Nazi concentration camp badges were symbols used by the Nazi regime during World War II to identify and categorize prisoners held in concentration camps. They served as distinctive emblems that were worn by individuals imprisoned in these camps to distinguish them based on various criteria such as their perceived political or social background, ethnicity, or perceived threat to the Nazi ideology.
These badges typically consisted of cloth patches or markings which were prominently displayed on the prisoners' uniforms. The color, shape, and peculiar symbols on the badges varied according to the classification system developed by the Nazis. The badges effectively served as a means of dehumanizing and marginalizing the prisoners, publicly singling them out as enemies of the state and reinforcing the brutal hierarchy within the concentration camps.
With several categories of badges, each prisoner would be assigned a specific badge that reflected their group classification. For example, yellow triangles were used to identify Jewish prisoners, while red triangles were used for political prisoners and various other symbols indicated differing groups such as Jehovah's Witnesses, LGBTQ+ individuals, Romani people, and others deemed undesirable by the Nazi regime. These badges were a clear display of the oppressive nature of the concentration camps and were intended to create fear, isolation, and persecution among the prisoners.
The use of such badges as a system of identification in Nazi concentration camps exemplifies the regime's dehumanization and persecution of specific groups during their quest for racial and ideological purity. The significance of these badges remains a chilling reminder of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and serves as a reminder never to forget the gravity of the human rights violations that took place during that time.