Although prisoner hierarchies differed between camps, and shifted over time, there were some constants. During the war, Jewish prisoners mostly found themselves at the bottom, and Germans near the top. In Sachsenhausen, as in many camps, Soviet prisoners also stood near the bottom. Unlike other groups, they could not supplement their starvation rations with food parcels from abroad, and had to beg for scraps. The following Sachsenhausen diary entry by the Norwegian inmate Odd Nansen, a political prisoner, highlights the sense of superiority some other inmates felt over starving Soviets.
Saturday, 30 October 1943
[…] Everyone is thinking of himself. Everyone is grabbing for himself, few share with others. The average Norwegian, even, treats a Ukrainian worse than he would a dog at home. He knows the Ukrainian is starving, everyone does, for they get no parcels “from home”. He just doesn’t think about it, simply drives him [the Ukrainian] away as he would flies or vermin. I suppose the Ukrainians and Russians are the worst beggars, as is natural. Their lives are at stake. Norwegians did the same thing when their lives were at stake. Before they started getting parcels. For a couple of cigarettes, of which the Norwegians get more than other people, they can fool a poor tobacco-starved Russian or other fellow creature out of a whole bread ration […]. It’s as if they [the Norwegians] had adopted the German Herrenvolk [master race] consciousness, too. We Teutons! Yes, a Norwegian said that to me the other day, when we were discussing the end of the war and when we might expect to get home to Norway. “Of course we Teutons will be seen to first.” I tackled him and he simply saw it as reasonable.
Source: O. Nansen, From Day to Day (Nashville, 2016), p. 413 (emphasis in the original)