They everyday life of the deportees

The deportees were caught up in a process of destruction and dehumanization leading to their death. The first trial that confronted them after their admission into the camp was the roll-call. At least twice a day, the SS counted and recounted the living or dead deportees. The living had to wait outdoors in all kinds of weather, rain, snow, wind or intense heat, for the right to return to their hut or go off in a work kommando. They were under-nourished and hunger became an obsession. The deportees ended up envying what the SS dogs were fed.

Slave workers in the service of the 3rd Reich, they worked during the daytime from 6am to 6 pm, or at night from 6pm to 6am. The immense majority of them worked in the quarry, extracting stone or gravel. From the end of 1942, they were assigned to repairing aircraft engines for the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). In mid-1943, the NN deportees began to build the Kartoffelkeller (Potato Cellar), the code name of a half-buried concrete building. To this day, no document has yet thrown light on the intended use of this building.

In the morning, before roll-call, they were allowed a rudimentary wash at the very few wash-basins available. At night, after work, they returned to their block for their meagre ration, before sleeping huddled on wooden bunks. Their only contacts with the outside world were occasional letters and parcels, for those entitled to receive them.