The first résistants to the new regime were a group of High School seniors of the Lycée de Nice, now Lycée Masséna [fr], in September 1940, later arrested and executed in 1944 near Castellane. The first public demonstrations occurred on 14 July 1942 when several hundred protesters took to the streets along the Avenue de la Victoire and in the Place Masséna. In November 1942 German troops moved into most of unoccupied France, but Italian troops moved into a smaller zone including Nice. A certain ambivalence remained among the population, many of whom were recent immigrants of Italian ancestry. However, the resistance gained momentum after the Italian surrender in 1943 when the German army occupied the former Italian zone. Reprisals intensified between December 1943 and July 1944, when many partisans were tortured and executed by the local Gestapo and the French Milice. Nice was also heavily bombarded by American aircraft in preparation for the Allied landing in Provence (1000 dead or wounded and more than 5600 people homeless) and famine ensued during summer 1944. American paratroopers entered the city on 30 August 1944 and Nice was finally liberated. The consequences of the war were heavy: the population decreased by 15% and economic life was totally disrupted.
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