Small box of potatoes

Small box of potatoes sent to the Bontekoe family. Daughter Anneke can still clearly remember the hunger. 'Fortunately our relatives in Groningen occasionally sent us boxes of potatoes by post. We had heard that you could save up the peels, take them to the farmers and trade them for milk for example. But when my father went to a farmer with the peels, the farmer claimed they were rotten.' Back to highlights

Food shortages
In response to the railway strike, food transports to the western Netherlands were banned. After six weeks the ban was withdrawn, but the supply remained frozen because of the dismantled railway network and the German requisitioning of goods. During the harsh winter of 1944/45 there were severe food shortages in the cities.

The transport of coal from the liberated south also ceased. Gas and electricity were shut off. People chopped down trees and dismantled empty houses to get fuel.

The amount of food available on ration dropped steadily. City dwellers went on hunger expeditions to the countryside. They traded their valuables with the farmers for food. More than 20,000 people died of starvation.