"the problem was that I wasn’t wearing a star"


Nazi Colour Coding Chart
Public DomainNazi Colour Coding Chart - Credit: East Renfrewshire Council Holocaust Remembrance 2004

The badge system in Nazi concentration camps defined and differentiated  each prisoner racially, politically and/or sexually.

Yellow Star: Jewish

Green Triangle: Criminal

Red Triangle: Political Prisoner (often Communist)

Black Triangle: “Asocials” (vagrants, Roma gypsies)

Pink Triangles: Homosexuals

Purple Triangles: Jehovah’s Witnesses

If the prisoner was non-German, they had the initial of their place of origin on their badge.  If a prisoner fell into more than one category they wore a number of badges (e.g. a Jewish, gay communist would wear a yellow star, pink triangle and red triangle).

Jews were required to wear the yellow badges even before they were interned.  Non-compliance, as in Hartmann's case, could lead to deportation.

Note: Hartmann also appears in Faulks's The Girl at the Lion d’Or.