Starvation in the Ghettos

Subject: Health

Grade Levels: 3 through 12


Sunshine State Standards: View all Sunshine State Standards


Starvation of ghetto residents was a deliberate Nazi policy. The amount of food the ghetto was allowed could change from week to week, sometimes from day to day. The official weekly ration for the Jews was very small. At times, it was no more than 1,100 calories a day. Often, not even that much food was made available. For one particular week each Jew was allowed: Bread 14.0 oz., Meat products 4.5 oz., Sugar 1.75 oz., Fat 0.9 oz.. At that rate, the Jewish ration was only about 350 calories a day. A sedentary adult needs about 2,000 calories to maintain his weight. A thirteen-year-old boy needs about 3,000 and a baby needs 1,200. With much less than those amounts, the body loses weight quickly. After a certain point, the body survives by digesting muscle. Painful death from starvation comes not long after that.




Evaluate students based on completion of their food diary and participation in class discussion.


Visit the Food and Nutrition Information Center Web site for nutrition information.

A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 2005.

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