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Prisoners sew coats from animal pelts at a Slovak labor camp.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 72036

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    Prisoners sew coats from animal pelts at a Slovak labor camp.
    Prisoners sew coats from animal pelts at a Slovak labor camp.


    Prisoners sew coats from animal pelts at a Slovak labor camp.
    Circa 1942 - 1944
    Novaky, [Slovakia; Bratislava] Czechoslovakia ?
    Variant Locale
    Nyitra Novak
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Alexander Bachnar
    Event History
    The National Defense Law 20/1940 exempted Jews from military service in the new Slovak state, but required them instead to do manual labor at military work camps. Such Jews, who were called "Robotnik Zid" [work Jews], wore distinctive blue uniforms and berets. They were assigned to the Sixth Labor Battalion which consisted of five companies, three of which were exclusively made up of Jews. New Jewish recruits were assembled in Cemerne (Vranov district) in eastern Slovakia, where they underwent basic military training using shovels instead of rifles. After their training the Jewish labor companies were assigned to forced labor in various parts of the country. In the spring of 1942 most of the Jewish labor units were concentrated at three labor camps in the Bratislava district in western Slovakia: Sv. Jur, Lab and Zohor, where they were put to work on drainage projects. When the mass deportation of Slovak Jewry began in the spring of 1942 the position of the "work Jews" improved vis a vis the civilian Jewish population. The Jewish labor companies fell under the authority of the Ministry of Defense which was often in conflict with the Ministry for Internal Affairs that was responsible for the deportation actions. As a result, the Defense Ministry sometimes refused to comply with requests from Internal Affairs to discharge "work Jews" from the military labor service. On May 31, 1943 the military labor camps for Jews were formally disbanded and the remaining "work Jews" were moved to civilian concentration camps or centers.

    [Source: Dagan, Avigdor (ed.), The Jews of Czechoslovakia. Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1984, pp.187-8]

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Alexander Bachnar

    Keywords & Subjects

    Record last modified:
    2017-09-18 00:00:00
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