New Occupation release is food for thought at Jersey War Tunnels

Publish date: 15 Sep 2023

We might stress about the price of food these days, but we don’t have to worry that there’s
not enough food available to feed us all here in Jersey, unlike during the Occupation when
this was a very real concern for islanders.

Jersey’s reliance on agriculture for its survival during the German Occupation is the subject
of a new book ‘The German Occupation of Jersey’ – agriculture and survival in a time of war,
and islanders and visitors are invited to meet the local author behind it at a special event at
Jersey War Tunnels later this month.

Andrew Gilson will be at the Café @ The War Tunnels on 30th September between 1.30pm
to 4.30pm to talk about his book and to sign copies.

During the Second World War islanders became increasingly dependent on agriculture for
their survival, particularly when they were near starvation in the winter of 1944.
In his groundbreaking study of the German Occupation, Mr Gilson examines the relationship
between the German military government and the civilian government and civil service on
Jersey and how they had to work together to ensure the island’s survival through its farming
industry.

Accusations of collaboration and stories of sabotage, German exports of produce, the
development of tobacco as a cash economy, the exploitation of Jersey cattle by Nazi
scientists to create a new superbreed, German requisition of foodstuffs and the black market
all played their part in this fascinating story.

Commenting on the book General Manager of Jersey War Tunnels Anthony Clarke said,
“This new release is a thought-provoking insight into life on the island during the Occupation.
Food shortages were a very real problem and Mr Gilson’s book really does provide food for
thought!”

Mr Gilson taught history in Jersey for nearly 40 years. He has written numerous articles
published in historical and archaeological journals and has been researching the history of
the German Occupation of Jersey for many years.

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