Why were the survivors of Dachau so thin and emaciated? Were the prisoners deliberately starved to death?

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Why were the survivors of Dachau so thin and emaciated? Were the prisoners deliberately starved to death?

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There were 900 prisoners who were dying from typhus in Dachau when the American liberators arrived; thousands more were sick from typhus and other contagious diseases. They were emaciated because they were too sick to eat. The prisoners were not deliberately starved; food was scarce all over Europe during the war and food was rationed for civilians. In the early days of the camp, before the war, the Dachau prisoners were well fed. Those who did heavy work received four meals a day, including the traditional German “second breakfast.” During the last days of the war, when railroad lines were being bombed, the transportation system broke down and it was hard to get food to the camp. Nevertheless, the prisoners were fed right up to the day of liberation and the majority of the survivors were in reasonably good health.

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