Advertisement

Food, Drink and Hunger for World War I German Soldiers

  • Heather Merle Benbow
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter explores the importance of food, drink and hunger in interpersonal interactions for German soldiers in World War I. Benbow argues that food enables, shapes and disrupts interpersonal relationships during the conflict. Drawing on army newspapers, soldier memoirs, letters and censorship reports, Benbow observes how food drink could be a comforting, consoling element of the wartime experience. The experience of hunger and deprivation, however, threatened comradely bonds. Similarly, food and drink could poignantly evoke the connections between home and fighting fronts. However, dissatisfaction due to homefront hunger made soldiers question why they were fighting. While food frequently had the potential to forge and disrupt interpersonal connections, Benbow suggests, it also attained new and threatening meanings in the context of war.

Bibliography

  1. Barthes, Roland. “Toward a Psychosociology of Food Consumption.” In Food and Drink in History, edited by Robert Forster and Orest Ranum, 166–173. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979.Google Scholar
  2. Crouthamel, Jason. “Cross-Dressing for the Fatherland: Sexual Humour, Masculinity and German Soldiers in the First World War.” First World War Studies 2, no. 2 (1 October 2011): 195–215.  https://doi.org/10.1080/19475020.2011.613240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cwiertka, Katarzyna J. “Sustaining and Comforting the Troops in the Pacific War.” In Food in Zones of Conflict: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives, edited by Paul Collinson and Helen Macbeth, 133–144. New York, NY, US: Berghahn Books, Incorporated, 2014. http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/unimelb/detail.action?docID=1644362.
  4. Davis, Belinda J. Home Fires Burning: Food, Politics, and Everyday Life in World War I Berlin. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000. Accessed November 28, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.Google Scholar
  5. Die Sappe: 1. Bataillon, 19. Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment No 7 – 1. Januar 1916 (in Colmar gedruckt). http://w1.bnu.fr/journauxtranchees/DieSappe.aspx.
  6. Die Sappe: No. 19 – 20. Februar 1917 [Rumänien, gedruckt in Brasov-Kronstadt].Google Scholar
  7. Douglas, Mary. “Deciphering a Meal.” In Food and Culture: A Reader, edited by Carole Counihan and Penny Van Esterik, 36–54. New York: Routledge, 1997.Google Scholar
  8. Duden, Barbara. “Das schöne Eigentum: zur Herausbildung des bürgerlichen Frauenbildes an der Wende vom 18. Zum 19. Jahrhundert.” Kursbuch 47 (1977): 125–142.Google Scholar
  9. Duffett, Rachel. The Stomach for Fighting. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015.Google Scholar
  10. Ebert, Jens, ed. Vom Augusterlebnis zur Novemberrevolution: Briefe aus dem Weltkrieg 1914–1918. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2014.Google Scholar
  11. Feltman, Brian K. The Stigma of Surrender: German Prisoners, British Captors, and Manhood in the Great War and Beyond. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gibson, Craig. Behind the Front: British Soldiers and French Civilians, 1914–1918. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hamlin, David. “The Fruits of Occupation: Food and Germany’s Occupation of Romania in the First World War.” First World War Studies 4, no. 1 (1 March 2013): 81–95.  https://doi.org/10.1080/19475020.2012.761389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Healy, Maureen. Vienna and the Fall of the Habsburg Empire: Total War and Everyday Life in World War I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  15. Jünger, Ernst. In Stahlgewittern. Aus Dem Tagebuch Eines Stoßtruppführers. Berlin: E. S. Mittler & Sohn, 1922. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/34099/34099-h/34099-h.htm.
  16. ———. Storms of Steel. Translated by Michael Hoffmann. London: Penguin Books, 2003.Google Scholar
  17. Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1966. “The Culinary Triangle.” Translated by Peter Brooks. The Partisan Review 33: 586–596.Google Scholar
  18. Lipp, Anne. Meinungslenkung im Krieg: Kriegserfahrungen deutscher Soldaten und ihre Deutung, 1914–1918. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nelson, Robert L. German Soldier Newspapers of the First World War. Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.Google Scholar
  20. Remarque, Erich Maria. Im Westen Nichts Neues. Berlin: Propylän Verlag, 1929. https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.168305.
  21. ———. All Quiet on the Western Front. Lodi, NJ: Everbind Anthologies, 2011.Google Scholar
  22. Roper, Michael. The Secret Battle: Emotional Survival in the Great War. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009.Google Scholar
  23. Scheddin, Ernst. „Die leere Konservenbuechse bei uns als Universum.“ In Die Wacht im Westen/Somme-Wacht: Kriegszeitung d. 1. Armee — 1917 (Januar–Mai), Nr. 21. Heidelberg University Library.  https://doi.org/10.11588/diglit.2832%230187.
  24. Spengler, Wilhelm. Wir Waren Drei Kameraden: Kriegserlebnisse. Freiburg i.B.: Herder, 1917. http://digital.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/werkansicht?PPN=PPN734553889&PHYSID=PHYS_0008&DMDID=DMDLOG_0001&view=fulltext-endless.
  25. Tannenbaum, Eugen, ed. Kriegsbriefe deutscher und österreichischer Juden. Berlin: Neuer Verlag, 1915. http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/freimann/content/titleinfo/1921612.
  26. Teuteberg, Hans-Jürgen. “Food Provisioning on the German Home Front, 1914–1918.” In Food and War in Twentieth Century Europe, edited by Rachel Dufet, Alain Drouard, and Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska, 57–59. Farnham: Ashgate, 2011.Google Scholar
  27. Ulrich, Bernd. Die Augenzeugen: deutsche Feldpostbriefe in Kriegs- und Nachkriegszeit 1914–1933. Essen: Klartext, 1997.Google Scholar
  28. Ulrich, Bernd, and Benjamin Ziemann, eds. Krieg im Frieden: Die umkämpfte Erinnerung: Quellen und Dokumente. Frankfurt/Main: Fischer, 1997.Google Scholar
  29. Vincent, C. Paul. The Politics of Hunger: The Allied Blockade of Germany, 1915–1919. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1985.Google Scholar
  30. Weinreb, Alice. Modern Hungers: Food and Power in Twentieth-Century Germany. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.  https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190605094.001.0001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Witkop, Philipp, ed. Kriegsbriefe gefallener Studenten. Munich: Albert Langen, 1928.Google Scholar
  32. Ziemann, Benjamin. War Experiences in Rural Germany: 1914–1923. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2006. http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/unimelb/detail.action?docID=487187.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather Merle Benbow
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations