In November 1939, one year after Kristallnacht, the Nazi government followed the recommendation of leader Reinhard Heydrich and first introduced mandatory ID badges for Jews in Poland. It was announced that
severe punishment is in store for Jews who do not wear the yellow badge on back and front.
This Nazi policy was one of the tactics used to isolate Jews from the rest of the population and it enabled the Nazi government to identify, concentrate, and ultimately murder the Jews of Europe. Helmut Knochen, chief of Security Service & the Security Police in France and Belgium, stated that the yellow badge was
another step on the road to the Final Solution.
The following are replicas of the badges worn by Jews across Europe:
|The stars, triangles, and markings in the poster below are symbols used by the Nazis to isolate and identify their victims. Almost everywhere under Nazi rule Jews were forced to purchase and wear a six-pointed star of David whenever they appeared in public. The yellow or blue star was worn on an armband or pinned on a shirt or coat. Concentration camp prisoners wore triangular badges that identified them by their arrest category. Many badges also identified the bearer’s race or nationality. Yellow triangles were for Jews, red triangles were for political prisoners, purple for Jehovah’s Witnesses, pink for homosexuals, green for criminals, black for Roma and “asocials,” and blue for emigrants. Letters printed on badges usually indicated nationality.|
1) Star of David with the French word Juif (Jew). France, 1942. (1989.045.01)