Dr. Mary Elisabeth Cox will present live from Vienna, Austria.
As the Austro-Hungarian Empire began to unravel during the First World War, the specter of civilian hunger grew in Vienna. Food insecurity increased in the city for a variety of interconnected reasons. In the midst of wide-spread food shortages, the University of Vienna’s Children’s Clinic and Hospital became inundated with new patients suffering from a variety of ailments associated with malnutrition. Unfortunately, hunger did not immediately cease with the succession of hostilities. One contemporary study suggested that in 1919, 90% all school children in the city were experiencing moderate to severe malnutrition. This presentation explores the impact that reduced food supplies due the First World War and Franco-British blockade had on the health of civilians in Vienna, as well as the nutritional impact on the city once the blockade was lifted and international food aid arrived. Philanthropic donations played a huge role in alleviating children's suffering and reducing nutritional inequality.