Star of David badge with Jude printed in the center worn by a German Jewish youth

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, United States

Star of David badge worn by Fritz Gluckstein, circa 1941-1945, in Berlin, Germany. On September 1941, the Nazi regime issued a decree that Jews must wear Judenstern at all times to mark them as outcasts from German society. Fritz's Hebrew class discussed the meaning, embarrassment, consequences, such as arrest, if caught without it, and what to do if they were attacked. His mother prepared and applied the badges. They had to be sewn tightly on the left and officials would use pencils to try to get behind the star. Fritz was the son of a Jewish father and a Christian mother, Georg and Hedwig. After Hitler came to power in January 1933, Jews were prohibited from holding public office. Fritz's father, a prominent judge, was dismissed. Under Nazi racial laws, Fritz was a counted Jew, subject to all restrictions. His maternal aunt, Elfriede Dressler provided the family with extra food and supplies. In 1942, Fritz's Jewish school was closed and he was put into the forced labor service cleaning up a Jewish cemetery. In 1943, he was assigned to an armament factory. On February 27, 1943, Fritz and his father were arrested during the Factory Action to round up the remaining Jews of Berlin. He was held in a building on Rosenstrasse with about 2000 other husbands and children of non-Jewish women. The family members demonstrated and demanded the release of their loved ones who they feared would be deported and killed. It was the only public demonstration against the Nazi regime to take place in Germany, and the detainees were released. Fritz and his father worked in a forced labor gang until the war ended on May 7, 1945. Fritz resumed his studies and, in 1948, immigrated to the US. His parents remained in Berlin where his father served as chairman of the new Jewish community's assembly of representatives.


  • Title: Star of David badge with Jude printed in the center worn by a German Jewish youth
  • Provenance: The Star of David badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991 by Fritz Gluckstein.
  • Subject Keywords: Children of interfaith marriage--Germany--Berlin--Biography. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Germany--Berlin--Personal narratives. Forced labor--Germany--Berlin--Biography. Jewish children in the Holocaust--Germany--Berlin--Biography. Jews--Persecution--Germany--Berlin--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Conscript labor--Germany--Berlin--Personal narratives.
  • Type: Identifying Artifacts
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: Yellow cloth badge in the shape of a 6 pointed Star of David. The star outline is formed from 2 overlapping, dyed triangles and has the German word for Jew in font resembling Hebrew in the cente. The edges are folded in and neatly hand sewn to black cloth backing. It has many signs of use: overall dark discoloration, slight stains, fabric runs, and loose black threads.

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