Special Report

30 Symbols Used by the Nazis to Mark Their Victims

Source: Fred Ramage / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

Red triangle

An upright red triangle was for “traitors” accused of providing shelter or escape from the Nazis or for military deserters. No one was allowed to organize against Hitler’s ideology.

Source: Hulton Archive / Archive Photos via Getty Images

Letter “U”

Hungary was an axis power instrumental in constructing and organizing the ghettos, into which Jews were herded within their own territory. Hungarians who resisted the Nazis were imprisoned and labeled with a “U,” after “Ungarn,” German for Hungarian.

Source: Keystone / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

Letter “J”

Axis powers annexed Yugoslavia in 1941. As was the case in Belgium, the Yugoslavs (Jugoslawien in German) were not equipped to fight the economic and military strength of the German army. The captured Yugoslavs received the letter “J”.

Source: Three Lions / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

Letter “H”

When the Third Reich seized the Netherlands in 1940, the Dutch took a stance of neutrality to resist the Nazi regime. Hitler forced their surrender with the Rotterdam Blitz, bombing the country by air raid. An insignia with the letter “H” (for Holländer) was used to classify the interned Dutch.

Brown triangle

A brown, inverted triangle was used to classify Romani males, with the letter “Z” to display their Zigeuner (“Gypsy”) origins.

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