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Everyday routine and cleanliness in the barracks


The photo was taken during an official camp inspection by SS leaders in 1944. The persnickety cleanliness in the barracks was laid down in the camp regulations and was enforced with terror against the prisoners. The requirement to have shining wooden floors, the exact organization of the lockers, and the so-called bed-making routine all served as a pretence for harassing and abusing the prisoners and as a chance to put them on penal report. The barracks were not a place where the prisoners could retreat to; here, too, the arbitrary tyranny and terror of the SS were always present.


The survivor Adam Kozlowiecki describes in his diary Ucisk i strapienie the precise inspection of the lockers and the unrealizable requirements:


The shelves and walls of the wooden locker always had to be so white, as if they had been freshly planed down. Not a single stain was to be visible ... otherwise slaps in the face from the block elder followed, extra work duty ... or a punishment report, the consequence of which was at least an hour of pole hanging.


Locker Inspections