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Lotte's story

Rationing

Photograph of young Lotte There have been several questions what rationing was like during the war years in Austria and I am trying to recall as much as possible. Please keep in mind that I was only six years old when the war started.

Rationing in Austria I believe started in 1940. Just about all food stuffs where available only with coupons listed in ones ration books. There were some differences depending if it was for a child or adult. There were also differences for adults, my father who was a scaffold rigger foreman was eligible for a bigger meat ration as he was classified as a Schwerarbeiter, a man who did heavy work. Sugar was rationed but there was also a coupon for jam or sugar as well.

Children would get extra milk ( a half pint) at school. I remember that my mother would swap her and the childrens meat coupons for bread coupons. With the extra bread she would cook dumplings which were much more filling than meat.

One could not go just to any shop. For example one had to go to the same green grocer and if he was sold out you could not take your custom to another one.

There was never enough to eat and to my shame I remember that when we went into the comunal cellar during an air raid my mother would take our weekly rations along, after an hour or so I would feel bored (you couldnt move around and had to sit still) and one of my ploys was to ask for something to eat. My mother would reply that what she had in her bags was for tonight, tomorrow etc. and I would say what's the good of that if a bomb hits us and I am dead and all that food wasted. I know that it is stupid but I still cringe when I think about it.

Clothing was also rationed, I am sorry I do not remember a lot about this aspect. All I remember was that for shoes there were first and second class coupons.

Families with several children were eligible for extra money (Kinderbeihilfe) but my family was not eligible because of the Jewish background.

There was also a one off payment if a family member was conscripted to join the army. My oldest brother turned eighteen in 1940 and was straightaway conscripted. My mother received app. 80 Marks but we had to pay it back when a neigbour reported to the Nazi Party that my great grandparents had been Jews. They kept my brother in the army but they sure asked for their money back.

Rationing in Austria stopped during 1949-1950.

Lotte Evans

Lotte has written other stories about her childhood :

Lotte is a member of the MEMORIES Panel of Elders. You can click here to write to her.


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