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French civilians fleeing / WWII / 1940
History / World War II / Western Front German Army offensive in the West, May/
June 1940.

French civilians fleeing.

Photo, around May / June 1940.
The Flight
Eighty years ago...
From May to June 1940, millions of civilians from Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France fled in a matter of days to escape the advancing German army.

Families took to the road with just a few belongings, leaving their homes abandoned; around 100,000 of these civilians were killed during German air raids and around 90,000 children were separated from their parents in the chaos.

After the Franco-German armistice of 22nd June 1940, thousands of refugees were then desperately trying to return to their homes.
This was difficult, as they now had to cross new demarcation lines between the unoccupied and the occupied zones. Some refugees were not able to return to their homes until the liberation of France.

This event is commonly known in France as the 1940 Exodus.
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