Germany in War: Life on the Home Front
During september 1939 WW2 broke out. To begin with the Nazi's had great sucsess carrying out their Blitzkrieg (lightning war) strategy, and by spring 1940 many parts of Europe were under Nazi control.
1939-1941: The war goes well for Germany
When war broke out in September 1939 the Germans prepared for their first winter at war.
Food rationing was introduced for many items, much more than in wartime Britain, as a result of this two out of five Germans ate better than before the war!
Clothes rationing was also introduced in November 1939, making some items (such as a winter coat or new shoes) impossible to buy.
Hot water and soap were also rationed.
Tobacco was difficult to find. People became so desperate for it that it became like a subtitute for money.
As Germany conqured more and more countries, food, as well as huge stocks of luxury goods, was imported back from those countries. These could be baught on the black market, if they had the money.
In June 1941 Hitler ordered the Invasion of Russia (the USSR), he was hoping for a lightning style victory, but instead became bogged down in a four-year battle. By the end of 1942 the war was going badly for Germany.
1941-1943: The tide turns for Germany
Massive Propaganda campains were launched at this time to keep morale up and to encourage people to support the war effort. Goebbles claimed that between December 1941 and January 1942 Germans gave 1.5 million fur coats and 67 million wollen garments to the army in Russia. Other campains were launched to urge people to save fuel, work harder and avoid tooth decay.
Extra food rations were given out…