union. It was thought that a unified body could not exist with such
differing countries. However, during the war, these countries put their
differences aside to achieve a common goal. This wartime unification continued
after the war into the reconstruction period. Again, it was thought that the

European community could ban together and repair their war-torn motherland. The
winds of change swept through Europe carrying a new spirit. A European

Federation seemed to be on the horizon. The idea of a federated Europe was also
appealing to non-European countries. Delusions of grandeur danced in the heads
of United States leaders regarding the possibility of a European counterpart.

Even the Soviet Union was not opposed to European unification. It appeared as if
things were too good to be true. And, unfortunately, they were. At nearly the
same rate that the idea of a federated Europe grew, it began to diminish.

Individual agendas to reconstruct Europe surfaced. Political parties had changed
and more important issues arose. The first order of business was the European
economy. Because of the war, Europe had fallen behind economically and badly
needed to reclaim its position as an economic leader. This coupled with the
regional threat of communism and other war related domestic problems caused a
bump in the road for integration. Once again, it was the same old story for

European nations, before you clean up the neighborhood, take care of your own
back yard. Although not immediately successful, the wheels were still in motion
for a European Union. Many Resistance activists were not about to give up just
yet. Europe had grown a little closer through the events during and after World

War II. It simply needed a little more time to warm up to the idea of
federation. Eventually, a European Union would result.