Growing industrialization and urbanization in the mid-nineteenth century made the social question—and public care for the poor, in particular—more urgent. Certainly, some municipal facilities for feeding the poor already existed in the first half of the century; but in the face of imminent food shortages due to the impending Austro-Prussian War, the Jewish social reformer Lina Morgenstern (1830–1909) founded the Association of Berlin People’s Kitchen in 1866. Seven more soup kitchens like the one depicted here opened in Berlin between 1866 and 1900; all used donations to offer cheap meals instead of alms. Wood engraving, 1860s.

Berlin People’s Kitchen (1860s)


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