Meal call in the quarry, SS photo, 1942
(NIOD Amsterdam)

Dai­ly life in the con­cen­tra­tion camp was dan­ger­ous and of­ten dead­ly for the pris­on­ers. Con­di­tions were cruel and in­hu­man. Sub­ju­gat­ed, hu­mil­i­at­ed, and ex­ploit­ed as forced la­bor, many pris-on­ers died from mis­treat­ment. The SS es­tab­lished a sys­tem of vi­o­lence and ter­ror in the camp, and at­tempt­ed to ex­ploit the po­lit­i­cal, na­tion­al, so­cial and cul­tur­al dif­fer­ences among pris­on­ers.

Bet­ween 1938 and 1945, ap­prox­i­mate­ly 84,000 men and 16,000 wom­en from over thir­ty coun­tries were im­pris­oned in the Floss­en­bürg camp and its sub­camps.

All in­mates were forced to wear pri­son­ers’ garb bear­ing a num­ber and col­ored tri­an­gle.

Liv­ing con­di­tions de­te­ri­o­rat­ed dras­ti­cal­ly over the course of the war. There was a steady rise in the num­ber of ac­ci­dents, ill­ness­es and deaths. The abil­i­ty to work in­creas­ing­ly de­ter­mined a pris­on­er’s chance of sur­viv­al. In late 1943, large trans­ports be­gan to ar­rive at Floss­en­bürg, over­crowd­ing the main camp. Many pris­on­ers were sub­se­quent­ly trans­port­ed to sub­camps. For most in­mates, the de­ci­sive ques­tion be­came “How will I sur­vive one more day?”

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