Allied-occupied Austria - Hunger


In 1947, the Austrian economy, including USIA enterprises, reached 61% of pre-war level, but it was disproportionately weak in consumer goods production (42% of pre-war level). Food remained the worst problem. The country, according to American reports, survived 1945 and 1946 on "a near-starvation diet" with daily rations remaining below 2000 calories until the end of 1947. 65% of Austrian agricultural output and nearly all oil was concentrated in the Soviet zone, complicating the Western Allies' task of feeding the population in their own zones.

From March 1946 to June 1947, 64% of these rations were provided by the UNRRA. Heating depended on supplies of German coal shipped by the U.S. on lax credit terms. Drought of 1946 further depressed farm output and hydroelectric power generation. Figl's government, the Chambers of Labor, Trade and Agriculture, and the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) temporarily resolved the crisis in favor of tight regulation of food and labor markets. Wage increases were limited and locked to commodity prices through annual price-wage agreements. The negotiations set a model of building consensus between elected and non-elected political elites that became the basis of post-war Austrian democracy, known as Austrian Social Partnership and Austro-corporatism.

The severe winter of 1946–1947 was followed by the disastrous summer of 1947, when potato harvest barely made 30% of pre-war output. Food shortages of 1947 were aggravated by the withdrawal of UNRRA aid, the spiraling inflation and the demoralizing failure of State Treaty talks. In April 1947, the government was unable to distribute any rations at all, and on May 5 Vienna was shaken by a violent food riot. Unlike earlier popular protests, this time the demonstrators, led by the Communists, called to curb the westernization of Austrian politics. In August, food riot in Bad Ischl turned into a pogrom of local Jews. In November, food shortage sparked workers' strikes in British-occupied Styria. Figl's government declared that the food riots were a failed communist putsch, although later historians refuted this statement as an exaggeration.

In June 1947, the month when the UNRRA stopped shipments of food to Austria, the extent of the food crisis compelled the U.S. government to issue 300 million dollars in food aid. In the same month Austria was invited to discuss its participation in the Marshall Plan. Direct aid and subsidies helped Austria to survive the hunger of 1947. On the other hand, they depressed food prices and thus discouraged local farmers, delaying the rebirth of Austrian agriculture.

Read more about this topic:  Allied-occupied Austria

Other articles related to "hunger":

Catching Fire (2009 Novel) - Film Adaptation
... Lionsgate has announced that The Hunger Games Catching Fire will be released on November 22, 2013, as a sequel to the film adaptation of The Hunger Games ... In April 2012, it was announced that Gary Ross, director of The Hunger Games, would not return due to a "tight" and "fitted" schedule ...
Hunger and Gender
... eating so their children can avoid hunger ... found that about 60% of those experiencing hunger are female ...
Summer 1981 Hunger Demonstrations In Poland
... and their children, took part in several hunger demonstrations, organized in cities and towns across the country ... The situation in Poland was serious enough that it prompted Adam Michnik to write, "Poland faces hunger uprisings'" ...
Little Village Lawndale High School Campus - History
... in 2001, 14 parents and grandparents organized a hunger strike to demand the construction of a high school that had been promised to the community but remained unfunded ... Public Schools, initially refused to meet with the hunger strikers, by the end of the first week, he visited their tent to negotiate terms ... The hunger strike lasted 19 days and increased public pressure on the school district to fund the project ...
Sophie Hunger - Career
... As a child, Sophie Hunger for some time took piano lessons ... Since her father was a jazz listener, Hunger came in contact with that style of music quite early ... From 2002 to 2006 Hunger was a guest singer for the project Superterz and appears on the 2006 album Standards released by that group ...

Famous quotes containing the word hunger:

    With fingers weary and worn,
    With eyelids heavy and red,
    A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
    Plying her needle and thread—
    Stitch! stitch! stitch!
    In poverty, hunger and dirt
    And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
    She sang the “Song of the Shirt.”
    Thomas Hood (1799–1845)

    It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it ... and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied ... and it is all one.
    M.F.K. Fisher (b. 1908)

    Pain and fear and hunger are effects of causes which can be foreseen and known: but sorrow is a debt which someone else makes for us.
    Freya Stark (1893–1993)