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Political Prisoners Of The Holocaust

Updated on January 17, 2012

Holocaust Corrie Ten Boom The Hiding Place

Vera Aleksander, a German political prisoner


I have used the term political prisoners because a lot of groups were classified political prisoners and would wear the red triangle in the concentration camps as a form of Identification by the camp guards and other camp functionaries.

The groups of political prisoners are as follows:

1.Captured Resistance and SOE agents

2.Free Masonry

3.Opponents Of Hitler


5.Russian Prisoners Of War

6.Polish Intelligencia (Red triangle would have a black P in the middle)

7.Czechs (Red triangle would have a black T in the middle)

When it came to the resistance and SOE special Operations Executive agents they would also have a NN printed on the back of their tunic which means “Nacht Und Nebel” Night and Fog which was a law passed by Hitler that those involved in crimes against the third reich would be arrested and made to disappear from society, like a fog in the night that makes a mountain disappear.

Free Masonry were considered to be servants of the Jews by Hitler and supposed to be a part of the Jewish conspiracy for world domination as Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf. Hitler outlawed masonry in Germany and the occupied countries forcing the lodges to be dissolved and many masons arrested and imprisoned in concentration camps, it is believed that between 80,000 to 200,000 masons perished under the Nazis by 1945.

Opponents of Hitler were those who opposed him when he took power in 1933 such as politicians, journalists etc and even those who dared to speak out against his laws.
Those who dared speak out and said a wrong word in public or even listened to foreign radio broadcasts would find themselves incarcerated in a concentration camp as many people would inform the Gestapo about such behaviour. When the assignation plot failed against Hitler in the bunker and the executions of those behind it such as Von Staffenburg, and Admiral Kinaris and many others who were involved, their families found themselves in concentration camps also and were forced to wear the red triangle as political prisoners.

Communists, Hitler loathed bolshevism and after the First World War came to an end the communist faculties were demonstrating on the streets. Trade unionists, Stalinists and Marxists, were arrested and imprisoned immediately when Hitler came to power, and even before then many were shot in the streets by Rohm and his militia.

Russian Prisoners of War were not recognized as such by the Nazis and if caught would be sent to Auschwitz or many other concentration camps, Himmler seen them as sub human and were to be used for slave labour. Auschwitz before it was a death camp had been a prison camp for Russian Prisoners of war were they were subject to maltreatment and abuse by the SS who were in control of the place at that time. The first people to go into a gas chamber at Auschwitz were Russian Prisoners Of War, the first gas chamber was a converted cellar of the hospital turned into a bunker where the SS experimented killing with Zyklon B crystals in 1941, it took only 20 minutes. Later on the Russian prisoners were transferred to Prisoner Of War camps.

The Polish Inteligencia and were those rounded up in 1939 by the Nazis, many were executed and the rest used as slave labour as part of the racial policy was that Poland was to be a country of slaves and those such as politicians, teachers etc were rounded up. Many found themselves in concentration camps being worked and starved to death, they would wear the red triangle which would have a black P printed in the centre so that others could identify them.

Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Nazis in 1939 just before Hitler marched into Poland he knew that if he wanted to take Poland he had to take out Czechoslovakia also, at that time part of Czechoslovakia had been formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and many people spoke German in certain parts, Hitler believed them to be Aryan and Sudeten Germans, he invaded. After the invasion and in the years to come many Czechs were rounded up not only Jews but Christians also and sent to work in the camps as slave labour they would wear the red triangle and a black T would be printed in the centre as a means of identification.


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    • calpol25 profile image

      Callum 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

      Its very scary but most of the time the loved ones of NN victims were dragged off too if they were caught or denounced :(

      Corrie Tenboom and her entire family were arrested, her father died in prison, her brother died shortly after the war, her nephew died in Belsen and her sister Betsie died in Ravensbruk.

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Can you imagine what it must have been like for the loved ones of an NN victim after they just disappeared into the night and they were told NOTHING about it?

      And living under the fear of denunciation even by your children if they had been indoctrinated by the HJ.

      And that is saying nothing about what happened to the victims themselves.

      Chilling, chilling.