Shared Experience: Art and War
Human Laundry, Belsen: April 1945
The “human laundry” consisted of about twenty beds in a stable where German nurses and captured soldiers cut the hair of the inmates, bathed them, and applied anti-louse powder before their transfer to an improvised hospital run by the Red Cross. “Laundry” aptly described the pitifully flimsy condition of the victims. The tension in the composition lies in the enforced dealings between the emaciated and feeble former inmates and the overtly healthy medical staff treating them.