Local Administration and Exploitation, 1941–44
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For most of the local population the German occupation was experienced primarily in terms of economic exploitation. Hopes of land redistribution were frustrated and instead the peasants faced burdensome requisitions. Compulsory labour registration and mass deportations for work in Germany signified the direct control of labour resources. Economic conditions deteriorated further from the poor situation under Soviet rule; the urban population became impoverished as real wages fell and the peasantry reverted to producing only for their own needs. Not only was the German state squeezing the last drops from an economy already dislocated by war damage, Soviet evacuation and scorched earth, but within the economic administration itself German officials and their collaborators enriched themselves through corruption and the abuse of their power.
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