Forced labor badge, yellow with a purple P, worn by a Polish Catholic kidnapped into forced labor service
Watenstedt-Salzgitter (Forced labor camp);
- Object Type
Forced labor badges (ushmm)
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joseph Wardzala
Forced labor badge, yellow with a purple P, issued to 18 year old Joseph Wardzala in 1941 to identify him as a Polish forced laborer in the Watenstedt-Salzgitter labor camp in northwest Germany. German regulations required the workers to wear the badge with the purple band visible around the P on the right chest to keep them separate from the German populace. During the German occupation of Poland, 1939-1945, many non-Jewish Polish people were sent to Germany as conscript labor for civilian labor details on farms and factories. Workers sometimes volunteered for the forced labor service, but the majority were forcibly recruited and conditions worsened as the war continued. In April 1941, Joseph, who was Roman Catholic, was kidnapped on the streets of Tarnow, Poland, and deported to the labor camp in Germany, where he was forced to work in construction for the German Army. He was liberated by American troops in April 1945. Joseph was taken to a United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA) refugee camp. After five years, he acquired an American visa and, in 1950, emigrated to the US.
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:21:22
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn3350
Also in This Collection
The papers consists of documents and photographs relating to the experiences of Joseph Wardzala, a Roman Catholic who was deported from Poland to a forced labor camp in Germany during World War II.
Food ration coupon issued to Joseph Wardzala for Lebenstedt Firmenlager, a work camp near Braunschweig, Germany. The coupon has separate sections for warm and cold food and for sugar rations. Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany in September 1939. In April 1941, Joseph, age 18, a Roman Catholic, was kidnapped by the Germans from the streets of Tarnow and deported to Watenstedt-Salzgitter labor camp in northwest Germany. He was forced to work in construction for the German Army. Joseph was liberated by American troops in April 1945. He was taken to a United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA) displaced persons camp. After five years, he finally acquired a visa to the United States and, in 1950, emigrated to the US where he settled in Connecticut.
The identification card ("Kennkarte") was issued to Marianna Wardzala in 1943 in Tarnów, Poland.