It may not have been concentration camp food, but it certainly was not the level of meal service that Holocaust survivors expected when they came to be honored at a commemorative event.

Spiegel Online reported that at a lunch following a ceremony last week marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Brandenburg, Germany, survivors were served soup in plastic bowls while VIPs dined on porcelain plates and were served by waiters.

Photos taken at the lunch show that the wooden tables at which the approximately 90 survivors ate were left bare. In contrast, the tables for the honored guests, such as Daniela Schadt, partner of German President Joachim Gauck, and the Polish president’s wife Anna Komorowska, were covered in elegant white tablecloths.

“This contrast was shameful,” a student accompanying a group of Polish survivors told Spiegel Online.

The Brandenburg Memorial Site Foundation, which organized the event, claimed that this was not really meant to be a full lunch, but instead a snack to tide people over until a festive meal hosted later in the day by the Brandenburg state government, to which the survivors and their families were invited.

Sources in the state government reportedly questioned the Memorial Foundation’s approach to hospitality, but in its defense, the foundation reported that it had received emails from the president of the International Ravensbrück ommittee and the chairman of the Ravensbrück Committee in Israel thanking it for the meal served on plastic picnic-ware.

Ravensbrück was opened by the Nazis in May 1939 as a concentration camp exclusively for women. Between then and the end of WWII, some 130,000 women prisoners passed through the camp, including 26,000 Jewish women.

When the Russians liberated Ravensbrück on April 30, 1945, there were only 3,500 prisoners left there. Approximately 25,000 others had been put on a death march toward Mecklenburg. The survivors of the march were liberated by a Russian scout unit.