During World War I, German civilians were forced to survive on increasingly meagre rations. The government took control of food prices and food supplies, prioritising soldiers ahead of civilians. The blockade established by the Allies prevented supplies from being imported from other countries.
Insufficient food was produced in Germany as most of the nation's farmers had been conscripted, leaving their agricultural lands uncultivated and unproductive. Around 750,000 civilians died from malnutrition.