Tuesday, September 18, 2007

No honey for the children.

Today, September 18th

On this day in 1942, the Reich Minister for Nutrition and Agriculture, issued a Decree Concerning Food Supply for Jews. This is an extract from it:

Decree Concerning Food Supply for Jews.

Jews will no longer receive the following foods … meat, meat products, eggs, wheat products (cake, white bread, wheat rolls, wheat flour, etc) whole milk fresh skimmed milk, as well as such foods are distributed not on food ration cards issued uniformly throughout the Reich but on local supply certificates or by special announcement of the nutrition offices on extra coupons of the food cards. Jewish children and young people over 10 years of age will receive the bread ration of the normal consumer. Jewish children and young people over 6 years of age will receive the fat ration of the normal consumer, no honey substitute and no cocoa powder, and they will not receive the supplement of marmalade accorded the age classes of 6 to 14 years. Jewish children up to 6 years receive ½ liter of fresh skimmed milk daily.

Accordingly no meat, egg or milk cards and no local supply certificates shall be issued to Jews. Jewish children and young people over 10 years of age will receive the bread cards and those over 6 years of age the fat cards of the normal consumer. The bread cards issued to Jews will entitle them to rye flour products only. Jewish children under 6 years of age shall be issued the supply certificate for fresh skimmed milk. "Good for ½ liter daily" shall be noted on it.

For the purchase of non-rationed food the Jews are not subject to restrictions as long as these products are available to the Aryan population in sufficient quantities. Ration-free foods which are distributed only from time to time and in limited quantities, such as vegetable and herring salad, fish paste, etc., are not to be given to Jews. The nutrition offices are authorized to permit Jews to purchase turnips, plain kind of cabbage etc.

From amidst this whole, awful list, for some reason I cant explain, the most poignant image for me was the idea of little children without “honey substitute”. Not “no honey” - not even "honey substitute”. I don’t even know what constitutes a honey substitute. Do you? In a Quotation for the Day in a previous post, I used a comment by Judith Olney, and it bears repeating here:

“Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold.”

In recognition of a whole generation of little children who never had an opportunity to experience such a moment of sweetness, here is a recipe from an English newspaper of 1942 – a time when, in England, due to sugar rationing, honey was often used as a substitute.

Honey Chocolate.
Private bee-keepers may be glad of the following recipe for home-made honey chocolate:
¼ lb honey, ¼ lb sugar, three tablespoonsful cocoa, ½ lb chopped home-grown nuts (hazel, cob, walnut &c.), three tablespoonsful stale plain cake crumbs. Put the honey and sugar in a saucepan over very low heat and allow the sugar to dissolve. Boil up, stir in the cake crumbs and cocoa, heating until smooth, add the chopped nuts and mix well. Spread on greased flat tin, leave to dry, cut into squares.

Tomorrow’s Story …

A Bite of Chocolate.

Quotation for the Day …

"Bee vomit," my brother said once, "that's all honey is," so that I could not put my tongue to its jellied flame without tasting regurgitated blossoms." Rita Dove 'In the Old Neighbourhood."


Joanna said...

Chilling reading. Thank you. It's all very well knowing the hideous huge picture, but this detail brings it alive ...

Thank you

Anonymous said...

There's no adequate response to this except to say that it is good to remember history.

Thanks, Janet.

P.S. It is me, Karen. My "identity" is just showing differently due to a new blog. :)