Human Laundry, Belsen: April 1945 by Doris Zinkeisen (ART LD 5468)


Imperial War Museums

Imperial War Museums
London, United Kingdom

A line of wooden tables the front three with an emaciated figure sitting or lying on top. Each of the figures is
being washed by a man or woman dressed in a white uniform. A metal bucket stands at the foot of every table; a woman is seen walking out
of the room carrying a bucket in either hand.

Artist and designer Doris Zinkeisen arrived at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945, just after its liberation, to record the work of the Red Cross. The 'human laundry' depicted here, set up to combat the spread of typhus, was staffed by captured German doctors and nurses. The inmates would be shaved, bathed and dusted with anti-lice powder before they were transferred to an improvised hospital run by the Red Cross.


  • Title: Human Laundry, Belsen: April 1945 by Doris Zinkeisen (ART LD 5468)
  • Date: 1945-04-01
  • Location: Belsen, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • External link: View on Imperial War Museums' website
  • Associated place: Germany (pre 1945 and post 1990) DE, Great Britain GB

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