In June 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union. In December, they declared war on the United States. This gave England two powerful new allies. Fighting ceased in Western Europe. The conflict in Northern Africa had its ups and downs, but ended with a German defeat in September 1942. The German advance in Russia was halted at Stalingrad in January 1943.
National Socialist society
Holland anxiously awaited an Allied invasion. In May 1942, the occupiers began building defensive works along the coast — the Atlantik-Wall. The entire Dutch coastal region was evacuated. The occupiers made frantic efforts to turn the Netherlands into a National Socialist society.
The introduction, in 1941, of the persoonsbewijs [pb, identity card] allowed the Germans to exert more control over the population. Every Dutch citizen aged 14 and over had to have such a card, with passport photo and fingerprint, and had to carry it at all times. At the same time, more and more Dutch institutions were brought under National Socialist leadership.