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No winners

“Food is given out in the evening. We stand in line, but instead of leading us into the kitchen in an organized fashion, they shout, ‘To the canteen!’ ‘Run!’ The hungry people rush to the kitchen, where there are several dirty barrels with a millet slop. Everybody knows that there is not enough food and tries to get at it first. Jostling starts. Now the ‘order supervisors’ appear and start up . . . a line using sticks, rods, rubber truncheons—anything they can beat you with. The usual results are head injuries, nearly broken arms, or the murder of an emaciated and weak prisoner. The beatings go on for hours. Meanwhile, half the prisoners no longer want to eat . . . They lie down on the damp ground—for there are not enough sheds for all—and sleep until 5 in the morning.” – Motel’e (quoted by Karel C. Berkhoff in Harvest of Despair; ellipses in original)

Published inEconomicsPolitics & LawThe Second World War

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