The appropriation of natural resources and the requisition of the country's goods, the looting of trade and industrial reserves by the Germans for despatch to Germany, the interruption of all industrial production - with the exception of that which provided military equipment to Germany - and the provocative overburdening of the country with the subsistence of the occupying forces, completely paralysed the economy and made it utterly impossible to supply the Greek people themselves. Breathtaking inflation nullified the income and savings of the conquered, while the circulation of goods on the black market, which could be acquired by being paid for in British gold sovereigns or through barter, served to exacerbate the situation. The quest for food, especially in urban centres, was a painful experience and famine cost the lives of
thousands of people. To meet this situation soup kitchens were organized both by National Solidarity and the Church's Organization of National Solidarity (EOCHA).
The spectacle of exhausted people collapsing in the streets of Athens, carts with piles of corpses, and mass graves are some of the most painful images for those who experienced them and for those who became acquainted with them through photographs taken at the time. In the 'harsh winter of 1941', as the winter of 1941-42 came to be known, it is estimated that 100,000 people lost their lives through starvation and cold in Athens and the rest of Greece, while during the four-year Occupation approximately 300,000 Greeks died from famine, vitamin deficiency and epidemics. Moreover, the Occupation famine and subsequent illnesses are to blame for the child mortality and maladies of the immediate post-war years.