A city struggling with food shortages: Amiens in the First World War

28 October 2021 | 10:30 — 12:00

The history of Amiens during the war is tormented. The city was occupied by the Germans for a short period, from 31st August to 11th September 1914. From 1915 onwards, it was regularly bombed and completely evacuated in March 1918. The population only resettled in the town in August of the same year.
The troubled events and the difficulty of finding certain products made access to basic necessities more difficult for the city’s population.
The municipal archives of Amiens and the archives of the department of the Somme contain a vast amount of documentation which makes it possible to reconstruct, on the one hand, the action taken by the municipality and the prefecture to deal with the food emergency and, on the other, the way in which the population reacted to these measures. These two aspects are interesting to analyse because of the proximity to the front, which makes the supply of food difficult and at the same time turns Amiens into a crossroads of men and goods. If institutional archives allow us to understand how the town was supplied, private archives give us an insight into how the population lived, how they coped with rising prices and the scarcity of goods, aspects that have so far been neglected by historiography.



Archives départementales de la Somme, 27Fi19, photo. Léon CARON père (1841-1919) – Léon CARON fils (1877-1942)


  • Elisa Marcobelli
    Elisa Marcobelli è ATER all'Université d'Avignon. Nel 2015 ha discusso all'EHESS di Parigi e alla FU Berlin una tesi di dottorato intitolata Solidarité en crise? Les socialistes français, allemands et italiens face aux crises diplomatiques (1889-1915), che è stata pubblicata nel 2019 dalle edizioni Arbre bleu e nel 2021 da Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Marco Mondini
    Guest Speaker
  • Claudio Ferlan
    Guest Speaker


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