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Stars, Triangles, and Markings

The stars, triangles, and markings in this poster 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 for political prisoners, purple for Jehovah's Witnesses, pink for homosexuals, green for criminals, black for Gypsies 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)
(2) Star of David armband, General Government, ca. November 1939-May 1943.
(3) Star of David with the German word Jude (Jew), Czechoslovakia. (1989.205.0 1)
(4) Star of David button, Bulgaria, 1942. (1991.135.01)
(5) Red triangle embroidered with black initial "T" for Tschechoslowakei (to indicate wearer was Czech). (1989.303.27)
(6) Star of David with the Dutch word Jood (Jew), The Netherlands, 1942. (1990.145.01)
(7) Identification tag issued to Bronia Eiger-Sitner, a Jewish forced laborer at a munitions factory in Radom, Poland, ca. 1944. Attached to identification tag with blue string are a 40 red plastic heart and a mezuzah (a Jewish ritual scroll). Gray paper background is used for photographic purposes, (1919.171.11)
(8) Yellow triangle with "U" (Ungarn or Hungary), Buchenwald, April 1945. (1989.295.07)
(9) Purple triangle with prisoner number 46436 issued in Sachsenhausen to Albert Jahndorf. (1989.240.02)
(10) Star of David used in Hungary, March 1944. (1988.064)
(11) Patch used to identify a Polish civilian laborer in the German Reich, 1940-1945. (1990.259.02)
(12) Purple triangle with prisoner number 1989 issued in Ravensbruck to Luise Jahndorf (1989.240.01)
(13) Pink triangle with the letter "B" (Belgium) from Langenstein-Zwieberge, also known as" Malachit," a subcamp of Buchenwald, ca. 1944-1945. (1991.198.08)
(14) Yellow strip of cloth placed above inverted triangle marking Jews in Monowitz, November 1944. (1991.198.04)
(15) Red triangle with "F" (France), Buchenwald, April 1945. (1989.295.03)
(16) Black triangle with "T" (Czechoslovakia) from Langenstein-Zwieberge, also known as"Malachit," a subcamp of Buchenwald, 1944-1945. Gray paper background is used for photographic purposes. (1991.198.12)
(17) Green triangle with "S," Buchenwald, April 1945. "S" probably meansSicherheitsverwahrter or preventive arrest prisoner. (1989.295.10)
(18) Red triangle with "I" (Italy), Buchenwald, April 1945. (1989.295.04)
(19) Armband embroidered with "L.P." (Lagerpolizei) from Malchow, a labor subcamp of Ravensbrück concentration camp producing ammunition and explosives, February-May 1945. (1988.082.03)

Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Photograph by Arnold Kramer.