Scrapbookpages Blog

November 29, 2011

No Buchenwald ID number — No soup for you!

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 3:03 pm

Earlier today, I blogged about Edwin Ritter, one of the Lost Airmen of Buchenwald.  I quoted several passages from a statement that he gave to his daughter in 1993.  His daughter tape recorded his statement, transcribed it and sent it to me several years ago.  One thing I forgot to mention is that Ritter said in his statement that all the prisoners at Buchenwald had to memorize their prisoner ID number and recite the number before they would receive any food.  The daily fare in the camp was a bowl of soup and one slice of bread.  If a prisoner forgot his number, he was told “No soup for you.”

According to Primo Levi, a famous prisoner at Auschwitz, the prisoners there had to show the ID number tattooed on their arm before they could receive their soup and bread.

I thought about this when I read an article, posted on November 26, 2011, on the Elie Wiesel Cons the World website which you can read here.  This article confirms that Elie Wiesel did not have an identification number at Buchenwald.  Of course, that does not prove that Elie Wiesel was not a prisoner at Buchenwald.  He could have conned another prisoner into sharing his food with him. Or he could have just grabbed the food away from a weak prisoner.  At Auschwitz, a weak prisoner was called a Musselman.  I have read survivor stories about how the other prisoners would grab the food away from the weak prisoners who could not defend themselves.  As for the Allied airmen who were sent to Buchenwald, they looked out for each other and maintained strict discipline inside the camp, even marching in step when they were ordered to move from place to place in the camp.