The Hunger Winter

755 Words4 Pages
At the outbreak of World War II, the Netherlands again declared its neutrality. However, Nazi Germany ignored this and German forces invaded the country on May 10, 1940. Aided by Dutch collaborationists, the Germans set up an occupation regime. Little did they know how horrific this war would affect all the Netherlands' people. Despite valiant efforts made on the part of the Dutch military, the Netherlands fell to the Germans after only five days of fighting. Even after the invasion, many citizens proclaimed their opposition to the Nazi regime openly. More than 50% of the Dutch Jewish population was sent off. For the only reason of pleasing the mind of one German operate. The Germans began by registering all of the Jews, which in the Netherlands seemed common. This slowly changed when the Jews were being sent off to labor camps. Out of the 200,000 Dutch who died in the war, 100,000 were Jewish.

Next, the war went on for the next five years. Then the Netherlands received what they have been waiting for, the news that the war is finally over. The allies were able to liberate most of the Netherlands with the exception of the West. They were only able to liberate the South because they had to stay behind the rivers until spring. The final attempt at liberating all of the Netherlands, called Operation Market Garden, failed. That left the west still occupied by Germany. At this time, the government in exile called upon the men of the Dutch railways to go on strike. At this time, this decision would have been best. It was the only way they could try to stop the Germans. The Dutch men who did this were remarkably brave. By refusing now to run their trains, it would make it difficult for the Germans to transport both troops and supplies, thus greatly undermining their strength in occupied Netherlands. Nevertheless, to go on strike would expose the train workers to great danger. The Germans announced they would execute anyone helping the allies. In response to this, the Germans cut off the food and warm clothing supply. The food supply all throughout the Netherlands during the war already had to be rationed. This meant the food supply had to be rationed tremendously.

In addition, the winter alone of 1944/1945 would be incredibly harsh. The allotment of food was less then 1000 calories a person per day.
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