Societies under Occupation in World War II: Supply, Shortage, Hunger

The exploitation of the occupied territories was a fundamental objective of the National Socialist policy of expansion and conquest in the Second World War. This history has thus far been written above all as economic macrohistory or in relation to the exploitation of workers in the context of forced labour. A third strand, within a field of perpetrator-centred historiography, is research on the so-called hunger plan, according to which the Wehrmacht in the occupied Soviet Union was to be fed “from the land” and “surpluses” of food were to be transported to the German Reich. To this end, the starvation of the local populations under occupation was a willingly accepted consequence. Those who were seen by the occupiers as “useless eaters” – often women, children, the sick and the elderly, but also incarcerated prisoners of war and large parts of the Jewish population – faced extremely poor survival odds.

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Zum Auftakt der Tagung gab es eine Szenische Lesung: „Es gibt nicht genug Kartoffeln, es gibt nur Hunger“

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