The “jewish star”: stigma and sign of brutal persecution

With the "Police regulation about the marking of the Jews" all Jews in the German Reich will be forced to wear the "Judenstern" committed. The regulation comes into force on 19. September 1941 in force.

by Maren Stiebert

When asked about compulsory identification for Jews, Adolf Hitler told a journalist during a speech to district leaders of the NSDAP in 1937: This "problem of identification" is a problem that must be solved Have been under continued consideration for two or three years, and will one day be implemented one way or another, of course. "Because: The final goal of our whole policy is quite clear to us all."

Obligation to wear a last step before the deportations

About four years later, on 19. September 1941 the "Police Regulation on the Marking of Jews in force. It obliged the Jews to wear a yellow star on their clothes. For its wearers it meant social isolation and stigmatization. Discrimination, disenfranchisement and exclusion are thus further increased. The introduction of the yellow Star of David, in Nazi propaganda the "Jewish Star called was one of the last measures taken by the Nazis before the start of deportation.

Branded and scorned

The palm-sized badge, modeled after the hexagram of the Maggen David (Star of David), had to be worn visibly on the left side of the chest of all Jews aged six and older. The inscription "Jew was designed in such a way that it mocked the Hebrew scripture. Forced by the Gestapo, the Jewish community itself had to sell the stars for 10 pfennigs each. Jews who were married to a non-Jewish partner, i.e. who lived in a so-called privileged mixed marriage, were exempt from the obligation to wear a Jewish identity card.

Recourse to anti-Semitic tradition of the Middle Ages

In choosing the defamatory symbol, the Nazis drew on the centuries-old history of anti-Semitism. As early as the Middle Ages, Jews were forced to wear certain badges almost everywhere in Christian Europe. Depending on the country or area, they usually had to wear yellow patches, stars, or rings on their clothing or put on the so-called Judenhut (Jewish hat).

In German occupied Poland was the "yellow star already obligatory for all Jews from November 1939.

Ordinances and laws sealed the exclusion

The gradual disenfranchisement and exclusion of Jews had begun only a few months after the National Socialists came to power. More and more new laws and regulations had degrading effects on their lives. Through occupational bans and expropriations of businesses, their economic existence was gradually destroyed. And they were ousted from public life: Jews were subject to restrictions on going out, children were no longer allowed to attend public schools, they were forbidden to enter theaters, cinemas or museums. The inscription "Only for Aryans" was emblazoned on park benches, at the entrances to restaurants there were signs warning that "Jews are not wanted here".

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9. November 1938: 83 years ago, at the behest of the National Socialists, synagogues and Jewish businesses burned down in the north as well. more

From October 1938 all Jews had to hand in their passports. The authorities issued only limited numbers of new identity cards, which were marked with a stamped "J". From the beginning of 1939, Jews had to carry identification cards and adopt a compulsory first name. Men were given the suffix "Israel, Women the name "Sara.

Ghettoization on the eve of the deportations

Among the innumerable restrictions was also the police order of September 1941 mentioned above. It did not only include the obligation to identify oneself with the "Jewish star". It also prohibited Jews from wearing medals and other decorations, and ensured that they were no longer allowed to leave their district of residence without a police permit. This was a further step in the process of ghettoization, which was made possible by the "Law on the Tenancy of Jews" from 30. April 1939 had already been initiated. "Aryan" Landlords could therefore terminate the tenancy of Jews at any time without notice, provided that new accommodation was available. At the same time, the law obliged Jews who had housing to take in homeless people.

The result was the emergence of so-called Jewish houses. Every change of residence also had to be precisely registered with the support of the Jewish community. From the 1. April 1942, the apartments were also marked with a "Jewish star" marked next to the name tag. The registration, spatial grouping and marking of the Jews offered the National Socialists the possibility of a "perfect" Jewish settlement Surveillance. These measures made the planned deportation and murder of the Jews possible.

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