The Jews’ plight worsened when they were sent to concentration and extermination camps. There they became increasingly dependent on food parcels from relatives and rescue organizations. Many starved to death.
Until the summer of 1943, it was possible under certain conditions to send parcels to many of the occupied lands and even to concentration camps. Parcels to Poland, sent via Lisbon, contained mainly canned fish and dried vegetables, coffee, tea, and cocoa. Postage was expensive, parcel weight was limited, and exacting instructions about packaging and the recording of the recipient’s address made sending difficult. Any parcel that broke the rules did not reach its destination. Furthermore, the Germans often interrupted parcel-post services as a means of oppression. Large shipments were sent out via the Red Cross and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, but there is no telling whether they reached their destinations.