'Die koren onthoudt, wordt gevloekt onder het volk...'. De zwarte markt in voedingswaren 1940-1948


  • H.A.M. Klemann




Black market, Second World War


The Black Market in Food Stuffs (1940-1948)

In this article on the black market during the German occupation of the Netherlands and the first few years following it, it becomes clear that market production only started in 1941 and accounted for approximately 20% of annual agrarian production from 1942 until 1948. The big exception was 1944 and 1945, when famine swept over the area of the country that was still occupied. During this time, black market production was not only up to 40% but the nature of the production also changed. Until 1943, luxury products had been sold. In 1944 and 1945 this changed to potatoes, corn and even sugar beet. When one reconstructs the series of tables on the cost of living at the time, including black market prices and the real wages that resulted from these, it becomes apparent that up to 1943 the real income of wage earners dropped dramatically by 40% compared to 1939, however in 1944 and 1945 the index number (1939 = 100) dropped even further to as little as 32 and 24. It was only by exchanging shoes, clothing, jewellery and furniture that the starving population of the urbanised western part of the country was able to survive. Farmers, on the other hand, earned a lot from it.


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How to Cite

Klemann, H. (2000). ’Die koren onthoudt, wordt gevloekt onder het volk.’. De zwarte markt in voedingswaren 1940-1948. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 115(4), 532–560. https://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.5341