German Concentration Camps Facts versus Fantasies Theresienstadt Ghetto as painted by one of the inmates during the war ALL Photos and artwork in this Presentation were found in the Camp Museums
THE CAMP RULES These Rules are on Display in Sachsenhausen but all Camps were subject to the same rules. FREE TIMEPrisoners may spend their free time in the Barracks, reading,writing, or in conversation. Gambling is forbidden. It is also forbidden to enter other peoples barracks, so is making unnecessary noise, whistling, singing or playing games. It is forbidden to enter cordoned off areas. Prisoners may use designated areas but forming groups of more than three persons is not allowed. The Camp Library and Radios can be used for educational purposes. Party Newspapers may be delivered after gaining permission from the Camp Commandant. (Notice that screaming,whining, moaning or crying was not forbidden so WHY it was necessary to forbid singing, whistling and playing games. And notice they had access to radios and a Library Receiving Money All Prisoners are allowed to receive money from their family. Received Monies will be paid into the Prisoners Account. To buy in the Canteen Prisoners may withdraw up to RM 15,- per week from their account. However all purchases will be carried out cashless. It is strictly forbidden for Prisoners to carry cash, including foreign money , to hide cash in cupboards, or horde large sums of money. (So now we know Prisoners not only had access to Radios and a Library but they had Bank Accounts as well.) CUPBOARD RULES The top board is for Letters, Toothbrush, Razor, Tobacco etc. The lower board is for your Plate and Drinkglass. Behind these you put your bread and other edibles. Spoon and knife are to be put in the board of the cupboard door. All these are to be kept spotlessly clean. Your coat is to lay folded on the bottom, number to the top. Shoes are, just before lights out, to be cleaned outside the Barracks and then placed in front of the cupboard with the socks on top. It is forbidden to take socks into the sleeping area.
Q: So, what about those skeletons we all see in the Media? A: Those were people who had caught diseases such as Typhus etc…..now compare them to these pictures taken by Allied Photogs after the Camps were captured in 1945. Taken by the Russians in Auschwitz The two photos left & right were taken by the British in Bergen-Belsen
Many Prisoners Got Married & had Children Wedding in Auschwitz 1944:They had Printed Cards, Photos, Flowers, Hairdos (not shaven) Suit & Tie Another Wedding in Westerbork Camp in Holland and a Photo of two Nurses holding Babies born in KL Auschwitz (KL= Konzentrations Lager)
What was the Food like ? Up until the War destroyed most of Germany’s ability to produce and deliver food to the Camps, the food was quite adequate. Most Camps had their own Gardens as the photos on the right show. Some Camps kept animals such as Pigs for food (Below right is a sketch of KL Neuengammes Pig pens) The Photo below shows a Prisoners meal time This Photo shows the Daily Food Ration for Prisoners in Auschwitz Towards the end of the War, Food became scarce for everyone including the German Population
In many Camps Prisoners could go SWIMMING: Left is the Pool in Auschwitz, below left the pool in Theresienstadt andbelow right is the pool in the Womens Camp of Ravensbrueck
As well as Swimming, the Inmates could play Football or watch a Concert & they even had the appropriate Clothing with them?
RELAXATION IN THERESIENSTADT WAS…………. EXPRESSING YOUR ARTISTIC TALENTS……KNITTING OR….. JUST WATERING YOUR GARDEN
The Prisoners (NOT the SS Guards) had the use of Brothels. Here we show (from the top) the Brothel in Mauthausen Camp, below left the Brothel in Buchenwald and bottom right the Brothel in Dora-Mittelbau
The Brothel in Neuengamme Camp, notice the well kept gardens Foto: Courtesy Camp Museum
To visit a Brothel a Prisoner had to first get a permit and be checked by the Camp Doctor. Below is the Brothel in Buchenwald with a radio on the wall,flowers and ashtrays on the tables
Orchestra of Neuengamme There were Orchestral Concerts or Lectures, as painted by a Prisoner.
What about Christmas ? This Christmas tree was standing in a block of Auschwitz Camp
NEW YEARS PARTY SACHSENHAUSEN CAMP Friday 31st Dec 1943 There will be a Buffet, Shooting Gallery, Circus, Ballet, Dancing, Acrobats, Singing and many other fun things to do. The Party starts at 11pm and goes until ???
Jewish Youth celebrating Hannukah in Westerbork Camp and bottom left, a schoolclass
Prisoners who got ill had access to a Hospital and a Dental Surgery as these photos from Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Belsen and Ravensbrueck show NURSES in B-Belsen
YES Prisoners were released from the Camps after they had finished their time. Above is a release form from Auschwitz and to the right the Camp Commandant of a Camp in Hamburg farewells Prisoners who are being released