Publication: Dundee Courier

Full Citation

  • Title Germany's Food Problem
  • Publication Title Dundee Courier
  • Collection Dundee Courier
  • Date Monday,  Sept. 10, 1945
  • Issue Number 28789
  • Page Number 2
  • Place of Publication Dundee, Scotland
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library British Library
GERMANY'S FOOD PROBLEM Bunbec Courier and Ebvertiser DUNDEE MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 1945 German rations in the British, American, and French zones of occupation are to be increased, says Luxemburg radio, through bigger deliveries of wheat from Allied countries. The subject of Germany's food supply will inevitably come before this week's" session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, whose £ver-expand- ing agenda includes administration problems that have arisen since the Potsdam conference. Meanwhile reports of the most dismal kind come from Germany in a steady stream—food scarce, and becoming scarcer; millions of home- less wanderers; economic system in chaos, with cigarettes the leading currency; epidemic disease and death. Most of the stories are - based on observation in the big cities. Condi- tions in the countryside are probably less severe. Nevertheless, the overall picture is grim, and the outlook for the winter far worse. Already there is a tendency, not confined to Germans, to expect the Allies to stave off the economic dis- aster which the Germans have brought upon themselves. Britain, whose own rations have been cut to the lowest limit of safety, will have to take care it is not cajoled into penalising itself for the sake of the least deserving race in Europe. There is a double attack on the emotions. The appeal to pity is coupled with the incitement of fear. Should the Allies fail to succour the Germans —so runs the argument— there will be kindled a fury of hate and resentment that will smoulder for years, to burst eventually-into the full flame of another was, more terrible than the last. In other words, the victors already have a German pistol pointed at their heads. It is noteworthy that in the whole of Europe, where hunger and distress are rampant, there is no other instance where they are looked upon as potential causes of future aggression. Germany's reputation outlives her de'eat. The world has had enough of that. It must be made clear that the United Nations are not to be blackmailed, and that the argument of fear, far from bringing succour to Germany, could be validly used to inflict on her even greater deprivations, lest she regain her strength to strike. The appeal to pity, from all accounts, will have little effect on the Poles or Czechs. It must be admitted, however, it is calculated to sway the unvindictive British, with whom the handshake after a fight has become almost a fetish. It is necessary, therefore, to keep in mind that Germany, who received mercy in 1918 and repaid in chicanery and violence, is no honourable opponent. She is guilty of the attempted murder of Britain as a nation and of the murder of Britons, including women and children, as individuals. Moreover, the distress that may spread over the enemy's country in the winter —one winter only —can never equal the colossal misery she has caused for years in other lands, and is still causing. Nor can her death-roll equal the lives she destroyed, in many cases in a deliberate policy of extermination. Be it remembered also that the same Germans, if by some evil turn of events the power were placed in their hands to-day or to-morrow, would strike again, and there is no country they would rend with more savage delight than Britain. There is an active " underground." In dealing with Germans one has to beware of pity. The forthcoming trials of the leading war criminals and Belsen torturers may be a useful corrective to any appeal to help the Germans from motives of sympathy. 4 There remains one possible reason for extending some relief — the presence of our troops. Their task of restoring orderly administration would be rendered doubly difficult if they had to work amid starvation. Their own health might suffer from the conditions around them. To that extent something may have to bfe done to alleviate the worst distress, and it is possible the increase in wheat sup- plies now announced has some such basis. The amount so far is not specified. Whatever has been done, and what- ever programme is drawn up, should be placed frankly before the British public, which is in no mood for further sacrifices.