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How many calories did the kids and adults intake in the concentration camps?Compare it...

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stevenater123 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 28, 2011 at 2:03 AM via web

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How many calories did the kids and adults intake in the concentration camps?

Compare it to what kids and adults eat now in seperate paragraphs.

Tagged with health, history, holocaust, illness

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 28, 2011 at 3:38 PM (Answer #1)

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I cannot help but think that more detail is needed in this question.  There are a couple of fundamental premises that need establishing here.  The first issue is that it is really difficult to compare what passed for nutrition during the Holocaust and the modern setting.  To a great extent, I am not even sure that the two domains should be comparable.  I don't think that the modern definition and configuration of diet is compatible to what victims of concentration camp endured.  The second point is that if the question seeks to make the connection between the modern diet and what was absorbed in the concentration camps, a fundamental difference exists.  The modern diet, to a great extent, is something over which one has choice and control.  Individuals can choose what to eat, and even conceding that some neighborhoods are considered "food deserts" in that the food options there lack health consciousness, this is not compatible with the situations in concentration camps.  People were starved and deprived of food out of pure sadism on the part of the Nazis.  I don't think that the modern issue of choice in foods can be related to the situations in the camps because of this.  The final point would be that the abundance of food now and the differing approaches to caloric intake is nowhere near the situations endured in the camps.  Consider works like Elie Wiesel's Night when he talks about how prisoners in the camp used to eat the snow off of one another's back.  Another moment from his work which is poignant is when a father steals an extra loaf of bread.  His son sees it and begins to beat his father for the extra loaf.  As he is beaten, the father weeps to his son and says, "I stole it for you, son.  Don't you know me?"  The son beats his father to death and then takes his bread.  While he is eating, other prisoners see the extra loaf being eaten and they, in turn, beat the life out of the son.  Both father and son are then placed near one another as corpses.  I am not sure how one measures the caloric intake in such a setting.  The mere function of ascribing caloric intake values to such a condition is pretty horrific and loses the importance of both understanding life in the camps and the idea of measuring calories.

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