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Black Market
(1,047 words)

Black Market

(Contemporary German Schleichhandel) Term for illegal trading in rationed goods subject to a system of state control, by evading and infringing the statutes of wartime economies. The term black market, current in English since American Prohibition legislation of the 1920s, did not become established in German usage (as Schwarzmarkt) until the Second World War.

Illegal markets in certain scarce goods arose in all the warring countries owing to national systems established at the beginning of the war to determine maximum prices (Gesetze gegen Preistreiberei, Lois su…

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Geyer, Martin H., “Black Market”, in: Brill’s Digital Library of World War I. Consulted online on 02 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2015

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