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.