Friday, June 09, 2006

Yellow Badge

Yellow Badge
Photo courtesy of Daniel Ullrich, Threedots, who took it at the exhibition in the Jewish Museum Westphalia, Dorsten, Germany and put it on the Wikimedia Commons.
The following paragraph is from Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in English in Jerusalem by Rubin Mass Ltd. The publication here is courtesy of Oren Mass
As part of its ferocious anti-Semitism, Nazi Germany tried to disparage the star, forcing its Jewish citizens to wear it as a yellow badge - the Judenstern (Jewish Star) as it was called.
It seems appropriate to mention here a poem written in 1942 in occupied Paris, after the Germans ordered the Jews to wear the yellow badge. The poem was written by a Russian Gentile, Elizabeth Skovzovah, who had emigrated to Paris after World War I. Working for the anti-Nazi underground, she was known as "Mother Mary". Her poem (translated from the Russian) follows:
Two triangles forming a star
Magen David—Shield of David
Shield of the Fathers—not a disgrace
A great gift—not a disaster.

Again they persecute you, Israel,
but what will the plots of Belial achieve
when in the lightning of the Sinai
God answers you again from above?

Therefore, awaken, you who have upon you the sign,
the Magen David, shield and symbol,
Learn to stand up in the battle of the generation
Against the sign of bondage, slavery and suffering.
However, not only Nazi-Germany denigrated the six-pointed star. In the Communist countries it was repressed, too, or it got disfigured where it could not be removed, as e.g. in the "Jewish House" at the Rumanian town of Czernovitz. There, all the two hundred hexagrams of its banister were disfigured during the Stalin era:


zeevveez said...

For an exhibition of different photos of yellow badges in different European countries see

zeevveez said...

Some of the Jews were also identified in this period by armbands:
Roman Polanski In his 1984 autobiography said (see:
"The only thing I wasn't able to copy, for some reason, was one particular Star of David. The two triangles that made up the star were interlaced with great complexity. I had plenty of time to study this pattern, however. From December 1, 1939, onward, my family had to wear strange white armbands with the Star stenciled on them in blue. I was told it meant we were Jewish. My parents had never practiced their religion. My mother was only part Jewish, and both she and my father were agnostics who didn't believe in religious instruction for children".

zeevveez said...

In Budapest, Jews were confined to marked houses (so-called Star of David houses). (see:
I heard from an eyewitness that these houses were marked with a big yellow Star of David".

zeevveez said...

The Nazis forced millions of European Jews to wear the yellow Star of David, inscribed with the word "Jude". Jews who failed to wear them risked death.

It enabled the German government to identify, concentrate, deprive, starve, and ultimately murder the Jews of Europe under its control. In 1942, Helmut Knochen, the German government's chief of the Security Service and the Security Police for occupied France and Belgium, stated that the yellow badge was "another step on the road to the Final Solution."

In this context the meaning of the Star of David was fear and suffering. During the holocaust every Jew was forced to develop some relationship towards the Star of David which was ubiquitous.

In reaction to Nazi boycott upon Jewish stores on April 1, 1933 after yellow Stars of David were painted on windows, German Zionist leader Robert Weltsch wrote an article titled "Wear It With Pride, The Yellow Badge" that touches the spiritual issue of Jewish identity in relation to the Star of David:

The events of that day have aspects that are not only political and economic, but moral and spiritual as well… the world of our previous concepts has collapsed… April 1, 1933, can become the day of Jewish awakening and Jewish rebirth... The Jews, under attack, must learn to acknowledge themselves… One would like to recommend in these days that the document that stood at the cradle of Zionism, Theodor Herzl's "Jewish State," be distributed in hundreds of thousands of copies among Jews and non-Jews... This regulation is intended as a brand, a sign of contempt. We will take it up and make of it a badge of honor… In addition to other signs and inscriptions one often saw windows bearing a large Magen David, the Shield of David the King. It was intended as dishonor. Jews, take it up, the Shield of David, and wear it with pride!

Jews started wearing the yellow Star of David not when Hitler came to power in 1933 but in 1939 after the start of the Second World War.

zeevveez said...

Israel Today:
"During the reign of the Third Reich in Germany, the Star of David was labeled an occult symbol. This caused many Christians to refrain from trying to save Jews because they didn’t want to come under occult influences from the Jewish Star they wore".

jerrod said...

Does anyone know where the Star of David used before and during world war 2 whereas it would be a flag with the star of David and also a stabbing looking dot in the center of the Star of David, and a bunch of rioting people around the flag. Those were some of the last peoples to know of the true origin of the Star of David.

I need a picture of this event for my research.
Thank you much everyone