image identification

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Scott9
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Joined: 16 Oct 2013 19:13

image identification

Post by Scott9 » 18 Jul 2019 12:56

Hello,

I wonder if any of you had any idea what group the man depicted in this image belongs to, and about when and where it was taken? My first thought was that this is perhaps a Jewish man in Poland after the German invasion? Were Jews at that time and in that place forced to wear these kinds of arm bands? Or is this an ethnic German in Poland forced to wear a white arm band after 1945?

Any clues would be helpful.

Best,
Scott
temp_photo.jpg
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Ivan Ž.
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Re: image identification

Post by Ivan Ž. » 19 Jul 2019 15:15

Hello, Scott

He looks Jewish. A fiddler cap + long beard, a rather typical Jewish look at the time (1940s/1930s), depending on the social class of course. The poor man also looks scared, which would make sense if the photo was taken by a German or one of their likeminded allies.

See this 1941 photo of Serbian Jews for example:
Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-185-0135-04,_Jugoslawien,_Juden_bei_Zwangsarbeit.jpg
Cheers,
Ivan
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Sejanus
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Re: image identification

Post by Sejanus » 23 Jul 2019 04:44

I agree with Ivan Z's assessment and will add the following. While it looks like the subject could be wearing a cuff band or narrow armband of some sort on his right sleeve, it is also possible that what we are seeing is something light colored that is partially contained mostly inside the cuff itself and sticking out the top. That is if the jacket has French (turn back) cuffs, which I cannot tell from the photo. But sometimes French cuffs on jackets were used as pockets to hold oversized items.

I have seen photos of some German civilians (and military) in various locations wearing white armbands upon and/or during the period shortly after occupation by Allied troops in the west, both on uniforms and civilian clothing. Perhaps that is also the case here? Even though those were full sized looking armbands not cuff bands.

Whether the Germans ever forced Jews to wear a cuff band like this (if that is what this is) is unknown to me, however the typical identification they were forced to wear was a Star of David patch or an armband (depending on location, please see: https://www.holocaustcenter.org/visit/l ... st-badges/). There were some exceptions. For instance, this is another example, a Bundesarchiv photo of a subject wearing a narrow Jewish armband (identified as a "Jewish prisoner in Belgrade" during April 1941):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holoc ... _Juden.jpg (Image tags not working so please use the provided URL link.)
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust_in_Serbia

If the subject of the photo had worn a narrow armband (like in the Bundesarchiv photo, but a plain example or positioned in a manner that any insignia on the armband was not visible to the photographer) on his right sleeve, and it had slipped down to the cuff, then perhaps that is what we are seeing here? Only speculation though. Such an armband/cuff band is also not known to be used by any Jewish Ghetto Police that I know of.

If you want to pursue this further, I would look into additional examples of Jews and the insignia they were forced to wear in Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria for a possible match. Good luck to you.

Scott9
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Posts: 24
Joined: 16 Oct 2013 19:13

Re: image identification

Post by Scott9 » 31 Jul 2019 13:05

Thank you so much to both of you. This is extremely helpful.

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