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A man with earphones crouched in a darkened attic listening in to a concealed and forbidden crystal set; a prisoner continuing to write even in the condemned cell; young men taking up weight-lifting so that they would be able to carry heavy lead type with apparent ease; a group of men taking over at gunpoint the staff of a pro-Nazi newspaper and forcing them to print an ironic bogus issue - these were just a few of the many hundreds of ordinary people who helped to produce and distribute the clandestine newspapers that sought to counter Nazi propaganda and maintain morale in enemy-occupied Europe during the World War II. The risks were terrifying; if caught with even a single copy of a forbidden publication the culprit would be tortured and executed, and many were. Yet the work went on, thwarting German controls and even forcing the Nazis to change some of their policies. Writers and publishers too refused to be silenced and many found lasting fame through clandestine books: for instance, the poet Jan Campert, the Danish pastor Kaj Munk, and "Vercors", author of "Le Silence de la Mer", which was later made into a classic film.
Courage, skills and ingenuity were stretched to the full in the resistance to Nazi repression that found expression, no matter how dangerously, in the thousands of newspapers, pamphlets, books, poems and songs that appeared in the dark days of occupation.