Food rationing in Copenhagen


In 1917 the Danish government introduced a rationing scheme for food and fuel. This picture shows a crowd queuing outside the butcher’s Johan Bekker in the working-class district of Nørrebro in Copenhagen.

Three years earlier, in August 1914, the Danish government won a majority vote in the Folketinget, the second house of the parliament, to carry through the so-called August Laws. Under these laws, by which the government sought to regulate the Danish economy, exports were controlled by the state. Regulated price fixing was adopted with a ceiling on food provisions granting the state the authority to expropriate stocks, take possession of them for public use. The aim was to navigate Denmark safely through the war both in terms of neutrality and economy. The implementation of these laws was in the hands of the Commission for Price Regulation, which consisted of a number of politicians and business executives.

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Food rationing in Copenhagen
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Det Konglige Bibliotek