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Title: Bread, bakers and the black market experience in 1942 Malta
Authors: Buttigieg, Noel
Keywords: World War, 1939-1945 -- Food supply -- Malta
Black market -- Malta -- History -- 20th century
Bread -- Malta -- History
Bakers -- Malta -- History -- 20th century
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: National Archives of Malta and the Friends of the National Archives of Malta
Citation: Buttigieg, N. (2018). Bread, bakers and the black-market experience in 1942 Malta. Arkivju. Journal of the National Archives of Malta and the Friends of the National Archives of Malta, 9, 49-64.
Abstract: Bread is a common vector of life. In 1903, Sir Temi Zammit published Chelmtein fuk il hobz, one of the earliest scientific treatises on bread manufacture in Malta. In the same article, Zammit claimed that, "Ma hemmx haga Ii tit-tiekel actar mil hobz .... hua l'ewwel bzonn tal bniedem u minghajru ma nafx x'conna naghmlu". During the Second World War, Zammit's reflection resonates profoundly with the besieged as bread and bakers dominated the talk, thoughts and actions of the inhabitants of the beleaguered Island. Four decades after Zammit's assertion, a letter published in the pro-British newspaper Times of Malta refers to bread as "the most essential of all the commodities and could not be replaced except by the same substance." As a staple commodity, bread became a symbol of survival for the three individuals mentioned above, but more importantly, it became an important means of exchange. As an element of reciprocity, bread became the cementing agent among all actors, here considered as a microcosm of the general situation experienced by the besieged.
ISSN: 2219-9888
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - InsTTC

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