Service interruption: There is a currently a delay in emails being sent in response to enquiries.
State Library of NSW
Folder 1: Letters by Muriel Knox Doherty, May-July 1945May-July 1945
The starving and disease ridden inmates including a number of children had received no food or water for about 7 days after a long period of semi-starvation. Their food had consisted of watery soup, potato and dry bread in very small quantities. The lack of water resulted from the act of sabotage carried out by the Germans during the truce which they had requested for handing over the camp. All camp records were destroyed by the SS guards during this time.
A pump in the yard was found surrounded by 300-400 bodies piled up, where they had fallen in their vain effort to obtain water and whose end was hastened by the rifle butts and lashings of the SS Guards and the sniping of the Hungarian troops.
There were some 25,000 living sick who were dying at the rate of % (about 100) per day. In many huts the living were packed on the floor amongst the dead often times naked. Owing to illness & despair corpses were often not moved from the bunks which were shared with the living.
Louse born typhus, diarrhea and pulmonary tuberculosis in advanced stages were rampant. Excreta was everywhere. Faeces were 6” deep on the floor of the huts. The walls were heavily coated also. Thousands were too ill to move. Those living on the lower of the