Life in wartime Germany

The Nazi party were still celebrating the purity and superiority of the German race, even if life for the average German was taking a turn for the worse.

The effects of the wartime economy were starting to make themselves felt in German households. Food was becoming a source of discontent just as it was in Britain. Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen fancied himself as something of an aristocrat and was very anti Nazi. His perspective was particularly jaundiced, and perhaps somewhat exaggerated in this diary entry for September 1941:

The plebes are feeling the full fury of a German food industry gone chemical-crazy. Sugar is now made out of fir-wood pulp, sausage out of beech-wood pulp, and the beer is a stinking brew made of whey. Yeast is made out of a chemical, and marmalade is coloured to fool people into thinking it is the real thing.

The same for butter, except that the colouring matter here also contains a vile and indigestible substance poisonous to the liver and doubtless responsible for the biliousness so common today. Everyone’s eyes are yellow, and if I am to believe friends of mine who are doctors, the incidence of cancer has doubled in the last four years.

The consequences of all this are already beginning to apparent. As a result of the fermentation and gas resulting from pulpy, clayey bread, the air in the cafes is pestilential. No one even bothers anymore to hold back his wind.

As a result of this systematic poisoning of the blood, people go about with boils and abscesses and their body liquids are fouled. The daily hunt for immediate necessities and envy of one’s darling neighbours have combined to produce a nastiness, and a slackness in behaviour, such as would have been impossible even a short time ago.

See Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen: Diary of a Man in Despair

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