Today's quote comes from page 239
On Christmas Eve, the women were permitted to stop work at four. Plans had been made for a dinner of celebration: women still alive despite all the odds celebrating the simple fact that they were not dead. They realised with delight that their hair had grown back a bit and they helped each other to wash it and brush the new tufts and strands that covered their heads. A few of the women had acquired stockings from 'Canada', and shirts had been 'organised' and cut up to make a clean white collar for each of them. With sheets as tablecloths, the refectory tables were formed into a horseshoe and decorated. Paper was crinkled into flowers, and the chemists had fashioned rouge and lipstick out of powders in the laboratory. Food, saved from the parcels from France and vegetables pilfered from the gardens were made into a feast of beans and cabbage, potatoes with onion sauce and poppy seeds. The women ate little, having lost the habit of food, but the sight of so much to eat made them cheerful. They drank sweet dark beer, stolen from the SS kitchens. After they had eaten, they turned out the lights, lit candles, and the Polish women sang hymns and ballads, saying to each other Do domou: back home. presents were exchanged: a bar of soap, a rope woven into a belt, a teddy bear found near the gas chambers and exchanged for two onions.