Fashioning a Nation - Jewish Badge/Yellow Star

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Immediately following the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the Jewish badge was introduced, although there was no general order. A variety of badges were worn in different regions during the short time between the German invasion and the mass killing of Jews throughout the Soviet Union.

On September 1, 1941, Reinhard Heydrich decreed that all Jews in the Reich six years of age or older were to wear a badge which consisted of a yellow Star of David on a black field to be worn on the chest, with the word "Jew" inscribed inside the star in German or in the local language. This applied to all German Jews and Jews in Germany's annexed territories: Alsace, Bohemia-Moravia and the Warthegau (the German-annexed territory of western Poland).

In German-occupied western Europe, attempts to introduce the badge were met by varying degrees of opposition by the local population, officials, and even the German military.

  • Belgium and the Netherlands: Spring 1942
  • Denmark: never introduced
  • Norway:  never introduced, although after January 10, 1942 all Jews had to carry identification cards stamped with the letter "J"
  • Croatia: May 1941
  • Slovak Republic: September 9, 1941
  • Hungary: March 1944
  • Bulgaria: August 26, 1942
  • Romania: May 1944

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This page was last updated January 3, 2017.