A few loaves of bread — that’s all it took to make all the difference to these women freed from Bergen-Belsen. After being liberated on April 15, 1945, by the British Army’s 11th Armoured Division, these 60,000 prisoners from within the camp began the long process of rejoining the world.

Many of them starved and sick with typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and dysentery, they were still luckier than the 13,000 corpses found strewn throughout the camp — unburied — and the tens of thousands more thought to have died there.

Though undoubtedly still reeling from the joy of release, a closer look at the faces of the women reveals a huge range of emotion. Release may have been instant, but recovery from the ordeal could take a lifetime.


 Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, near Celle, Lower Saxony, Germany.

April 1945.

Image taken by British Army Sgt. H. Oakes, No. 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit. 

Credit: Anti-Worlds