After the armistice of September 1943, the German armed forces occupied most of central and northern Italy, directly administering some areas in the north-east.
The aim was twofold: to keep the Allies at a distance from the Reich’s southern border and to use Italian economic resources and manpower. The Germans requisitioned raw materials and industrial equipment, exploiting the population, many of whom were deported and sent to Germany for forced labour. The hostility towards the Italian ‘traitor’ increased because of the failure of the war.
The occupation was extremely harsh, with detention centres where executions and torture took place. With the collaboration of the Fascists, the Nazis carried out military actions and harsh reprisals against the Resistance forces, together with round-ups and the massacre of civilians.