In September 1944, as the Allied troops advance into Luxembourg, the retreating Nazi occupying forces blow up the bridge in Dommeldange, completely destroying the structure and causing major damage to the neighbouring residential area. Nearly 200 houses in this district of Luxembourg City are hit by the effects of the blast, and nearly 30 subsequently have to be completely demolished.
In October 1946, Jos Schroeder, Luxembourg Commissioner General for Reconstruction, takes stock of the material destruction suffered by the Grand Duchy and explains the first measures to be taken to rebuild the country.
In this interview, Max Kohnstamm — member of a Delegation from the Dutch Reformed Church on mission in Germany during the summer of 1947 and, from May 1948, assistant to Hans Max Hirschfeld, the Netherlands Government Commissioner for the Administration of the Marshall Plan and for German Affairs — gives his impression of the economic and social situation of Germany, defeated at the end of the Second World War.
A l'issue de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, l'Europe est en ruine et fait face à une grave pénurie alimentaire. Dans ses Mémoires, le président américain Harry S. Truman rappelle les mesures envisagées par les États-Unis pour subvenir aux besoins alimentaires du continent européen.
On 27 May 1945, Pierre Dupong, Luxembourg Prime Minister, sends a memorandum to General Sir George W. E. J. Erskine and General Arthur E. Grasset, commanding officers at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) in Belgium, stressing the need to remedy the shortage of raw materials and labour in Luxembourg as quickly as possible.
On 27 July 1945, US President Harry S. Truman issues a directive to the Commander of US forces in Germany detailing the measures to be taken to avoid a shortage of raw materials in Europe before the onset of winter.
A few months after the end of the Second World War, the revival of production in France is still not sufficient to meet the needs of the French people. In December 1945, Parisians queue outside a bakery before the reinstatement of bread rationing on 1 January 1946.
On 3 April 1946, at the opening of the Emergency Conference on European Cereals Supplies, the British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, emphasises the importance of working together to put an end to food shortages in Europe.
On 3 April 1946, during the London Conference on supplies of cereals to Europe, the Combined Food Board Cereals Committee issues a situation report on supplies to Europe and gives an account of the work done by this body since its inception.
On 3 April 1946, at the London Conference on supplies, Guillaume Konsbruck, Luxembourg Minister for Supplies, Provisions and Economic Affairs, outlines the agricultural situation in Luxembourg in the aftermath of the Second World War.
Between 3 and 6 April 1946, at the Emergency Conference on European Cereals Supplies, Herbert Hoover, the US Secretary of Commerce, announces the results of his fact-finding operation on the food situation in Europe.
Between 3 and 6 April 1946, at the conference on European Cereals Supplies in London, UNRRA adopts a resolution which calls upon all the United Nations countries to act together in order to combat the severe food supply crisis.
On 19 November 1946, Nicolas Margue, Luxembourg Minister for Agriculture, writes to the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Pierre Dupong, to inform him of the labour shortage in the agricultural sector and to express his wish for Germany to compensate the country both financially and with manpower in order to help to overcome the lack of skilled workers.
‘House of cards’. On 7 February 1946, French cartoonist Mad illustrates the severe food crisis affecting France in the aftermath of the Second World War and emphasises the fragility of the supply system.
On 23 January 1947, the Belgian Government, the US military authorities and the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees establish a framework for the resettlement in Belgium of displaced persons currently in the American zone in Germany and guarantee them employment in the Belgian coalmines.
In response to an invitation from the French Government, Jefferson Caffery, US Ambassador to France, inspects a convoy of trucks transporting US food supplies and cotton between Epinal and Strasbourg in the presence of Jean Moreau, French Under-Secretary of State for Industry and Commerce.
From 11 May 1946 onwards, France receives emergency aid packages from the United States under the CARE (Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe) programme. The photo shows nuns distributing American soap to young school children. On the chalkboard we can read the words: ‘Vive nos amis les Américains!’ (Long live our American friends!).
On 1 June 1946, Germany receives emergency aid parcels from the United States as part of the CARE programme (Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe). The photo shows children observing the parcels being unloaded.
‘After Schuman, Queuille promises a fall in prices’. On 15 January 1949, the Metz Communist weekly Le Patriote mosellan protests against the rise in food and energy prices and emphasises the inability of the Schuman and Queuille governments to slow down this trend.