Birkenau Quarantine Latrines

Birkenau Quarantine Latrines

There was no privacy, very little water for washing and little or no opportunity for personal cleanliness in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Prisoners were often afflicted with typhus and other diarrhea-producing illnesses.

The latrines in this barrack serviced seventeen barracks in BIIa , quarantine; approximately seven thousand prisoners.

Author Terrence Des Pres described it as an “excremental assault” and wrote:

How much self-esteem can one maintain, how readily can one respond to the needs of another, if both stink, if both are caked with mud and feces?*.

* Terrence Des Pres, The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps (Pocket Books: New York, 1976) p. 66