Germany emerged from World War II defeated, occupied by foreign powers, and plagued with material shortages. But within a decade, the nation witnessed radical transformation through division into two states and rival ‘Economic Miracles’. The competition between capitalist and socialist consumer cultures in the 1950s was particularly emblematic for this reconstruction. With the Cold War division of Germany each state worked to bolster its legitimacy by promising its own ‘Economic Miracle’ complete with abundance and the pleasure of consumption. As the ones most responsible for subsistence in the postwar years, 1 female shoppers particularly demanded state responsibility for mediating shortage and ushering in prosperity. In return, each state urged loyalty from its citizens and active participation in the economy to help bring about this affluence. At the same time, the black market and eventually smuggling across the new German-German border made this task of forging consumer loyalty especially problematic. Molding responsible consumer-citizens in both East and West entailed constant tension. State policies designed to enlist shoppers as partners with a paternalistic state were coupled with efforts to contain ‘deviant’ shoppers. Women were empowered as expert consumers, but their power was strictly circumscribed and monitored by vigilant populations and Cold War regimes that scrutinized shopping choices. 2