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  1. #1

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    'Amerika' Triangle

    Just registered here as I thought this might be a more focused place to seek information on an item of insignia I posted over at the WAF.

    The triangle is on a black badge cloth, is about 102.7mm wide by 53mm high and the embroidery is in gold colored cotton thread (not bullion or celleon) and the rope piping along the edge is tacked down similarly to piping around collar tabs. This thread turns a dull pumpkin orange under UV; other than that, she’s UV dead. The reverse is a pressed paper backing similar to many German made insignia of the time. All in all a rather interesting piece.

    It was posted for review here: HJ Triangle - American Bund? Sleeve Triangle - Militaria Forums

    I'm hoping you guys might have some insight that you might share with a non-HJ collector. Thanx, Rick C.

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  2. #2
    Welcome to the HJ Fourm Rick. Hopefully Debertex will see this and comment. He's very good with triangles.

  3. #3
    In HJ terms "Amerika" was the term for the 'continent' of north and south America. The complete list published in 1934* by the RJF department 'Ausland' was as follows (each was headed by a 'Landesjugendführer'):


    The reference states that there were no triangles for these regions and that the only visible affiliation to the respective continents was through the use of coloured cord on headwear and insignia in the same way as was employed to identify the Oberbann on uniforms*

    *'Aufbau, Gliederung und Anschriften der HJ'. Published by Abteilung I. Reichsjugendführung 1934

    So, in 1934 certainly, an 'Amerika' triangle did not exist and I'm unaware of any regulation or reference which would lend weight to the assumption that these continent triangles ever did. If anyone has access to such a period reference/regulation it would be very helpful to see it.

    My doubts concerning these triangles are reinforced by the fact that there were many gatherings of overseas (volksdeutsche) members of the Hitler Youth in Germany right up to the outbreak of war and to a limited extent after this (examples would be the Deutschlandlager at Kuhlmühle in 1935 and the Wilhelm-Gustloff camps in 1939) but where are the photos of the 'Europa', 'Afrika' etc triangles? I haven't seen any certainly. We do however see 'Shanghai' (why not 'Asien'?) and 'Johannisburg' (why not 'Afrika'?) which seems to me to be very strong proof that these continent triangles are suspect.

    A further point I would make is that the highest concentration of volksdeutsche groups outside Germany with Hitler Youth formations was in Europe of course so if the 'Amerika' triangle is authentic then we should also see surviving examples of the 'Europa' triangles as they would by default be more common but where are they?

    In 'Hitler-Jugend - Soziale Tatgemeinschaft' Erich Blohm states that there were 312 Hitler Youth formations in 52 different countries. These groups encompassed 20,000 to 30,000 members. Where are all of the continental triangles? Are we to assume that only the 'Amerika' triangle has survived? I'm very sceptical...

    Just a quick edit to add that I would love to be proved wrong because the triangle would be a fantastic find if I am
    Last edited by Garry; 12th December 2010 at 05:27 PM. Reason: added footnote

  4. #4

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    I have been following this on WAF with great interest!

    I like your view Garry, maybe bringing this to a conclusion !


  5. #5
    Garry's information and opinion here makes a lot of sense. Of course like some HJ items there are oddities and unknowns that turn up from time to time. If this was offered up for sale there would be some controversy without some solid proof or providence of it's existance.

  6. #6

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    I like Garry's approach to this too.

    the triangle is however well made and might be related to some overseas (meaning outside Europe) organization pre/after 1945?

  7. #7
    what I posted over on WAF

    the patch is very well made and but IMO does not have any similarities with German manufacture at all. As these organizations where so far from the REICH had to be made in N or S America. Also with this higher quality it would probably be for a leader or officer. Would be nice to hear of it's provenance and hopefully the story does not lead out of GERMANY which would make it highly suspect. On the HJ forum the owner GARY has posted some official information from source on this subject which is quite compelling.
    All the period pics and vid of the American bund I have viewed show no sign of any triangles patches in wear

  8. #8
    In my opinion the potential exists in the WAF discussion that an 'Amerika' triangle could eventually be called 'good' based on little more in the way of evidence than the fact that HJ formations, for example those in Shanghai and Capetown, existed and that they wore triangles. Their triangles were different however and as I mentioned, 'Amerika' was a continent in HJ terms (encompassing north and south America) and this is clearly shown in the period reference I quoted. That reference further states that no triangles existed for these geographical regions in 1934. No evidence to the contrary for the years which followed has been forthcoming so in lieu of that evidence we must assume that continent triangles were not worn and that the 'Amerika' triangle needs further research before it is assumed to be a rare survining original.

    There are triangles being shown on WAF now (Shanghai etc) which could be viewed by some as being the legitimate basis for the existence of an 'Amerika' triangle but again and I mentioned in my post further up the page: if there is a 'China Shanghai' triangle why don't we see 'Asien' (Asia). If there is a Kapstadt triangle why don't we see 'Afrika' triangles.

    Now, my theory is based upon the assumption that 'Amerika' denotes the continent America and not the United States of America. However, a 'USA' triangle also apparently exists which begs the question of why both the 'Amerika' and 'USA' triangle would have existed. Of note here is that the WAF member S Freeland who has studied the German American Bund has never seen an 'Amerika' triangle in wear in one single photograph (he hasn't yet responded to the post showing the 'USA' triangle but I strongly suspect that his answer will be the same).

  9. #9
    It is noted in the Saris reference that the only example of the "USA" triangle he has seen came from a salesmans sample board from the Munich area. No photos are shown of the triangle in wear.

  10. #10
    Thanks Darin. Seems logical that such a triangle would have become a victim of the strained political relations between the USA and Germany and have never made it beyond the approval stage.

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