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Postwar Food Rumors: Security, Victimhood and Fear

  • Laura J. Hilton
Chapter

Abstract

Laura J. Hilton’s chapter examines the perceptions and reality of German wartime and postwar hunger and food scarcity. Hilton’s chapter demonstrates the centrality of food in the postwar rumor culture, as Germans questioned its origins, purity, costs, the rationing system and the black market. Rumors revealed how Germans re-remembered their past. They downplayed wartime food shortages and magnified the postwar scarcities, while displacing responsibility for them onto outsiders. They then linked post-1948 food stability with the resumption of control over their own economy. By constructing narratives that re-centered the responsibility for food shortages to non-Germans and created alternative explanations for deprivations, Germans sought to re-establish both their sense of self and control over their country, cementing their victimhood in the wake of the Second World War.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura J. Hilton
    • 1
  1. 1.Muskingum UniversityNew ConcordUSA

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