The Dutch famine of 1944, known as the Hongerwinter ("Hunger winter") in Dutch, was a famine that took place in the German-occupied part of the Netherlands, especially in the densely populated western provinces above the great rivers, during the winter of 1944-1945, near the end of World War II. A German blockade cut off food and fuel shipments from farm areas to punish the reluctance of the Dutch to aid the Nazi war effort. Some 4.5 million were affected and survived because of soup kitchens. About 22,000 died because of the famine. Most vulnerable according to the death reports were elderly men.
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“From the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
—Charles Darwin (18091882)
“Paradise endangered: garden snakes and mice are appearing in the shadowy corners of Dutch Old Master paintings.”
—Mason Cooley (b. 1927)