A chart of prisoner markings used in German concentration camps. Dachau, Germany, ca. 1938–1942.
Beginning in 1937–1938, the SS created a system of marking prisoners in concentration camps. Sewn onto uniforms, the color-coded badges identified the reason for an individual’s incarceration, with some variation among camps. The Nazis used this chart illustrating prisoner markings in the Dachau concentration camp.
Critical Thinking Questions
Why did the SS have a system of badging and identification within the camps, if everyone was a prisoner?
How do badges and numbers dehumanize individuals?
We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.