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Yellow Stars

Learning Center
by

Erin O'Keefe

on 20 April 2010

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Transcript of Yellow Stars

Yellow Stars The yellow star, with "Jude" written on it, was used to identify Jewish people during World War II. This star has become a symbol of the killing of Jews that happened throughout the Holocaust. The Nazis were not the first to think of marking Jews with a badge. In 807 CE, Abbassid caliph Haroun al-Raschid demanded that all Jews wear a yellow belt and a tall hat that looked like a cone. First to Label? Symbolism Idea to Re-Use On April 1, 1933, the Nazis declared a boycott on Jewish stores. On every window, yellow Stars of David were painted. But, the idea of having Jewish people wear a badge had not been discussed yet at this time. Many people believe that the idea to force Jews to wear a badge was discussed by Nazi leaders in 1938. However, it wasn't until after World War II began in 1939 that officers actually demanded people to wear a star in the occupied parts of Poland. The Badge Was Issued On September 1, 1941, a decree was issued that ordered Jews to wear a badge. This badge was the yellow Star of David with "Jude" (meaning Jew) and was worn on the left side of a person's chest. How It Helped the Nazis The Nazis could easily recognize Jews on the street, and no longer had to try to spot a Jewish person just by their physical features or the way they dressed. At first many Jews felt embarrassed. But, as time passed the star began to symbolize fear. If a Jew forgot their badge, they could be fined or imprisoned, but more likely either beaten or killed. However, many people tried to hide their badge when they were wearing it. They would hold objects in front of their star. Extinguishing Jews Nazis would punish Jews if they wer wearing a folded or creased badge, wearing the star an inch out of place, and for using a safety pin instead of sewing it to attach it onto their clothing. The use of safety pins was to conserve the amount of badges used, since most people had more clothes than badges. Nazis did not like this because they thought Jews would just take the star off if danger was near, which often happened. While Nazis were ruling Germany, Jews were always in danger. Because Nazi soldiers could easily recognize Jewish people, it was easier to get them to concentration camps in order to extinguish Jewish people and have the world consist only of Hitler's "superior race."
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