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Camp Layout: Barracks
The housing conditions at Ruhleben left much to be desired. Upon arrival, internees were issued the barest of necessities. In some cases, beds and blankets were not immediately available, and internees had to prevail upon their loft or stall mates for the use of blankets. Straw-sack mattresses were often stuffed with wet and moldy straw. Many of the stalls were dusty and dirty with manure still clinging to the whitewashed walls and cement floors. Each stall had one small window near the ceiling and inner walls that stopped three feet below the ceiling allowing for constant noise and drafts. Entered via an exterior staircase that ran along the outer wall of the barrack, the loft's roof's rafters were spaced ten feet apart, and between each of these five men were allotted a 2 x 6 foot space in which to store their belongings and make their beds on straw mats.