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Unused forced labor badge, blue field with OST in white letters, to identify a forced laborer from the Soviet Union

Object | Accession Number: 2005.506.7

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    Unused forced labor badge, blue field with OST in white letters, to identify a forced laborer from the Soviet Union
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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Unused OST forced labor badge that would have been worn by a forced laborer to identify them as an Ostarbeiter [Worker from the East], usually Russian or Ukrainian, deported to work in Nazi Germany. The patch would have been sewn to the chest with the outer white border visible. After Germany attacked the Soviet Union in the spring of 1941, the need for forced labor to support the war effort became an urgent necessity. Beginning in 1942, millions of forced laborers were deported from the Soviet Union to work in factories and other civilian labor details. They were housed in so-called residence camps that often had barbed wire and SS guards. They were treated as second class citizens and kept separate from the general population. After the war ended in 1945, nearly 6 million eastern workers were repatriated to the Soviet Union where they often were discriminated against and accused of being traitors to their country.
    Date
    issue:  1942-1945
    Geography
    issue: Poland
    Credit Line
    Forms part of the Claims Conference International Holocaust Documentation Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This archive consists of documentation whose reproduction and/or acquisition was made possible with funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Markings
    front center, white cloth within dyed dark blue field : OST [Ostarbeiter: Eastern worker]

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Identifying Artifacts
    Category
    Badges
    Physical Description
    Square white cloth with a badge design screen printed on one side with dark blue dye. In the center is a white 3 letter acronym, OST, upon a dark blue square field. That square is bordered by an outline of undyed white cloth which is then bordered by a dyed dark blue outline. The badge appears unused and the edges are frayed.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 3.125 inches (7.938 cm) | Width: 3.125 inches (7.938 cm)
    Materials
    overall : cloth, dye

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The OST badge was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005.
    Record last modified:
    2023-01-19 13:32:39
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn523544

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