Meals, hunger

"No sign could ever put across the state of mind of an individual who thinks his neighbour got a drop more of yellowish liquid in his tin bowl. Sure, you can show his eyes and that special stare caused by hunger. But you can never recreate the mouth’s alarm or the esophagus’s stubborn avidity…”

At noon a crowd of heads propelled by an instinct increased a hundredfold swarmed, moved and teemed about between the wooden partitions with as much energy as they could muster for a ladle of hot liquid they awaited as the source pf life.”

“What’s awful to say is that in the camps, what commanded the most was the body, the stomach, hunger. You cannot think straight when you’re hungry, there’s nothing you can do. Either you find something to eat or you try to do the impossible.”

“At the door one of us would hand out a ticket that would then be given to the head of the table used to obtain the morning ration: barley water or soup that… was nothing but water but better than the ‘coffee’. Some men chewed on a little slice of bread that they had carefully saved from the previous day’s ration and hid from thieves during the night.”

“Once they gave us meat from a slaughterhouse, meat from cows that were sick with tuberculosis, with swollen glands along the lungs. I asked the doctor comrades for advice. We decided to boil it all night long to make it edible.

We also cooked and recooked bones, breaking them to get the marrow out. It marked the soup with little yellow spots and made it more appetizing.”

“Suffering from hunger, I managed to sneak into the dogs’ barracks. They were inside a fenced enclosure. I scooped up everything I could with my hands, dog biscuits made with what looked like all kinds of waste. But they tasted so good! I and a few comrades really enjoyed them.”