Interior Minster Frick: All Jews Over 6 Must Wear Star of David

Interior Minster Frick: All Jews Over 6 Must Wear Star of David

Wilhelm Frick

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Wilhelm Frick, the Reich Minister of the Interior in Nazi Germany, issues a decree that all Jews over the age of 6 must start wearing a yellow Star of David on their outer clothing when in public.

This applies to all Jews living in Germany as well as German-occupied Poland, Slovakia, Bohemia and Moravia, and takes effect on September 14, though some sources say that it takes effect on the 19th.

In just a few days the Nazi government sends in an order to the Berlin factory of Geitel and Co. to create almost one million of these yellow badges. The star shape along with the inscription "Jude" (Jew) are printed on a long length of material that includes lines for cutting it out. A font reminiscent of the Hebrew alphabet is chosen.

The Reich Association of Jews in Germany will be required to sell the badges to Jews for ten Pfennig each. Each person must sign a form promising to "take good care" of the yellow badges and informed that anyone caught not wearing one will be liable for arrest.

This is not the first time Jews in Nazi Germany have been forced to wear yellow badges — Jews in concentration camps started wearing a yellow triangles as early as 1933. Polish Jews were required to wear a yellow star starting November 23, 1939.

The yellow badges are not even a Nazi invention: it is modeled after the yellow badges which the Catholic Church imposed on Jews during the Middle Ages. The earliest reference to distinguishing clothing for Jews comes from 807 CE, when the Abbassid caliph Haroun al-Raschid ordered Jews to wear a yellow belt and a tall, conical hat. In 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council, convened by Pope Innocent III, decreed with Canon 68:

"Jews and Saracens [Muslims] of both sexes in every Christian province and at all times shall be marked off in the eyes of the public from other peoples through the character of their dress."

The purpose of the yellow badges is unequivocal, visual, public stigmatization. It forces Jews to be separated from non-Jews, even when in a crowd, and increases the chances that they will become victims of anti-Semitic attacks from Christians. It also makes the next stages of the Holocaust easier: rounding them up, deporting them, and exterminating them.

Video

Yellow Star: The Persecution of The Jews In Europe 1933-45

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