The following is a story from Mennonite Foods and Folkways by Norma Jost Voth.
"Christmas will be very simple this year," the mothers warned their
children in the Berlin Mennonite refugee camp in 1945. "You must not
expect treats. We are grateful to God just to be here--alive, to have
food, clothes, a bed and a roof over our heads."
Supplies from America through the Mennonite Central Committee were stretched to the limit as refugees continued to arrive from Russia. A bowl of gruel or soup and a ration of bread were the daily menu. Christmas treats seemed out of the question. How could anyone possibly bake? There weren't even any ovens.
Then a miracle happened. Peter Dyck, the camp director, found a Berlin baker willing to allow camp women the use of his ovens in exchange for American flour. In secret, from midnight to 4 a.m., while the camp slept and after the bakery crew had gone home, the women mixed, stirred, cut and filled the ovens again and again. In a few short nights they transformed flour from Manitoba and Kansas, dried eggs, a little sugar and a bit of lard into peppernuts--enough to fill more than a thousand little sacks.
On Christmas Eve every refugee man, woman and child in the Berlin camp celebrated with his own special bag of treats made with a little flour and a lot of love.