The ''Hamburg Barracks'' served mainly as housing for the women, since 1943 the deportees from the Netherlands. Part of the building was furnished as the ''Schleuse'' where transports to Auschwitz were being assembled.


- Hells, bells, it's already half past eleven, we have to start printing soon, and I haven't got my "Rambles" column yet, I said to myself. Where could I go to get an article of about ten inches out of it?
Just then the nurse came out of the sick bay asking for five people to go and fetch the Schonkost (special diet). She had four on the detail already and needed a fifth - quickly. So - what about you? And of course, I submitted to my fate and went (modeling my behavior on the great Leoš Demner). It was better than getting typhoid, and perhaps I might even get a column out of it.
When the nurse had gathered us all together, she brought some containers and said in a deadly serious voice: This container is for the special diet, and this is for the Icterkost.* You put the soup into this one, the mashed potatoes into this one, and the sugar beets into this. Then she went off to get the mess tins. We thought if we could sample a little from each of the dishes we might eat our fill. Kotouč** even suggested we establish a Dipico (dietary pinching company).
At last we set out. The journey was uneventful and we reached the Hamburg barracks, where the dietary kitchen is now situated, without mishap. Recalling my newspaper duties, I tried to get some sort of interview going. - How many people does this kitchen serve? - Why do you ask?
- If you want to know, I'm the editor of a magazine called Vedem. - That's a good one - an editor - ho, ho, ho. Well, if you must know, about 450. Just look at him - an editor indeed, ho, ho, ho.
That kind of conversation was certainly not to my taste and so I took the container of mashed potatoes and left. We fell in and started back. Oh, what pen could describe our sufferings on this arduous pilgrimage! The wind drove sand into our faces, soup spilled from the buckets over our clothes and into our shoes, while the nurse, who wasn't carrying anything, quickly led the way. Kalíšek was pleased. His feet were warm, he said, because hot soup was slushing about in his shoes. Metzl said genially that no one would notice we'd spilled any soup. The wind was blowing sand into it anyway, so it came to the same thing. Komiňas complained about his hernia and Kotouč stoically bore his fate - a pot of gravy, part of which had spilled over his trousers. When we came to the end of our journey, we were exhausted both physically and mentally. We dropped our containers, turned around, and marched home. On the way a boy asked us what the people with special diet were getting for lunch. - Sprinkled mashed potatoes, we answered. - Sprinkled? said the boy, astonished.
- Yes, we answered, sprinkled with sand.

- nz (Petr Ginz)