Nazis used red triangles to mark political prisoners. That symbol is why Facebook banned a Donald Trump reelection campaign ad.
A red triangle was once a common sight in Nazi concentration camps, part of history that has now been brought into the national limelight by a prohibited advertisement for political campaigns.
Facebook moved Thursday to remove ads from President Donald Trump's reelection campaign, which the company said were violating its "organized hate" policy and a "symbol of forbidden hate groups," an upside down red triangle.
The symbol is not listed in the Anti-Defamation League database with symbols of hate and is similar to an emoji that can be easily used. Currently a special problem: It can also be linked to Antifa, an umbrella term for left-wing militants.
However, the meaning of the symbol is well documented in the historical context of the Nazi concentration camps.
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Prisoners in concentration camps were identified using a symbolic system, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The practice of using triangles in this system started in the late 1930s
Siegmund Sobolewski of the Auchwitz Awareness Society in Alberta, Canada, in uniform, carried by prisoners in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, rests during the memorial to mark the 50th anniversary of the death camp liberation on Thursday, January 26, 1995. Sobolewski was over four Years in prison.
Some examples of how the system works according to locations:
Gay victims had to wear pink triangles.
Criminals, including those convicted of minor offenses, were given green triangles.
Jewish people received yellow triangles that formed the Star of David. The top triangle in the star could be a different color to indicate it is an additional type of prisoner.
Political prisoners had to wear red triangles.
And these red triangles were common in the camps. The Auschwitz Memorial tweeted on Thursday that 95% of Auschwitz prisoners were charged with political crimes in August 1944. A letter could also be included in the triangle to indicate a person's nationality, the museum said.
A red triangle labeled "political prisoners" was the most common category of prisoners registered in the German Nazi camp #Auschwitz.
In August 1944, political prisoners made up 95 percent of the prisoners. A letter within the triangle could mark the nationality.
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"Socialists, communists, trade unionists and other people who were viewed by the Nazis as political opponents were wearing red triangles. Often, a joke about Hitler or a denunciation could be enough to arrest someone as" political "," says an article from the International Center for National Socialist Persecution.
Political opponents were among the first victims of Nazi concentration camps, reports the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
People who are considered "enemies of the state" were housed in different camps, some of which were open for more than a decade, the museum said.
The term "concentration camps" can include a variety of detention centers, including forced labor camps and "killing centers" used for mass genocide, particularly against Jewish people, the museum said.
Contributors: Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY; The Associated Press.
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Nazis used red triangles. Are they a symbol of "organized hate"?
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