Spiegel Covers on the Oil Crisis (November 1973)
After the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War on October 6, 1973, the Arab OPEC states imposed a delivery boycott on the U.S. and the Netherlands, both of whom had supported Israeli policy. Using the threat of a general reduction in oil production as leverage, these states demanded that Israel withdraw from the territories it had occupied in 1967. With the exception of the Netherlands, however, a total boycott was never imposed on Western Europe. Nonetheless, the boycott had an indirect effect on the Federal Republic, since it procured petroleum from Dutch harbors. The abrupt increase in oil prices, together with fears of an impending shortage, led to talk of an “oil crisis” in both Western Europe and the U.S., and also prompted larger anxieties about a looming “energy crisis.” The drastic increase in energy prices pushed the Federal Republic, among other countries, into a deep recession, bringing an end to a postwar economic boom that had lasted almost thirty years.