Menues were developed officially, which included all necessary processed foodstuff, how the meals should be prepared, how many calories they had. But this food was never distributed to the prisoners.

A heavy worker for example got 1.700 calories or less, instead of those 2.150 calories intended. Three dishes a day were intended:


The food

In the

  • 1/2 liter of unsweeted coffee substitute or tea

At noon:

  • 3/4 liter tasteless soup from potatoes or potatoe peelings, rutabaga and other ingredients. (350 to 400 calories, that corresponds with 100 g ham-sausage).

In the

  • About 300 g bread with either 25 g sausage or 35 g margarine, one spoon of jam or cheese.

  • The bread was also meant as part of the next breakfast.

  • The calories of a dinner amounted between 900 and 1000 calories. Heavy workers sometimes got a "Schwerarbeiterzulage" (heavy worker's bonus) The food often was old or spoilt.


After a few weeks, the prisoners reached a condition of total exhaustion because of the hunger rations and the neverending food distribution. Only a single prominent inmate was in charge of the handing out of the portions, he had to take care of hundreds of prisoners. The last, weakest people did receive nothing to eat anymore. On the other side were all these inmates who arranged themselves with the prominent inmates or SS-guards and were thus were given preferential treatment. Shortenings or withdrawals of food were a further method of punishment.

Whenever it was possible, the prisoners looked for something to eat. Even the rubbish heaps near the kitchens were scoured for scraps. The consumption of raw potato peels did not reduce hunger, but caused diarrhoea.