Work and Everyday Life

The SS treated newly arrived prisoners with particular brutality so as to break their spirit and demoralise them immediately after their arrival. Life at the camp was determined by a huge number of rules and regulations which were almost impossible to abide by. Prisoners who were caught in breach of these rules not only received the official forms of punishment at the camp (having to stand to attention for very long periods of time, beatings, and detention), but were also subjected to random acts of violence from the SS guards or the block elders. The prisoners’ health quickly deteriorated due to the insufficient food and clothing they received. They were housed in overcrowded quarters which offered no privacy or opportunities for recuperation. The diarrhoea epidemics and the lack of hygiene often led to a dreadful stench in the prisoners’ quarters.

Elongated rectangular strip of cloth with prisoner number 7703 in the center. To the left of it a red “P” to mark Polish prisoners and to the right of the prisoner number a red triangle to mark political prisoners.
Further reading at the Learning Center The SS
Media Library

The complete permanent exhibition "Time Traces" and the other side exhibitions on the grounds of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial are also available digitally in the memorial's media library. Unfortunately, the media library is only available in German.

media library
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