Viktor E. Frankl, a former inmate in the Tuerkheim camp outside of Dachau explained the moral situation of the inmates and the behavior of the SS. Whether or not an inmate survived all depended upon his or her capability of ignoring the suffering of their fellow inmates.
Generally, the prisoners were awaken at 4:15 AM. They were allowed to freshen up and then proceeded to having breakfast. After breakfast, the prisoners were to assemble in the camp inspection yard for roll call and news. Often, prisoners were made to stand in the inspection yard for hours – simply as means of harassment. At 7 AM, the prisoners were marched out of the camp gates, often being forced to sing in the process. Once the construction site was reached, they would work until 12:30 when Mittagspause was announced. This lasted until 13:00. Around 19:00-20:00 hours, prisoners would return to the camp, eat dinner and then sleep. On Sunday, they were freed from working.
Inmates were never fully treated according to international rules. The prescribed calorie intake could never be met from the beginning. The reasons for this are as follows. Often, SS guards or the Kapos would black market the camp food for their own personal gain. The worsening war situation and lack of supply also led to a drastic food shortage.
The daily food rations of a Muehldorf inmate were as follows:
||250 g bread for the entire day, ½ L Ersatzkaffee
||Sunday: Some margarine, cheese or sausage (if available)
½ L vegetable soup, sometimes animal organs and often potatoes
||1 L soup
The food was brought by inmates from the kitchen and served in between the barrack streets. Near the end of the war, these rations dropped considerably. A common form of punishment involved refusing to feed an entire block or a whole camp with bread, depending on the degree of offence.
The hygienic conditions of the camp were terrible. Inmates had no chance at showering or changing clothes during the first weeks, especially in the Waldlager, Mittergars and Thalham. Only when a well was erected in the Waldlager camp did the inmates have a chance to shower. In Mittergars and Thalham, farmers delivered the water in order to fill storage tanks. The presence of water finally allowed a camp barber (an inmate) to operate who was responsible for cutting other inmates hair. Even the SS guards had themselves shaved by inmates.
Due to the poor sanitary conditions, it is not surprising that the camp soon crawled with vermin. The deleicing stations lagged behind schedule and could not cope with the increasing pestilence of lice. The consequences were phlegmon and typhus, which since January of 1945 had affected all camps. Typhus also caused the most fatalities since the starved and weakened inmates were weakened even further through physical work. In the last three months, 25 inmates died on a daily basis in the Muehldorf region from exposure, fever and other factors. Dead inmates from the Waldlager and Mettenheim were at first stored in the mortuary where their gold teeth were removed. Then, a funeral squad (composed of inmates) took the bodies to Kronprinzstein where they were thrown into a mass grave.
The medical supply state was in chaos with the clinic being overfilled with two to three inmates sharing one sick bed. The Organization Todt doctor, Dr. Flocken, never checked the inmates for their health, unless a selection was in progress where the weak would be shipped off to certain death in concentration camps. Due to her lack of concern, it was up to inmate doctors and nurses to care for the sick. The medical supplies at their disposal were thin and few, supplied from Schwindegg by the Organization Todt. The inmate doctors performed urgent operations on using only primitive tools such as scissors. Sometimes, inmate doctors secretly received medical supplies from local pharmacies.
Many of the sick soon turned into what was called Muselmaenner. Muselmaenner could best be described as walking corpses. They were thin to the bones (which gave them a skeletal appearance) and suffered from fever. They were destined to die. From time to time, Dr. Flocken would perform a fitness selection. Here, she would select the inmates incapable of working to be sent off to almost certain death in a concentration camp. Many Muehldorfer inmates lost many of their loved ones in this fashion. A similar selection occurred in Mettenheim.
On the 25th of October 1944, a train laden with 525 Muselmaenner left Muehldorf. Its destination: Auschwitz. Upon returning, the train crew reported that the “cargo” had been properly taken care off. Ending November 1944, Himmler ordered the cessation of gassing. Despite this, fitness selections still took place in Muehldorf, but the selected could hope for a chance of survival for they were sent to the clinic at Kaufering.
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