Berlin People’s Kitchen (1860s)
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.