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A blue and gray striped jacket from the Flossenbürg concentration camp. The letter "P" on the left front of the jacket indicates that it was worn by a Polish, non-Jewish prisoner. "P" stands for "Pole" in German. The jacket was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by the prisoner who wore it, Julian Noga.
Abraham Lewent, who had been sent from the Warsaw ghetto to Majdanek and later transferred to several concentration camps in Germany, wore this jacket as part of the uniform issued to him upon his arrival in the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1944.
After being deported from Theresienstadt to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942, Karel Bruml wore this cap as a forced laborer in the Buna synthetic rubber works located in the Buna-Monowitz section of the camp.
Hana Mueller altered this skirt issued to her in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944 by using the hem to make pockets.
The Dutch government established a camp at Westerbork to intern Jewish refugees who had entered the Netherlands illegally. This sketch of the Westerbork transit camp was made by a Jewish inmate who was able to emigrate to the United States. In early 1942, the German occupation authorities decided to enlarge Westerbork and convert it into a transit camp for Jews. The systematic concentration of Jews from the Netherlands in Westerbork began in July 1942. From Westerbork, Jews were deported to the killing centers in German-occupied Poland.
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?
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