Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

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Simon K
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Re: Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

Post by Simon K » 11 Sep 2008 09:21

Thanks for clarifying the thread.

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Re: Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

Post by David Thompson » 30 Sep 2008 21:41

For an overview of the food situation in Nazi-occupied Europe during WWII, see the charts at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 09#p754309

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Re: Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

Post by Karl » 10 Nov 2009 13:16

is this about what was supposed to happen or about what really happened.

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Re: Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

Post by D.Verfasser » 10 Nov 2009 16:37

phylo_roadking wrote: Some animals were sold by farmers into the system "butchered" - like pigs. However - sheep (lamb) and beef cattle were SOLD by the farmer "on the hoof" at local auction, and free market pricing applied, there was no price capping. They could be sold - and bought at auction - for further fattening and THEN sent on to slaughter...at which point the entered the system etc. etc., or bought for slaughter at that initial auction.

THIS is why meat entering the various national ration systems was accounted for in "carcasses" - this was the first point at which they entered into the accounting system, on slaughter.
This was a fascinating post.

To pick up where this post left off, I have read of accounts of German farmers arriving in Berlin with suitcases stuffed full of meat. This meat was destined for the black market. If they traveled during the winter, they could have transported raw meat. As a trained chef, I cannot help but wonder what they did with this meat in warmer weather. Hot weather would have subjected the meat to rapid spoiling.

I am only speculating at this point, but it seems to me that if most rural farmers knew how to butcher meat, surely the housewives (or even the farmers themselves), knew how to make sausage. From a food safety viewpoint with regards to the dangers of food spoilage, it would have been much safer to transport meat as dried cured sausage.

Sadly, this sausage could not have been made overnight. The process of curing sausage isn't terribly difficult. The sausage is fermented at 90F, preferably overnight in a smoke house. It is then smoked at 100F for 5 hrs before being dried at 60F until it is 75% of its original "green" weight. Drying time for sausage would have taken 35-65 days depending upon the thickness of the product.

On the brighter side, a product that could keep for several months would have been much more valuable from a food storage viewpoint than fresh raw meat.

As a side note, I will also mention the fact that one of the characteristics of aging salami is that the skin develops a layer of white mold.The use of mold in food production is not uncommon. Mold has long been used in the production of blue cheese. Blue cheese. Penicillium roqueforti is used to develop the characteristic blue veins as well as its characteristic taste. In Europe, mold starters are actually used in the production of salami. After stuffing the meat, salami casings are sprayed or dipped in this mold culture before being hung for fermentation. Part of a salami's flavor actually comes from decomposing lactic acid.

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Re: Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

Post by ljadw » 10 Nov 2009 17:43

Even to day,a lot of people are keeping pigs and kill them in november (in the war there were people living in flats,who were keeping pigs );the benefit of a pig is that it eats all,and there is no waste;you can eat all pats of a pig .
Food savety ? during the war ,it did not exisi . In 1941 in the summer,people in Belgium had a righton on a certain quantity of herring;the distribution was done by the municipality on the market place and people were doying the queue ;the herrings layed on earth and some smelled already,but no one refused a herring .and of the head and the fish-bones they made soup .

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Re: Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

Post by Annelie » 10 Nov 2009 18:00

Recycling and rationing in wartime Germany.
Walter Felscher (walter.felscher@UNI-TUEBINGEN.DE)
Mon, 27 Jan 1997 19:19:57 +0100

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Recycling in Germany began to be officially encouraged
already in the years before the war, connected with the
successive "Vierjahresplaene", aiming at the enforced
development of industries useful for war. The purpose of
recycling was to save money, otherwise spent upon imports
of raw materials - the German currency was not convertible.

In the first line, what was collected were used metals, and
not only iron but, particularly, rarer metals such as
copper. Old clothes were collected for their fibre, meat
bones (as purchased with meat from the butcher) were collected
to make soap from. I remember a verse, made as a parody upon
a song chanted by the girls from the BdM

Lumpen, Knochen, Eisen und Papier,
ausgeschlag'ne Zaehne sammeln wir,
Lumpen, Knochen, Eisen und Papier,
all' das sammeln wir.

At the same time, the public was encouraged to save on food
(action "Groschengrab", during the war then the analogous
action to save on charcoal "Kohlenklau"), to exercise
modesty [at least once a week families should eat
"Eintopfessen" - a meal which could be prepared by making
use of only one pot, e.g. vegetables (beans, coal) with
potatoes)], and generally the use of butter was discouraged
in favour of margarine; I remember the slogan "Kanonen statt
Butter", taken, presumably, from one of the speeches of
Goebbels or Göring.

Rationing began immediately with the war's outbreak in
September 1939. For every person, there were rationing
cards for

general foodstuffs (meal and its products such as nudles, sugar)
fats (butter, margarine, oil)
tobacco products ,

distributed, I think, every other month or so, and there was
an annual rationing card for clothes and shoes. The cards
were printed on strong paper, containing numerous small
("Marken") subdivisions imprinted with their value - from "5 g
Butter" to "100 g Butter" etc. Every acquisition of the
rationed goods required the appropriate "Marken", and
should you wish to eat a certain soup at a restaurant, the
waiter might take out a pair of scissors and cut off one of
your "5 g Butter" subdivisions - the required items and
amounts listed on the menu. In the evening, the shop-owner
would spend an hour at least, glueing the collected "Marken"
onto large sheets of paper which he had to hand in to the
appropriate authorities. - Charcoal for heating was
rationed by the household.

The amounts attributed under rationing were sufficient to
live from, but clearly did not permit luxuries. Whipped
cream became unknown from 1939 until 1948, as became
chocolates, cakes with rich cremes etc., and meat, of
course, could not be eaten every day. The amounts did
differ not only for children and grownups: people doing
physically exhausting work received cards with larger
attributions. Other items were not rationed, but simply
became unavailable as they would have had to been imported from
overseas: coffee in particular which throughout was replaced
by substitutes made from roasted grains. [An amusing
curiosity: also CocaCola had been imported before the war
(though children were told not to drink it as it was
considered not healthy), also that disappeared, and when ,
at about 1950, I drank it the first time again, it still had
precisely the same taste as more than ten years before.]

Not rationed were potatoes, vegetables and local fruit;
imported citrus fruits were rare. Bananas were, again,
unavailable. In more rural areas, farmers continued to bring
their products to the markets; large cities depended on long
distance delivery.

Beginning with 1939, automobiles required a special permit
to be driven, made noticeable by a bright red V-like angle
on their licence plate. Private cars did not obtain this
permit, except for a few physicians; delivery vans and
trucks received it, and they had no noticeable difficulty to
obtain the necessary gasoline (petrol). [Also, the better
private cars soon were confiscated by the military
authorities and reappeared as transportation for generals.]
Still, as the war proceeded, efforts were made to fuel
engines not with gasoline, but with the gas emanating from
glomming wood, and there appeared trucks with man-high
cylinders behind their cabins, being the kilns into which
the driver from time to time had to fill more woodchips.

Travel by rail was under no restrictions to the general
public. Resorts operated, and were frequented, as they had
been in peacetime - although after 1941 a number of pensions
and small hotels was set aside for use of the program named
KLV ("Kinder-Landverschickung"). This, at first, was
destined to provide organized, publicly financed vacations
for children from large industrial towns (Berlin, the
Ruhrgebiet), but by then the air raids spread, in larger
towns school was interrupted daily by retreating into
shelters, and so entire classes together with (some of)
their teachers were sent to resort villages, located in
non-industrial areas and unlikely to be the aims of bombing

There was no black market to speak of - if only because of
the utterly severy punishments distributed to "Volksschaedlinge".
Under-the-counter relations developed as described by
Mr.Holloway: having your shoe dealer sell you the rarer quality
shoes, instead of the sordid cheap ones, became a favour, applied
to those which could reciprocate with other - not necessarily
material - favours of their own.


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Re: Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

Post by D.Verfasser » 10 Nov 2009 23:44

ljadw wrote:Food savety ? during the war ,it did not exisi .
The concept of food safety as we know it in the modern Culinary Arts profession, only dates back to the 1990's.

Prior to WWII, Germany had a Pure Food Law that was enacted in 1901. The full text of this law may be found on page twenty at: http://ia350640.us.archive.org/0/items/ ... gerich.pdf

WWII essentially trampled over this law. I suspect the law in Germany was either repealed or allowed to expire but cannot find a supporting reference.

Examples of provisions that would have been difficult if not impossible to enforce especially with suppliers of the Black Market:

* Fresh meat must be imported in the entire body or in halves.
* Sausages which are treated with flour must be so marked as to indicate that fact (" Wurst mit Mehlzusats").
* The sale of eggs which are tainted or colored with injurious substances is forbidden.
* The manufacture and sale of foods and beverages containing artificial sweetening material (saccharin, dulcin, etc.), are prohibited.

In the United States, the first national pure food law wasn't enacted until 1906.

The purpose of Pure Food Laws in both Germany and the United States rose out of interest in the public safety. In the United States, adulterated or even fake food products were being sold to consumers using misleading labels. One of the more notorious products was "strawberry jam" that contained no strawberries! The company that produced it made this jam using apple scraps, glucose, coal tar dye, and timothy seeds. Some food processors used chemicals to deodorize rotten eggs or to "revive" rancid butter. American soldiers in the Spanish American War were made sick with beef that had been preserved with embalming fluid of all things.

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Re: Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

Post by Vikki » 11 Nov 2009 13:54

ljadw wrote:Even to day,a lot of people are keeping pigs and kill them in november (in the war there were people living in flats,who were keeping pigs );the benefit of a pig is that it eats all,and there is no waste;you can eat all pats of a pig .
In Germany there was an organized drive for collecting refuse for pig feed, sponsored by the NSV (Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt, the National Socialist People's Welfare organization). As an interesting piece of the material culture regarding this, see the photos below of the NSV's "mascot" for the collection, originally posted by Heimatschuss at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... &p=1381284

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Re: Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

Post by Matt Gibbs » 26 Nov 2011 09:54

That electric truck for collecting the waste material is fab.

There was a similar series of very short educational films in the UK, several of which relate to recycling materials, including kitchen scraps and bones. There is also a lovely series on the use of rationed goods and how to make things go further, called "Food Facts". They were put on at the cinema in between newsreels and film programmes. I assume they must have educated the german civilian population in the same way?

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Re: Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

Post by Matt Gibbs » 26 Nov 2011 10:53

I wonder, if along the lines of the coal hoarder, there were other cartoon type rationing related images? Britain had Potato Pete and Dr. Carrot for examples, along with a whole load of catchy phrases related to rationing.

Take care of your bread, its worth a lot of dough...etc ;)

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Re: Wartime Rationing in 3rd Reich

Post by Rivet » 09 Dec 2011 23:33

Out of curiosity, were alcoholic beverages rationed? Either fermented (beer, wine) or distilled (gin, schnapps, etc.)?
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