Birkenau Men’s Barrack
Wooden barrack at BIIa, and used throughout the camp, originally designed as a horse stable.
People were forced to sleep as many as six, and sometimes eight on each hutch level.
These barracks were locked at night and supplied with only buckets for toilets.
In the middle is an ineffective brick heating duct, heated at both ends occasionally by a brick stove.
View from inside a hutch, where many hundreds of thousands of souls were warehoused with much less care than the horses for which these barracks had been designed.
“Many times I felt I was dreaming. I would have to call to, my self: ‘Wake up! Wake up! You are having a nightmare!”
I would look around me, trying to wake up, but alas my eyes would keep seeing the same dismal picture.
Finally I would start to shake all over, I would say to myself: ‘You are in a concentration camp, in an annihilation camp. Don’t let them get you down.’
I didn’t want to end up in the furnace.”*
*Judith Sternberg Newman. In the Hell of Auschwitz (New York: Exposition, 1964. p.20
(In: Terrence Des Pres. The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps (Pocket Books: New York, 1976, p. 95).