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Daily Life

Coping with everyday life in the camp meant a continuous defense and resistance against psychological and physical extermination. The women suffered from the weather conditions to which they were often exposed without protection. They were plagued by vermin, by hard labor, by lack of sleep. But also the orders, humiliations and violence by the camp guards meant permanent stress and often enough danger to their lives. In winter, they would wear wooden clogs instead of shoes and hardly any warm clothing. When food was rationed, starvation was deliberately accepted. Housed in wooden barracks, the women had to sleep on overcrowded bunk beds, sometimes crammed together by the hundreds. The hygienic conditions were catastrophic. Often, only gallows humor helped in dealing with the monstrosities of everyday life in the concentration camps.