Concentration Camp Essays

In these conditions, access to additional food was critical.A post working in the vegetable cellar of a camp, such as the one German communist Margarete Buber-Neumann found in the Soviet Gulag in 1939, could provide a way to expand on the watery soup and bread typically allocated to prisoners.Nearly a decade would pass before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Torture Report verified many of the worst accusations of torture and abuse of detainees.

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But extermination through labor—a combination of brutal work and deliberately limited rations—further culled prisoners assigned to the worst work details.

Detainees died of gastroenteritis, pneumonia and a host of conditions that easily took hold as prisoners slowly starved to death.

Buber helped to keep herself and others alive with stolen food.

Sometimes prisoners were buoyed by food from loved ones, as Likhachev had been touched by the present of a cake.

Held with thousands of other suspects at the National Stadium in Santiago, Chile, in fall 1973, Felipe Agüero recounted the joy of receiving a care package in detention, but also how the meagerness of what was sent—a few cigarettes or a little bread, maybe some chocolate—revealed that hard times had come for family on the outside, too.

Concentration Camp Essays

Where they could not scrounge or steal real food, captives turned to their imaginations.The book was condemned by some who called it “sick,” wondering if cookbooks from Auschwitz or Treblinka would soon follow.The recipes themselves were often missing key ingredients or had completely mismatched measurements that made them useless.The cake came from the university library where he had worked before his arrest.It held no hacksaw to free him, but he would remember the goodbye present for seven decades.(The letters “FKL” stand for Frauenkonzentrationslager, or “Women’s Concentration Camp.” While recipes and fantasies about unlimited food helped detainees endure the everyday horrors of the camps, the issue of food has also been used as a tool of propaganda to keep the public from sympathizing with detainees.During internment of Japanese-Americans in the Second World War, a series of allegations about detainees being “pampered” in camps centered around food.Others lauded the publication as Holocaust literature rather than a literal cookbook, a memory of how detainees consoled themselves in humanity’s darkest hours.More cookbooks emerged over time, but not necessarily for publication.Shared recipes preserved from this era of camps found improbable publication with In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin.This 1996 compilation included a series of recipes that had been collected in the Nazi camp of Theresienstadt.

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