By Lynne Taylor
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Additional info for Between Resistance and Collaboration: Popular Protest in Northern France, 1940–45
However, these foods were available to only select segments of the population, for whom new ration categories were created. Now the special ration categories included pregnant women, children and the very elderly. The new categories for children (ages 0–2 years, 2–3 years, 3–6 years, 6–13 years) were allocated special chocolate and sugar rations in October and in ensuing months. The very elderly (over 70 years) also received a special chocolate ration. 59 These new categories were effectively cate- Economic Reconstruction 37 gories for supplementary rations, intended to augment the diets of certain especially needy segments of the population.
In northern France, this policy refinement focused on the consumer sector of the economy for several reasons. The industrial sector had already been brought under effective control through the Warenstellen, and so required no further attention. On the other hand, the change in the war’s nature meant that the consumer sector had important ramifications for the industrial sector’s exploitation. Inefficiencies in any part of the economy decreased the amount the Germans could extract. Furthermore, now that the Germans were there for the long haul, the problems which had been developing in the consumer sector could no longer be ignored, for they threatened the peace of the region.
Shortfalls in supplies wors- 50 Between Resistance and Collaboration ened in the months preceding harvest time, as stocks of the previous year’s crops ran out. Further, shortages worsened over time, reaching disastrous levels by the winter of 1943–4. The chronic shortage of potatoes typified this pattern. Usually, the supply of potatoes began to run out in March of each year and the potato shortage then would remain severe until August, when the new crop was harvested. 17 This alternative was restricted, however, by shortages of bread flour and dried vegetables, and so could be used only sparingly.
Between Resistance and Collaboration: Popular Protest in Northern France, 1940–45 by Lynne Taylor