“It was as if they were shooting at stray dogs…The didn’t care and shot in every direction, without and consideration. We saw blood on the white snow and carried on walking.”—Recollection of a survivor of the forced march from Auschwitz-Birkenau, Jan 1945 (via nazischutzstaffel)
“It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”—From the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO, on the liberation of Bergen-Belsen in 1945.