Refugees in Palestine Covert Yellow Badge from Symbol of Shame to Emblem of Pride
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Refugees in Palestine Covert Yellow Badge from Symbol of Shame to Emblem of Pride

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The Yellow Badge, which Hitler’s Nazis seek to foist as a mark of shame upon the Jews of Germany, has come to symbolize the new spirit actuating the German Jewish youths who have come to settle here. Recent arrivals here from Nazi-ridden Gemany have adopted the Yellow Badge as their trade-mark and the symbol of the industry they employ in carving out for themselves new careers and new lives far from the land they formerly called home.

One of the until-recently undeveloped industries of Palestine was window-washing. New arrivals in the country, who had no other occupation, washed windows until they could find something else to do. Former students, lawyers, doctors and others, especially among the German-Jewish refugees of the past few months, soon became adept at the work and found a source of income not conflicting with any established agencies in the country.


Ten of the number banded together, summoned their friends and organized the Mavrik Cooperative, which put window-washing on a business basis. They adopted a uniform, which became known in but a few days, not only in Tel-Aviv, where they started, but in this city and in Haifa. The Yellow Badge is the motif of the uniform.

The uniform consists of a blue shirt and blue trousers. On the left breast is a big yellow spot. A similar spot, bearing two crossed ladders, symbolic of the profession, shines from the blue caps which the young men wear.

Starting out with store windows, the young men soon found their services required by housewives in Tel-Aviv and here. They built up regular routes. Soon they were cleaning automobiles. Now they have expanded their activities to cleaning offices and shops and have become specialists in all cleaning matters.

Window panes are shining in Palestine now. Drabness is giving way to shining cleanliness as zealous young men, flaunting the Yellow Badge, wield chamois skins and mops for the greater glory of their new homeland.

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