The prisoners suffered most of all from malnutrition, which by the war’s end had reached devastating proportions. The personality disorders which resulted from hunger were a part of the calculated terror of the SS where hunger was used to break the will of the prisoners. Even the slightest deterioration in their conditions could cause the death of the physically and mentally weakened prisoners.

Hunger was also used to divide the prisoners among themselves, for only at the expense of their fellows could they survive. Thus there was constant competition among the prisoners themselves, with the old, the weak , the sick and the fringe groups as the losers.

Those who couldn’t manage to get extra food began, after about three months, to wander around the camp like zombies. Such "living corpses" were capable only of blind obedience to every order. Their psychological destruction was soon followed by their physical death.

Prisoners who where employed in the camp or in its neighbourhood received their food at the camp. The others had their meals delivered in large kettles to the work halls or to the distant worksite. The one-hour lunch break included not only the trip back to the barrack but also orderly return to the place of work.

In June, 1944 a camp meal consisted of boiled turnips, peas or potatoes. Already by the end of 1944 this lunch had become the only real meal of the day. Due to the general scarcity, the evening ration of bread had shrunk constantly.

Malnutrition reached dreadful proportions. Those who were solely dependent on the camp food and who couldn’t "organise" something or who received no packages were condemned to a slow death.

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