The extermination camps, also called the concentration camps, forced labor camps, death camps, transit camps, and prisoner-war-camps, were camps built during the Second WorldWar to kill millions by gassing and extreme work under starvation conditions. The living conditions of all camps were brutal. There were victims from many groups, Jews were the main targets. The firstConcentration camp opened in March 1933
The following description is about the normal days in the camps looked like based on several testimonies of survivors.
They started the day with the‘Awakening’ at 4am. You were awakened by the ‘kapo’. You must raise and start as soon as possible the bettenbau, a way of doing the bed. It was nearly impossible to make a perfect bed, a good opportunity forthe kapo to beat the prisoners. When you finish, it’s time for washing. You run to the couple of sanitary facilities there are for hundreds of prisoners. You have just few minutes and you know the kaposwill beat you up, sometimes to death, if you’re late.
Now you have the breakfast. You must have your mess-tin (metal dish) in hand. No mess-tin, no food. A kapo gives you approximately 10 ounces ofbread and some tasteless “coffee”. If you are lucky, you’ll receive some margarine or a thin slice of sausage. If you have strength of will, you’ll try to spare bread for the rest of the day.
At themorning roll call all the prisoners are lined up in rows of ten. Including the ones who died during the night. The kapos are counting the thousands of prisoners. A mistake during the counting andeverything must start over. It is forbidden to move or to talk. Every day, several prisoners catch cold and die in the following days. Some others die during the roll call itself. Their bodies will besent to the crematories.
Then you run to join your work team. You’ll leave the camp under the guard of SS and kapos. You’ll reach the yard by walk, of course. Maybe you'll have to march off to the...