Until the last days
of the war the food supply was guaranteed, to some
With the occupation
of the western part of the country and the arrival of
the Red Army the supplement of the population with
agricultural commodities changed suddenly.
The farmers and
landowners from East Prussia, West Prussia, Pomerania,
East Brandenburg and Silesia had fled or were expelled.
The fields were not tilled, the remaining cattle were
starving in the stables in agony. What was still alive
was confiscated by the occupiers and slaughtered.
The Allies had
turned the center of all major German cities in ruins.
It was virtually everything destroyed. Mills, dairies,
bakeries, slaughterhouses, food processing plants, all
wholesale and retail businesses - everything was razed
to the ground. The professionals of the food industry,
the butchers, the bakers, the traders were in prison
camps, had been killed or were missing.
While the food
became less and less available, the population grew by
additional millions of refugees and displaced persons
from the Eastern territories.
humanitarian ideas of George Marshall gathered ground,
the occupiers were dominated by the hatred and prejudice
of Henry Morgenthau who wanted Germany virtually wiped
out completely as an industrial nation. This attitude
meant that the U.S. Military Governor, Clay, refused the
Red Cross to distribute two large food supplies for
German civilians. His original comment: "The Germans
historian James Bacque came to the conclusion, based on
analysis of the Moscow NKVD files and Allied sources,
that five million German civilians were killed after the war in
the Allied occupation zones due to malnutrition.
By their attacks the
Allies not only crippled the food supply but they
destroyed the entire energy supply and infrastructure of
railways, bridges, stations, switchyards, locomotives,
wagons, trucks and ships, everything was bombed.
Dams, water plants,
heating plants, power plants, substations, transmission
lines, power lines, transformer stations were
The people huddled
in shacks, tin huts, ruins and draughty cellar holes.
And then came a very cold winter with Siberian
While the people
starved and froze, all important raw materials and fuels,
such as iron, wood and coal were transported abroad and
the factories were looted. The remaining, still working,
machinery was removed and carried away.
In the ruins there
was practically nothing more combustible, the fire
storms had charred everything. The hospitals in the
inner cities were bombed, likewise the drug companies
and pharmacies. The people - especially the elderly,
sick and weak - died from malnutrition, dehydration,
hypothermia and deficiency diseases. Due to lack of
medication, depressing overcrowding and insufficient
hygiene facilities tuberculosis, typhoid fever, rickets
and diphteria took their toll. People were infested with
parasites such as worms, lice and itch mite.
Especially many old
or ill people suffered a vicious death from freezing.
Worn down, hungry and exhausted, they fell asleep in
their unheated, cold homes - and never woke up.