VOEDINGSMIDDELEN - "foodstuffs" – A complete table of food ration coupons from Nazi occupied Netherlands, October – November 1944 – the period of the “Dutch famine” towards the end of World War II.
A complete set of food ration coupons for bread, potatoes, butter, meat and “general”. The reason this food coupon table was preserved in whole and without use is that these were the “famine months” when shops in the Netherlands were empty and even basic food items could not be purchased. Already in September that year the Nazis had completed the deportation of 107,000 Dutch Jews to the camps (of which only about 5,000 survived). In October the final transports of Dutch Jews took place, leaving the country almost completely devoid of its Jewish residents.
The Dutch famine in the winter of 1944-1945, also known as the Hongerwinter (Hunger winter) in Dutch, was a period of mass starvation at the end of World War II in Nazi-occupied Netherland, especially in the densely populated western provinces. A German punitive measure restricting movement in the country led to a state of malnutrition. A population of about 4.5 million people was reduced to starvation and survived with the help of soup kitchens. Shortages of fuel, electricity and heating worsened the distress. The number of direct famine deaths was about 18,000 people.
Food supplies in the cities in the western part of the country quickly ran out. The allotted food ration per person in cities like Amsterdam dropped to less than 1,000 calories a day by late November 1944 to 580 calories a day by late February 1945. Butter rations as part of the allotments disappeared in October 1944. The allotment of vegetable oils was reduced to a negligible 1.3 liters per person over a period of 7 months. 100 grams of cheese were allotted per person every two weeks. Meat ration coupons became worthless. Bread rations dropped from 2,200 grams per week to 1,000 grams per week in October 1944, and by April 1945 – to 400 grams per week. This ration together with a kilogram of potatoes constituted the food quota per person for an entire week. Food also ran out on the black market. Residents were entitled to receive in soup kitchens, in exchange for food coupons, potato peel soup, with long queues gathering at their doors in the cold winter conditions.
The famine ended with the liberation of all of the Netherlands from German occupation in May 1945. Shortly before that, the German government had agreed to Allied airdrops of food to the areas it occupied, in two operations carried out in late April and early May. Immediately afterwards, food was also trucked into the German-occupied area of the Netherlands by the Allies.
Complete table with 164 coupons. Very good condition.