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Title: Hunger in war and peace : an analysis of the nutritional status of women and children in Germany, 1914-1924
Author: Cox, Mary Elisabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 2380
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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At the onset of the First World War, Germany was subject to a shipping embargo by the Allied forces. Ostensibly military in nature, the blockade prevented not only armaments but also food and fertilizers from entering Germany. The impact of this blockade on civilian populations has been debated ever since. Germans protested that the Allies had wielded hunger as a weapon against women and children with devastating results, a claim that was hotly denied by the Allies. The impact of what the Germans termed the 'Hungerblockade' on childhood nutrition can now be assessed using various anthropometric sources on school children, several of which are newly discovered. Statistical analysis reveals a grim truth: German children suffered severe malnutrition due to the blockade. Social class impacted risk of deprivation, with working-class children suffering the most. Surprisingly, they were the quickest to recover after the war. Their rescue was fuelled by massive food aid organized by the former enemies of Germany, and delivered cooperatively with both government and civil society. Children, and those who cared for them, responded to these acts of service with gratitude and joy. The ability of former belligerents to work together after an exceptionally bitter war to feed impoverished children may hold hope for the future.
Supervisor: Oxley, Deborah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Economic and Social History ; History of Britain and Europe ; History of childhood ; History of medicine ; History of War ; International,imperial and global history ; Social Inequality ; Health ; Living Standards ; First World War ; International Aid ; Economic History ; German History ; International History ; Childhood ; Women ; Anthropometrics