From Bergen-Belsen: Human Dignity...What makes Us Human

From the diary of Lt. Col Willett Gonin who described what happened when his unit liberated the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.  At the moment of this writing hundreds of people still died every day:

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 time 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 mortum 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.

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