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All Jews in Romania Are Forced to Wear Yellow Stars, 1941

On This Day in Jewish History: August 8, 1941

As far back as the 13th century, the Jews of Europe were legally compelled to wear distinctive garments or badges, notably the Judenhut (‘Jew’s Hat’) and the Rota (circles of red or yellow felt).

This practice continued throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, though it decreased in the 17th and 18th centuries. The antisemitic policy was, however, resurrected, by the Nazis.

“The German government’s policy of forcing Jews to wear identifying badges was but one of many psychological tactics aimed at isolating and dehumanising the Jews of Europe, directly marking them as being different (i.e., inferior) to everyone else.”

Such distinctive garments for the Jews served to erect a barrier between them and non-Jews, in effect alienating and isolating the Jewish people across Europe. “It allowed for the easier facilitation of their separation from society and subsequent ghettoization, which ultimately led to the deportation and murder of 6 million Jews.” Critically, if a Jew was caught without bearing a badge, one would consequently be fined, imprisoned, or shot.

In Romania Jews were forced to wear this design, typically a yellow Star of David on a circular black background. Though there were other variations:

In August of 1941, Romania passed legislature, forcing the Jews to wear the six-pointed yellow Star of David. On November 23, 1940, Romania official joined the Axis powers under the dictatorial regime of Mareșal Ion Antonescu. The new regime firmly set the country on a course towards the Axis camp.




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