söndag 11 maj 2014

Military Memories - The Home Front; rations

Even though Sweden did not actively take part in the second world war and was not invaded it did feel the consequences. Every man who was healthy, not too old and had gone through basic military training were stationed somewhere in Sweden. Some fought with the Finns, some deserted to join the Germans and some to join the communists.

Sweden's trade with Great Britain, the USA and Latin America was greatly affected which made trade with the continent much more important. All and all trade with other countries decreased by half during the yars between 1940 and 1945.

Since many men had been called in to the military the Swedish farms could not produce as much as they had. This ment that there was a great shortage in food and Ration stamps were introduced as soon as the war broke out. Coffe, tea, sugar, cocao, flour, bread, pork, cheese, rice, food fat, candles, meats, cream, tobacco, salt, eggs, and a lot more were rationed. A visit to a restaurant needed stamps, as well as buying shoes and some textiles. Books and tips on how to make food last longer and how to reuse things became very popular.

It was, however, easier for people living on the country side than in the larger towns. They could much easier get fresh vegetables and meat without food stamps. My morfar, paternal grandfather, was stationed in Skåne, inte the south of Sweden, and his fondest memory of that time was when the matron on the farm where they were stationed invited them in for dinner one time. It was probably the only time during the war when he got well cooked food and could eat until he was full.

Ration stamps for coffe and tea.


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