Roman Food – Bridget Willard

Although they did not eat big meals, Romans were fairly healthy and did a good job balancing all of the different food groups. Breakfast, coming right around sunrise, always consisted of bread. The lower class Romans would grab a piece of bread with cheese or soak it in some wine to soften it. Grapes were grown everywhere Rome so wine was very fresh. Upper class Romans had a bit of a bigger breakfast, for they may have some fresh fruits and vegetables along with their bread. Common fruits included, figs, dates, grapes, olives, pomegranates. Occasionally, the upper class would have wheat pancakes with dates and honey. In Rome, they replaced sugar with honey. But for the most part, breakfast was small and not as important to the Romans as the other meals were. Lunch, eaten around noon was bigger than breakfast but still fairly small, for they wanted to save their stomachs for dinner. Lunch usually included leftovers from the night before or if there was none, they would have some cooked meat such as ham and salami, salad, cheese, hard boiled eggs, vegetable and bread. Dinner was the biggest and most important meal of the day. It started around 4pm and went into late at night. Romans made a big deal out of this. They gathered together with friends and families and drank wine and ate 3 courses from all different food groups.

survivor letter b willard

Virginia Holocaust Museum

2000 East Cary Street

Richmond, VA 23223



Dear Eugene Black:


My name is Bridget Willard and I am writing to you from the Holocaust Museum in Richmond, Virginia.  It has come to my attention that you, Eugene Black, are one of the survivors of the Holocaust. I have chosen to write a letter to you personally, telling you about what I have researched and asking a few burning questions of curiosity, if you don’t mind.


Online, I have found an image from the Holocaust. This is an image of 25,000 shoes of the Jewish people that were killed in the gas chambers one disheartening day at a concentration camp in Auschwitz. According to my knowledge and research, you were forced into one of the concentration camps in Auschwitz for 10 enduring days. Of all of those shoes in the image, it is devastating to think that you could have known a copious amount of those people who had those shoes. All of the shoes looked like they had been very worn out from the hard work and torture the Nazis put them through. Did you have shoes when you served in the camp? What were they like and did they look like any of the shoes in the picture?


After working at the camp, you were moved to a slave labor camp in the Harz Mountains. I am sure the slave labor camp was just as horrifying as the concentration camp but what were there differences? Did you ever have hope at either of the camps or did you wish to be dead rather than laboring? I found out that for the slave labor camps you had to load trucks with massive, abundant items for 12-14 hours a day. That must have been very painful for you to go through all of that. I am amazed that you survived and were liberated by British Forces on April 15th, 1945. That must have been the greatest day of your life next to the day you married your wife.


I have researched a lot and learned that you have become a free man. You got married, gained freedom, and were able to do all of the things that any human being should be allowed to do, live, laugh, love and prosper and that brings me joy. You have an interesting life story and I would love to share it with others at the Holocaust Museum in my exhibit. I think that would be a great opportunity for students and others to learn about the history and about your personal life. May I ask your permission to share your stories in my exhibit?


I am so taken back to learn how strong you were after going through everything and that you managed to advance in your life and continue to live it the way it is supposed to be lived. I enjoyed learning about your background story, along with all of the others who survived the Holocaust. I hope that you grant me the opportunity to share your amazing story to others at my exhibit. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.




Bridget Willard

Holocaust Museum, Richmond Virginia


link to picture