Individual Jews and the society as a whole struggled to maintain some quality of life even under the most difficult circumstances. In Eastern Europe, this was known as iberleben – which is Yiddish for survival. Many Jews tried to survive by holding on to jobs beneficial to the Nazi regime. The concept of ‘rescue by labor' was perceived as something that could keep people alive for a while. It also gave these Jews a minimal livelihood, but this was always dependent on the willingness of the German authorities. At the same time the Jews in the ghettos were contending with physical difficulties including starvation by smuggling in food and medicine, to the ghetto.
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