The Wartime Networks: The Martha Rebbien Case

  • Malte Zierenberg
Part of the Worlds of Consumption book series (WC)


Early in the war, trading in the Berlin black market took place primarily in networks. Unlike late in the war or immediately afterward, people could not just visit an existing market and choose their partners from among those there at that time. Instead, they had to establish contacts and make arrangements to meet. This clandestine part of the Berlin barter culture, between 1939 and 1950, has long been overlooked by historians.1 And yet this phase was more than just a prologue. Rather, in this phase, manifold displacements both at the practical as well as at the discursive level occurred that make it an important part of urban bartering culture between the beginning of the war and the development of the economic societies of East and West Germany.


Urban Space Foreign Worker Business Transaction Black Market Train Station 
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© Malte Zierenberg 2015

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