The living conditions in the Jasenovac concentration camp were marked by poor nutrition, poor living conditions, exhausting forced labor, various diseases that prevailed in the camp, and the inhumane treatment of detainees by camp guards. The detainees of the Krapje, Bročice and Brickworks camps were housed in wooden huts that often leaked.
“Our six barracks were arranged in two rows, three by three, one opposite the other, ie with entrances in the middle (…). In the middle, along the entire barracks, were two rows of ‘boxes’ on two floors. The four rows of wooden beds thus obtained were divided into 'boxes' (boxes). Each box had a low plank edge on all four sides. In all, there were 40 to 48 boxes in that set, 10 or 12 in each row, bottom and top, left and right. The beds were approached from the side, from the wall of the barracks. " Ante Ciliga, Jasenovac: people facing death. Memories from the camp, Naklada Pavičić, Zagreb, p. 80.
"The barracks were regularly occupied with at least double, often three times the possible capacity. In the Jasenovac camp, anything was possible. It was a camp of impossible possibilities." Milko Riffer: City of the Dead - Jasenovac 1943, Naklada Pavičić, Zagreb, 2011 (reprint of the 1946 edition of the Croatian Publishing House, Zagreb), p. 88-90.
Lack of sanitation and drinking water was a precondition for many epidemics in the camp, such as typhus and typhoid, dysentery, etc., from which detainees died due to inadequate health care.
"I could not refrain from going to the tap to drink water, although the older detainees persistently discouraged me because the water was unhealthy, polluted and caused diarrhea, dysentery, typhus and: death…" Ante Ciliga, Jasenovac: people facing death. Memories from the camp, Naklada Pavičić, Zagreb, p. 33.
A theme that constantly appears in almost all the testimonies of former detainees is hunger. Exhaustion by forced labor with insufficient food was one of the methods of torturing and killing detainees in the Jasenovac camps. This method of dehumanization was used in all camps of Nazi Germany and occupied Europe, and the food the detainees in the camp received was not caloric enough for physical work that lasted for12 hours.
"Jasenovac "menu" at noon consisted of completely watery salty soup with a few peels of potatoes, and in the evening also, beet soup, or sometimes with 5-6 beans. The amount of bread should be 65 grams per day. Bread was not obtained at all 3-4 days a week. Therefore, the caloric value of the whole diet did not exceed 500 calories per day, which means a shortage of 2000-2500 calories for each detainee." Nikola Nikolić, Jasenovac Death Camp, Sarajevo: NIŠP Oslobođenje, 1975, p. 55.