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For prisoners, meal times were the most important event of each day. After morning roll call the prisoners would be given their morning ‘meal’ – imitation coffee or herbal ‘tea’. For lunch prisoners may have been given watery soup. If they were lucky, they might find a piece of turnip or potato peel.

In the evening prisoners may have been given a small piece of black bread; they may also have received a tiny piece of sausage, or some marmalade or cheese. The bread was supposed to last the prisoners for the morning also, so prisoners would try to hide it on their person whilst they slept.

Hunger was one of the greatest problems. The meagre rations were merely intended to keep the prisoners alive. The Nazis did not provide prisoners with sufficient nutrition to carry out heavy manual work. Many thousands died from starvation or illnesses brought on by lack of nutrition.