We walked into the bathroom; a long narrow bunker with an equally long concrete slab dotted with 100, 10-inch circles. There were doors at either end.
"Guards would stand at the doors," our guide stated. "From that door one guard would let in 100 people. The moment the first person entered, the guard at the other end started counting down from 10. 'Zehn, neun, acht, seiben, sechs...,' he would shout. They all had to be on their way out by the time he reached 'one', or would be severely punished."
"The best jobs prisoners had were to work in the lavatories, cleaning the waste," our guide continued. Our eyes widened. "It's true. No guard would come near the lavatories during the day. That allowed the workers to use the toilet whenever they needed, for as long as they needed."
Due to malnutrition, however, many suffered from severe diarrhea. For that reason alone, prisoners all shared a top bunk (read: slat) to sleep on.
I was left to wonder, after having walked the path to the crematorium only a few minutes earlier, were those who faced immediate death after their arrival in Auschwitz the lucky ones?