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May 1951

Malnutrition and Starvation in Western Netherlands, September 1944-July 1945.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1951;81(5):746-747. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1951.02040030759016

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These two sober and dispassionate volumes contain official accounts of the "hunger winter" of 1944-1945, its effects on the lives and health of Dutch civilians and the lessons learned during its alleviation. The contributors are, for the most part, medical and public health experts. Meeting in liberated Belgium and realizing that the liberation of the Western Netherlands, when it came, would bring the immediate problem of dealing with the famine status inflicted by the Nazis, these experts and their military associates were faced with "a deplorable paucity of knowledge regarding the treatment of individuals suffering from grave starvation." Therefore, while attempting the wisest possible preparation for such therapy on a mass scale, they also proposed to study as carefully as circumstances allowed the pathology of starvation and the most effective methods of treatment.

Planning was difficult. The severity of the situation could not be predicted. The date and the speed

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