Camp Administration

"Out of those ten camps, there were no two camps the same. Each one was different depending who the German commandant of the camp was. The first thing when you came to a camp you tried to find out, who were the interior authorities that ran the camp. Each and every prisoner in the concentration camp wore a triangle over his number. The triangle was a different color. That color indicated the reasons you were in the camp. The red triangle indicated that you [were] a political prisoner. The green triangles indicated that you were a criminal. The black triangle, you were a conscientious objector. No, black was gypsy. Purple was conscientious objector. [Pink] indicated you were a homosexual. The Jews wore either red triangles in some camps, but later on we wore the Star of David made out of the red and yellow triangle.

So when you came to the camp, you looked at who the kapos were, who were the enforcers so to speak, and if they wore a red triangle, you knew your existence was going to be more moderate. Okay? Because these were political prisoners, these were intellectuals, professors. You know, for whatever reason they were in the camp. But they were more understanding. But if you came to a camp that was run by green triangles, this was run by criminals, by pathological killers, by sadists. That was a very, very bad place to be. So that was the first thing that you checked out."