The longer the war lasted, the more the daily lives of the civilian population were marked by restrictions, direct consequences of the war, but also by the increased willingness and capability of the NS regime to go in pursuit of all forms of 'deviation'. Poland, the Soviet Union, and the Balkans were subjected from the very beginning to a policy of exploitation and destruction unparalleled in its atrocity. It was not until the final years of the war that the terror reached its worst excesses in Western and Northern Europe and Italy. The military setbacks and the increasing successes of the partisan and resistance movements made it ever more difficult for the occupiers to maintain their domination. Nonetheless, until 1944 the Germans benefited greatly from Europe's labor and production potential.