So, I remember watching this television play probably adopted from a more famous original opus about a Nazi-occupied village somewhere in Europe (I don't recall where exactly, but perhaps the story took place somewhere in Norway.)

Initially, the Nazis dismissed the idea that the "simple-minded" villagers might pose any viable threat to their forces.

And as one can guess, in the next acts, the villagers gradually came to know their ways around and began sabotaging the Nazis' supply lines, and even killing them in an organized fashion.

Bottom line, as far as I can remember, was that when it comes to survival, the usually dormant killing instincts can turn every human being to the predator he or she is meant to be...

Can anyone recognize what play this may be? Thanks.

  • How sure are you about Norway/Nordic? I never heard anything about the Norwegians putting up much resistance to the Nazis, but the Greeks for instance fought fiercely even in villages that were already occupied.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 10:19
  • @Rand al'Thor: The Norwegian resistance did sabotage the Vermork heavy water plant, in an attempt to keep the Germans from building nuclear bombs. I don't know whether they put up much resistance in ordinary villages, though.
    – Peter Shor
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 17:07
  • @PeterShor Apparently this very play/book was written during the war as an attempt to encourage more ordinary people in occupied countries like Norway to put up resistance :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


Probably The Moon is Down, a 1942 novel by John Steinbeck which was also adapted for the stage. The novel never explicitly states the nationality of either the invading force or the occupied country, but from context it's clearly Nazi Germany and probably Norway. (The Norwegian king-in-exile attended the London premiere of the play.) It's interesting to realise that this was written during WW2 itself: it was more than just a moving story; it was actually intended to encourage revolt against Nazi occupiers in real time!

From Wikipedia's plot summary:

Taken by surprise, a small coastal town is overrun by an invading army with little resistance. [...] As the reality of occupation sinks in and the weather turns bleak, with the snows beginning earlier than usual, the "simple, peaceful people" of the town are angry and confused. Colonel Lanser, a veteran of many wars, tries to operate under a veil of civility and law, but in his heart he knows that "there are no peaceful people" amongst those whose freedom has been taken away by force. [...] Sections of the railroad linking the port with the mine get damaged regularly, the machinery breaks down often, and the dynamo of the electricity generators gets short circuited. Whenever a soldier relaxes his guard, drinks or goes out with a woman, he is killed.

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