The Nazis in Germany and throughout German-occupied Europe implemented the yellow star as a means to publicly identify, humiliate, and isolate Jews. In many cases, this public identification and stigmatization preceded the mass deportations of Jews to ghettos and killing sites.
On September 1, 1941, the Reich Minister of the Interior decreed that Jews over the age of six in the Greater German Reich were required to wear a yellow Star of David on their outer clothing in public at all times. While ghettos were generally not established in Germany, strict residence regulations forced Jews to live in designated areas of German cities, concentrating them in “Jewish houses” (“Judenhäuser”).
Within Germany, the sight of neighbors forced to wear the yellow badge often elicited sympathy from non-Jewish Germans. This response was widespread enough that the Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment felt compelled to issue pamphlets instructing Germans on how they should respond when encountering neighbors wearing the yellow star.
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