In September 1939, after the German invasion of Poland, the Nazis required stores owned by Jews to be clearly identified. Soon after, they required that Jews wear yellow Star of David badges to identify themselves. In Germany and all territory held by the Nazis, Jews complied with the new rule by wearing homemade armbands. In 1941 in Germany and occupied Europe, Jews aged six and older were required to wear a yellow Star of David on their front and back. Persecuted non-Jews were also forced to wear special identification.
The stars symbolically divided Jews from non-Jews. Jews who wore the badges were likely to be harassed and victims of antisemitic attacks. Jews caught without a badge were fined, imprisoned, or shot. Jews were responsible for buying and distributing the badges. One also had to have his star stamped by the Germans for a fee.
Photo: Group portrait of French Jewish children wearing Jewish stars. 1942-1943, Angouleme, France.
Photo Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Ruth Apfel.
Yellow & green sewn on the star on a white armband (Yellow means Jewish, Green means criminal)
Blue star on white armband (Jew) before standard yellow stars… this badge is stamped by the Nazis showing it has been paid for by the owner
Yellow star was sewn on white armband… Jewish
Bulgarian Bakelite Star of David button
Dutch stars “Jood”
German stars “Jude”
French star “Juif”