Non-Jewish Victims of the Holocaust Courtney Bergman 8P-4
Poles, or natives of Poland, were the first non-Jewish victims of the Nazis.
They were identified by a “P” sewn onto a triangular patch.
Polish children who fit the description of the “supreme race” (blonde hair and blue eyes) were taken from their families and brought up as loyal Nazis. This process was known as “Germanization”.
Considered by the Nazis to be racially inferior, Poles met many different yet equally horrible fates. They were either put into forced labor, shipped to concentration camps…
… or simply killed on the spot.
Gypsies, in the context of WWII, are nomadic people of Eastern European descent.
They were identified by a brown triangular patch.
Like the Jews, Gypsies were persecuted by the Nazis simply because of their heritage.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Gypsies were killed in the concentration camps– most were gassed at Auschwitz.
These Gypsy children were used as guinea pigs for experiments.
Those who weren’t deemed useful enough were buried alive like this. The victim’s hands were bound to his neck. If he tried to free his hands, he would strangle himself.
Political enemies of the Nazi Party included Socialists, Communists, and any political movements with Jewish leaders.
In an early Nazi regime campaign known as “Nacht und Nebel”, or “Night and Fog”, political activists were arrested and dealt with as the Gestapo saw fit.
Political enemies were identified by wearing red triangles.
On December 7, 1941, the same day as the Pearl Harbor attack, Gestapo head Heinrich Himmler issued the Nacht und Nebel directive:
Nacht Und Nebel
“ After lengthy consideration, it is the will of the Führer that the measures taken against those who are guilty of offenses against the Reich or against the occupation forces in occupied areas should be altered. The Führer is of the opinion that in such cases penal servitude or even a hard labor sentence for life will be regarded as a sign of weakness. An effective and lasting deterrent can be achieved only by the death penalty or by taking measures which will leave the family and the population uncertain as to the fate of the offender. Deportation to Germany serves this purpose.”
-- Statement to the Gestapo, Dec. 7, 1941
Jehovah’s Witnesses, like other “undesirable races”, were forced to wear an identifying patch sewn to their clothing. In their case, it was a purple triangle.
They were targeted because they refused to show loyalty to the Nazi Party.
Nazis classified Jehovah’s Witnesses as “Bible Researchers”, although this category also included unorthodox Christians.
Homosexuals were identified by a pink triangle. This category was strictly for male homosexuals.
The Nazis considered male homosexuals to be weak, effeminate men incapable of fighting for the Third Reich.
As part of a government censorship program, the Hirschfield Sexual Science Institute in Berlin was raided, and 12,000 books and 35,000 irreplaceable pictures were burned because of “objectionable” (i.e. homosexual) content.
People with Disabilities
Mentally disabled people were identified by a black triangle with the word “Blod” sewn on it.
The Nazis deemed physically and mentally disabled people to be useless and a burden on the Aryans, so they began euthanasia programs to “cleanse” the “master race” in order to reach racial “perfection”.