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.