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During the Third Reich, German scientists came up with a range of chemically produced products that replicated naturally occurring resources and commodities. They were known as Ersatz products and included the following: ‘Kriesgsrhot’ or ‘War bread’ made from a mixture of rye, wheat and potatoes; cakes made from ground up clover; Kaffe-ersatz made from coal-tar a substance normally used in soaps; when coal-tar became scarce Kaffee-ersatz-ersatz was produced made from roasted acorns (food normally fed to pigs); when acorns were difficult to come by carrots and yellow turnips were used instead; the rice lamb chop was invented, with a lump of wood to serve as the bone; shoes were made from wood instead of leather; woollen jumpers were made from nettles and coats were made from recycled paper. Adapted from The Iron Ration: Three Years in Warring Central Europe
Why did German scientists and manufacturers go to such trouble to produce Ersatz products?
To decide whether life got better or worse for most German workers and businessmen under the Nazis
A Nazi election poster from 1932, it reads ‘Work and Bread’. Who was the poster aimed at? How was it trying to appeal to them? How successful do you think it would have been in 1932?