Nazi concentration camp badges

From Academic Kids

Nazi concentration camp badges, made primarily of inverted triangles, were used in the concentration camps in the Nazi-occupied countries to identify the reason the prisoners had been placed there. The triangles were made of fabric and were sewn on jackets and shirts of the prisoners. These mandatory badges had specific meanings indicated by their color and shape.

Contents

Badge coding system

The shape was chosen by analogy with the common triangular road hazard signs in Germany that denote warnings to motorists. Here, a triangle is called inverted because its base is up while one of its angles points down.

In addition to color-coding, some groups had to put letter insignia on their triangles to denote country of origin. Red triangle with a letter: "B" (Belgians), "F" (French), "I" (Italians), "P" (Poles), "T" (Czechs), "U" (Hungarians).

The most common forms of the badge were:

Double triangles:

  • Two superimposed yellow triangles forming the Star of David — a Jew, including Jews by practice or descent.
  • Pink inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one, making the Star of David — a homosexual Jew.
  • Yellow inverted triangle superimposed over a black triangle, or "voided" black inverted triangle superimposed over a yellow triangle — an Aryan convicted of miscegenation and labeled as a "race defiler."

There were many markings and combinations. A prisoner would typically have at least two, and possibly more than six.

Table of camp inmate markings

Political Enemies Habitual Criminals Emigrants Jehovah's Witnesses Gay males "Asocial" Women and Lesbians
Basic colors Missing image
Small-triangle-red.jpg
Image:Small-triangle-red.jpg

Image:Small-triangle-green.jpg Image:Small-triangle-blue.jpg Image:Small-triangle-purple.jpg Image:Small-triangle-pink.jpg Image:Small-triangle-black.jpg
Markings for Repeaters Image:Small-triangle-rep-red.jpg Image:Small-triangle-rep-green.jpg Image:Small-triangle-rep-blue.jpg Image:Small-triangle-rep-purple.jpg Missing image
Small-triangle-rep-pink.jpg
Image:Small-triangle-rep-pink.jpg

Image:Small-triangle-rep-black.jpg
Inmates of Penal Battalions Image:Small-triangle-penal-red.jpg Missing image
Small-triangle-penal-green.jpg
Image:Small-triangle-penal-green.jpg

Image:Small-triangle-penal-blue.jpg Image:Small-triangle-penal-purple.jpg Missing image
Small-triangle-penal-pink.jpg
Image:Small-triangle-penal-pink.jpg

Image:Small-triangle-penal-black.jpg
Markings for Jews Image:Small-triangle-jew-red.jpg Image:Small-triangle-jew-green.jpg Image:Small-triangle-jew-blue.jpg Image:Small-triangle-jew-purple.jpg
See Note 1
Missing image
Small-triangle-jew-pink.jpg
Image:Small-triangle-jew-pink.jpg

Image:Small-triangle-jew-black.jpg
Special Markings Missing image
Small-triangle-raccce-defile-male.jpg
Image:Small-triangle-raccce-defile-male.jpg


Male Race Defiler
Image:Small-triangle-raccce-defile-fem.jpg
Female Race Defiler
Missing image
Small-triangle-escape.jpg
Image:Small-triangle-escape.jpg


Escape Suspect
Image:Small-triangle-serial.jpg

Inmate Number



Image:Small-triangle-band.jpg
<p>Special Inmate: Brown arm band
Image:Small-triangle-sleeve.jpg
<p>Applicable marks were worn in descending order as follows: Inmate Number, Repeater Bar, Triangle or Star, Member of Penal Battalion, Escape Suspect
Image:Small-triangle-Pole.jpg
Pole: "P" on a red triangle
Image:Small-triangle-Czech.jpg
Czech: "T" (the German word for Czech is Tschechen) on a red triangle
Image:Small-triangle-Armed-Forces.jpg
Member of the Armed Forces: Uninverted red triangle
(Plant 1988 and [1] (http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/holocaust/h-dach-early.htm))

Notes

  1. At first glance, this combination appears to be contradictory. However, the Nazi definition of "Jew", according to the Nuremberg Laws, included those of Jewish ancestry, and so it was possible for such people to actually hold other religions. Thus, "Jewish Jehovah's Witness", while perhaps unlikely, was by no means impossible.

See also

Reference

  • Plant, Richard, The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuals, Owl Books, 1988, ISBN 0805006001.

External links

ja:ナチ強制収容所のバッジ de:Abzeichen in den Konzentrationslagern fr:Systme de marquage nazi des prisonniers

nl:Merktekens in Duitse concentratiekampen

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