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Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
(1945?)

Coal and food famine,   pp. 82-84 PDF (741.4 KB)


Page 83

The army is giving German civilians who work in the coal mines
2,000 calories of food per day, requiring them to eat at the mines.
Even then the men hide a portion of their food to take home to
their families; therefore, they are under-nourished and cannot
work.
General Draper went on to say that strange as it may seem,
80% of the German prewar production could be achieved in a
few months' time with repairs. While the factories look com-
pletely destroyed, much machinery is intact. For instance, the
Farben plant at Essen looks entirely destroyed and yet when
walking through it the other day, his engineers estimated that
80% of the machinery could be made operative shortly.
The railway bridges on the Rhine are all destroyed. The Army
needs railroads to move military food. The civilians are not get-
ting food or fuel in the large cities. The German people are now
under-rationed at about 1,000 to 1,250 calories a day. The winter
will be desperate. Germany must get food from the United States
to prevent starvation. Silesia, which formerly exported food
into western Germany, is now in the hands of the Russians and
no food will come from there.
Germany has a debt of 45,000,000,000 marks. Eighty percent
of the money in the banks was invested in Government war bonds.
Seventy-five or eighty percent of the production of Germany is
outside of the big cities. Only 5% of the factories are working.
The Germans are now depositing their money in their own banks.
Visited a U. S. civilian Deputy for Trade and Finance. He
was one of the few persons we met in our European travels who
could not or would not give us information. (The Army always
welcomes you and gives full access to any information requested
and at all times volunteers full information and examination of
their records.)
Dined a short distance from where we were quartered-the
former home of a German industrialist-as usual a splendid
"liberated" house set in charming gardens.
In the evening attended the opening of the Press Club and
talked to all the representatives of the various newspapers sta-
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