The History of The Concentration Camp Badge in a Team Trump Ad For Facebook

In a new ad on the Team Trump Facebook page, the Trump campaign called on supporters to sign their names in support of President Donald Trump declaring Antifa a terrorist organization, with a red triangle symbol that was also used by Nazis to denote political prisoners in concentration camps.

Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem. They are DESTROYING our...

Posted by Team Trump on Wednesday, June 17, 2020

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Team Trump called on supporters to sign the document in the Facebook post on Wednesday. "Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem. They are DESTROYING our cities and rioting - it's absolute madness," the campaign wrote in the post. "It's important that EVERY American comes together at a time like this to send a united message that we will not stand for their radical actions any longer. We're calling on YOU to make a public statement and add your name to stand with President Trump against ANTIFA."

Jewish Organization Bend the Arc tweeted numerous screenshots from the Trump campaign for sponsored posts from Trump's official Facebook page as well as Pence's and the Team trump pages using the red inverted triangle.

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The Trump Campaign did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication.

Triangles were used by Nazis to classify the different people placed in concentration camps. Different colored triangles denoted different reasons for imprisonment, such as green identifying criminals or pink identifying homosexuals. Jews were identified with yellow stars, but a separate color triangle may have noted any other reason they were imprisoned. According to both the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) encyclopedia and the Jewish Virtual Library, the red stars were used to denote political prisoners. In its Twitter thread, Bend the Arc noted that the red triangle was also used to pinpoint people who had rescued Jews.

According to The Washington Post, the symbol was also used to identify communists, social democrats, liberals, and freemasons beginning in the 1930's. The USHMM notes that the first concentration camps were established in 1933 after Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor. Police would arrest soon-to-be political prisoners and bring them to court, but if the person was acquitted, police would often take the person to a concentration camp. German Communist party Ernst Thälmann was one example of a political prisoner who was imprisoned in a concentration camp for 11 years, before he was killed. Like many others during the Holocaust, political prisoners were forced into labor and died from mistreatment, accidents, starvation, disease.

Trump has spoken out as protests against police brutality have swept the nation. On May 31, he tweeted that the United States would declare "ANTIFA" a terrorist organization.

While Trump has tried to declare antifa a terrorist organization, the term is actually a blanket term that is a shorthand for "anti-fascist." According to the Anti-Defamation League, antifa is "a loose collection of groups, networks and individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements."

holocaust
Male inmates wearing striped prison uniforms with triangular chest patches and numbers stand in rows before Nazi officers at a concentration camp during World War II, circa 1943. Anthony Potter Collection/Getty
The History of The Concentration Camp Badge in a Team Trump Ad For Facebook | Culture