Hongerwinter-Hunger winter.

honger 1

In September 1944 most of the southern part of the Netherlands had been liberated, Unfortunately the rest of the country faced a very harsh  winter. Extreme cold combined with lack of food resulted in a famine, causing the death of about 20,000 citizens.

Dutch railway workers had gone on strike hoping to help the allied forces to advance. Alas the British led allied campaign called Operation Market Garden failed.The Nazis retaliated by blocking food supplies.

The effects of the famine is still felt more then 7 decades after it ended. One famous example of someone who suffered with the effects of the hunger winter for the rest of her life is Audrey Hepburn.She spent her childhood in the Netherlands during the hunger winter and although she would become a very successful actress who accumulated quite some wealth in her later years,  she had lifelong negative medical conditions as a result of the famine . She suffered from anemia, respiratory illnesses, and edema.


Babied born from women who were pregnant during the famine would often be a few pounds heavier then the average.Their death rate would also be be higher then those who had been been in utero before or after the famine.

Below are some impression of the hunger winter 1944/45.

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hunger 3

hunger 4

hunger 5

hunger 6


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New York Times



  1. The objective of the Allies was not liberation of (Western-)Europe or (part of) countries, but Victory on Germany, nothing less (Eisenhower, 5 June 1944; Churchill: V for Victory). Operation Market Garden has nothing to do with the hunger winter. Its opjective was establishing a strong bridgehead between Arnhem and The IJsselmeer. Nothing more.


  2. You write: In September 1944 most of the southern part of The Netherlands had been liberated. (had been cleared of Germans). You write: Operation Market Garden failed. The Nazis retaliated by blocking food supplies.


      1. I understand what you want to say.
        I’m from Province Limburg, and the south wasn’ t liberated.
        What I mean, for Limburg Stout-Limburg was, but Middle- and North-Limburg became Frontline.
        The Maas became the division between the allied in the west and Germans on the east-side.

        My hometown became for instance Frontline, like several other in the province.
        Every road, house village was intense fighting. This went on through the winter of 1944/1945
        There is a lot more to tell but in the context of your post it goes to far.

        May I compliment for you respectfully giving a face, a name, a live to those being murdered in the Holocaust.

        History that is hardly known in the west of the Netherlands.


  3. The Allies destructed German troops. Some people saw that as liberation except in Germany. Correct is that the Germans did retaliate on the railway strike.


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