- The Hunger Winter
- Fighting famine in the occupied Netherlands, 1944-1945
- Award date
- 23 February 2018
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)
This thesis investigates political and social responses to the Dutch famine, popularly known as the “Hunger Winter” of 1944-45, which occurred in the western Netherlands during the final months of the German occupation. In their review of responses to the food shortage, previous studies on the Hunger Winter have generally only considered the role of the state and those of self-serving individuals. I argue that this orthodox view on food provisioning has overlooked vital forms of societal resilience – actions that played a decisive role in the course and impact of the famine. To correct this myopic view, this study takes into account a wider range of responses: investigating state institutions, households, and communities. By revealing the interactions between various levels and actors – as well as the effectiveness of their efforts – this is the first attempt to fully document the socio-political context of the Dutch famine. Likewise, this thesis examines the broader question of how a modern society with a highly developed economy such as the Netherlands coped with food shortage and famine. By taking a wider comparative view, this thesis identifies similarities and differences between the Dutch famine and other food crises that occurred in Nazi-occupied Europe, simultaneously offering a new perspective on one of the most infamous episodes in modern Dutch history.
- Please note that the cover and the section 'Map of the Netherlands’ are not included in the full thesis download.
Thesis (Embargo up to and including 23 February 2023)
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