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Radios were forbidden so islanders were utterly isolated, only hearing about the progress of the war as it was filtered through Nazi propaganda.How the island leaders reacted to Nazi rule is one of the highly sensitive topics surrounding these years and some details are damning.He was sent abusive and threatening letters with one warning Nettles never to set foot on the Channel Islands again.Nettles says that filming the documentary "was a highly interesting experience but it was also quite a traumatic one."The islanders didn't like the way we talked about the resistance, didn't like the way we talked about the collaboration or allegations of it and they didn't like the way we talked about the treatment of the Jews by the administration of the islands."Now Nettles, 69, is talking about these issues some more having spent the intervening years researching a book that would enable him to "tell in much more detail the true story of those extraordinary years".
Part of Nettles's intention is to overturn a popular myth that for those who remained on the islands the ensuing five-year occupation "was a rather gentle, even benign affair".
Although the island leaders did not know why the lists were required they ultimately allowed the Germans to round up thousands of people who they then sent to concentration and death camps.
It also allowed the Nazis to identify Jewish residents."The Jewish question in the Channel Islands is one of the most difficult to address," says Nettles.
It was an act of brave selflessness during a time which, says Nettles, will continue to be the subject of "heated argument and impassioned debate".
The Institute of Law was founded to provide a focus for academic study and professional education in Jersey and Guernsey law and to nurture the legal heritage of the Channel Islands.