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  1. #1

    Landdienst

    The purpose of the Landdienst was to work the land and to promote careers in agriculture among Germany's youth. It was tasked with making agriculture an attractive and worthwhile alternative to life in the towns and cities. Landdienst members were paid employees who worked closely with farmers in order to increase production. In 1939 there were 50,000 Landdienst members. Of those who took part in the Landdienst programme in 1937 10% stayed on and began careers in farming. In 1938 this figure rose to 20%.

    Landdienst personnel could be found working in groups on large farms (after 1936 this was extended to cover smaller holdings). The former were called 'Betriebsgruppen' and the latter were the 'Dorfgruppen'. The large Betriebsgruppen had their own hostel (Heim) which contained sleeping quarters, a meeting room, a leader conference room and washing facilities. The Dorfgruppen were accommodated by the farmer and the farmers were required to make sure that adequate facilities were available. The provision of a hostel (including the inventory) was the responsibility of the local Reichsnährstand Bauernführer (farmers' leader).

    A Landdienstgruppe consisted of at least 10 boys or girls and one leader but some groups had as many as 40 members. A Landdienstgefolgschaft consisted of anywhere between 5 and 15 of these groups.

    In essence the Landdienst members were ideologically sound and highly-motivated and their job, or rather vocation, was to assist farmers in the running of their farms. The ultimate goal was that the Landdienst members (and those volunteers completing their Landjahr) would eventually become farmers themselves. Himmler took a great interest in the Landdienst and many Landdienst members eventually joined the SS and indeed were given preferential treatment in order to make this an easy transition.

    Landdienst members' contracts stipulated that they work 54 hours/week including 3 hours on Sundays. During periods of high workload this could be increased to 60 hours/week. Landdienst leaders received extra pay of RM3,50/month.

    If anyone needs more info on the Landdienst let me know.


  2. #2
    Interesting and informative Garry, well done. What was the age of Landdienst participants? And also how did this program differ from the Landjahr? I've seen a photo in one of the reference books with a Scharführer wearing both the Landdienst and Landjahr insignia on his winter uniform, oddly enough with the tan background early (1934 pattern) shoulder straps on the dark blue winter shirt!

  3. #3

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    wasn't it also an obligation to HJ /bdm members to take active duty in the landdienst for some time? before going into the military duty?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by H2OCO2 View Post
    wasn't it also an obligation to HJ /bdm members to take active duty in the landdienst for some time? before going into the military duty?
    The Landdienst was a voluntary programme but it did count towards the 'Weibliches Pflichtjahr' (female compulsory year).
    The girls' job during their time with the Landdienst was to learn what being a farmer's wife entailed. They would assist the farmer's wife with her duties and the ultimate goal of the programme was to produce the new generation of good wives and mothers which would be necessary if Germany was to realise the agricultural potential in the conquered eastern territories.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Gefolgschaft View Post
    Interesting and informative Garry, well done. What was the age of Landienst participants? And also how did this program differ from the Landjahr? I've seen a photo in one of the reference books with a Sharführer wearing both the Landienst and Landjahr insignia on his winter uniform, oddly enough with the tan background early (1934 pattern) shoulder straps on the dark blue winter shirt!
    The Landjahr was designed to get those about to leave school out into the countryside in order to get them interested in farming as a career with the aim of ultimately reversing the migration of rural populations into the cities. Landjahr participants were not paid for their service and a Landjahr lasted from the 15th of April to the 15th of December with no leave.

    The Landdienst (born out of the Artemanen movement) was an official employment for which a wage was paid. Landdienst boys had to be between 14 and 18 - girls between 14 and 21. Each Landdienst applicant had to sign a contract stating that he or she would complete a minimum of 12 months with the Landdienst and these were the people who wore the Landdienst cuff title.

    I wonder if the guy in your photo was a Landdienst member with responsibility for a local Landjahr unit.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the detailed reply Garry. I will scan the picture from the book and put it up today, it's certainly an interesting combination of Landienst/Landjahr insignia in wear.

  7. #7

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    thanks for clearing that out garry.

    great info, yet again!

  8. #8

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    Very informative Garry.

    Thank you

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