Let's talk about the 1932 1 NS Reichsjugendtag Potsdam badges

Garry

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This is a thread dedicated to getting to bottom of the story about the 1. Reichsjugendtag 1932 Potsdam badge. It is part of our series on


Add your links to other discussions, evidence, pictures - anything that will help in building a compendium of information on these items for quick reference. This post will act as the collecting point for information and it will be updated as information comes in from your posts below.



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1. NS-Reichsjugendtag 1932 Potsdam


Baldur von Schirach began planning the Potsdam rally in mid 1932. The RJF coffers were almost empty and he gave the last 200RM to his Chief of Staff Karl Nabersberg to be used to rent a rally coordination office in Potsdam. The poster advertising the rally was designed jointly by von Schirach and the artist Prof. Ludwig
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Hohlwein. It was also printed on postcards (right). To finance the event von Schirach had Potsdam badges, the above-mentioned postcards and special stickers produced and these were all sold in the weeks running up to the rally with the proceeds being split to cover the cost of accommodation, catering and transport for the groups who had registered their intent to participate. The Postcards cost 20Rpf, the stamps were 1RM for a sheet of 20 and the badges cost 1RM. (Baldur von Schirach: 'Ich glaubte an Hitler' chapter 18)

Schirach had no idea how many would attend the rally. When he first suggested the idea to Hitler he told him that he expected around 50% of the official membership of the Hitler Youth to attend which amounted to around 17,000 at that time. It became clear that more capacity would be required and the tented camp erected at the Potsdamer Luftschiffhafen eventually had the capacity to accommodate 50,000. The actual numbers who attended were said to be:

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'80,000 boys and 20,000 girls'

'over 100,000 boys took part in the march-past...' and

'70,000 inside the stadium during Hitler's address' Baldur von Schirach 'Idee und Gestalt' p30 and 'Ich glaubte an Hitler' p159

60000: Hartmann Lauterbacher (former HJ-Stabsführer), Erlebt und Mitgestaltet p81.

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What strikes you straight away when you look at pictures of the Potsdam rally is just how few people are are wearing the badge.
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Hitler and von Schirach for example can be seen clearly wearing their badges (left) but look at the large shot (right). Hardly a badge in sight. Same with the other pictures in the next post. It's clear that not everyone had a badge. Fair enough, perhaps they didn't want one or didn't have spare cash to buy one but how can we reconcile those pictures with today's impression that all of the badges we see today were bought and worn at the 1. NS-Reichsjugendtag in Potsdam in 1932? Well of course we can't. More in next post..



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Pic 1: only the boy at front right appears to be wearing the badge.


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Pic 2: bugler has no badge. The other boy possibly has one.




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Pic 3: No badge.


How many Potsdam badges can you spot in the following clip? Lots or very few?




I have some questions....

Do we actually know that there were two levels of the badge being worn at the event? Or is the silver Potsdam badge a later addition?

We know from RJF regulations and other period sources that the Potsdam badge was given honour status after Potsdam. It is stated in this 1937 RJF regulation that the honour badge was the silver version and that the bronze version was no longer permitted for wear. The regulation states that the silver version was for 'active participants' and that the bronze version was for 'spectators and non-active participants' so we know, at least on this date, that there were definitely two levels of the badge but when they talk about active and non-active participants/spectators:


  • is this a distinction which was made during the event (was there a central point where active participants were given or bought a silver badge)?
  • was the distinction made at some point after the event?
  • or was the distinction made when the badge was afforded honour status?
  • or was it simply the case that there were active participants on the day who either had no badge or who wore the bronze version because they were more plentiful than the silver version on the day?

When we consider the chaos at the event is it reasonable to imagine that they were able to establish who was 'active' and who was a 'spectator/inactive' and therefore ensure that the former group were all wearing silver badges? With so many people turning up on the day and in the chaos which ensued I can't imagine someone running around making notes. It seems likely that bullet point 4 above is what actually happened. A certain number of silver badges were there on the day, were handed out and those active participants who didn't get one paid for a bronze badge. After the event and when its importance for the NSDAP became clear I can imagine that the badges, regardless of whether they were silver or bronze, were worn with pride. The 1937 order making silver the official honour badge was possibly made simply to introduce uniformity.

As to the numbers of silver available on the day, von Schirach and Nabersberg knew in advance that a certain number of participants would be coming because they had registered their intention to take part in advance (this is known to be the case) so there is a possibility that silver Potsdam badges had been ordered for these participants. With this in mind the 1937 order makes sense and would serve to show that some of the active participants received a silver badge on the day where others did not and had to make do with the bronze version.

A further indicator of the confusion is that even as late as May 1937 and according to the regulation I mentioned earlier, the RJF had still not introduced a system where those who attended the Potsdam rally and who had therefore qualified to wear the silver version of the badge (by now an honour badge) could be properly identified.

Schirach only mentions 'silver' once in his autobiography and then only in relation to the special strike of the badge which he presented to Hitler on the 11th of September 1932 in the Hotel Kaiserhof.

Go to 6:10 of this clip of Schirach speaking at the rally. Look at Schirach's badge. Is that silver or bronze? I don't know about you but I couldn't say. When the bronze badges were new they were of course very shiny so Schirach's badge could actually be the bronze version. Hitler had removed his badge by this point but we know that his was silver (if we assume that he was wearing the special badge Schirach presented to him).

Schirach does not say that the badge which was sold as a fundraiser in the weeks running up to October the 1st prior to the rally was available in a silver and bronze version (see post 10 below for more on that). Thinking logically for a second, why would he have two versions made? Doesn't make sense to me unless of course it was a way of increasing the takings i.e. the silver was more expensive to buy than the bronze.

So, did the silver badge exist prior to and during the two days of the rally in 1932 or was it produced later - possibly when the Potsdam badge was given honour status? The latter scenario would have implications for any claim that the silver version should be worth more today. Why should it be when it didn't even exist at the time of the rally? If there were no silver badges at Potsdam then that would of course make the bronze version more valuable because that is the badge which was 'there'. Another consideration with the bronze badges would be to examine them in order to establish whether Schirach's first run of fundraiser badges can be separated from any later production runs. Clearly the bronze badges which were made and sold prior to and during the event would be more valuable than badges made after the event.

On balance, it would seem more logical that both silver and bronze were there on the day and that the numbers of silver (pre-ordered) badges proved insufficient, forcing those active particpants who didn't get one into buying the bronze version. At the time of the event no one knew that the badge would be given honour status of course so for the participants it would perhaps have been a minor issue whether they had the bronze version, the silver version, or indeed any badge at all.
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Updates:

Ferdinand Hoffstätteris is said to be the sole maker of the badge (source: Internationales Militaria Magazin number 141). The author does not give the source he used and this would need to be confirmed but the information on the manufacturer is still useful.

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My 5 ¢ents .. outtake from FJS 1973 HJ reference book, plus two badges that Nicholas Morigi is still making. The older fakes of these are so good, that you... well... each to his own, but i would never touch one as i would not know what to look for in determining a good from a bad.

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'All the Youth participants at this event were presented with a commemorative badge...' You see that often Jo but it clearly can't have been possible as 50,000 more turned up on the day than were expected. That fact alone means that Mr Stephens' statement can't be true. How would the organisers have got 50,000 extra badges produced in two days (that being the number of participants over and above what the organisation had expected to turn up)?

He could alternatively be talking about 1933 when he says that the badge was given honour status. The question that must be asked there though is how could the RJF possibly know who was there on the day and therefore know who was eligible for the badge? Makes no sense to me.

The HJ Ehrenzeichen was subject to the same kind of chaos when that was introduced because the RJF simply didn't have full records of who had been/who was a member of the Hitler Youth on the qualifying date. They found that the only way to award the badge to the right people was by making them fill out an official form which went up the chain of command for approval. I've never heard of anything like that for the Potsdam badge though and this makes me question the logic of Mr Stephens' statement.

Do you have a pic of the reverse of the Morigi fakes at all Jo?
 
Morigi no show no reverse.. not anymore anyway, he used to in his old catalogs.. maybe even in the new catalogs, i wont speak to the man though, and def. wont get a catalog from him.. maybe another Forum member here, who knows him :)sneaky2:) can, has, will, is...?

Yes i see the problem. Maybe another maker had to be roped in due to the numbers? if only half or not even were expected, then they most certainly did not have the party funds to make 50,000 extra badges just in case more kids showed up?? so i am guessing that after, many kids were in tears coz they were there, but got no t-shirt. After, more badges would have been made i guess. And after it hit Super-NS-Cult status (when that was i dont know, but maybe the article i told you about via PM tells us?) i guess more were made.. but cant say, as i have never owned one, and never looked into them.
 
I'm ploughing through the various issues of Uniformenmarkt now Jo :popcorn:
 
Is there not a stickpin version as well? (shame, i guess checked Becks site, and they are selling a morigi Gold fake for a whopping €150.-) The more you start to look, the more versions of these you find.

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Hi Garry,

Interesting, more than interesting article. Congratulations for the good work.

Just checked again one of your questions:

“Thinking logically for a second, why would he have two versions made? Doesn't make sense to me.”

Yes, ok it doesn’t make sense, that could be right, but at the same time, it is something that happened in other events. There are a few examples:

3 Different Tinnies or Badges or Tagungsabzeichen of Würzburg, 14-15 July 1934, one made in “bronze” colour, measuring 7,5 cms. Long, another in silver, 7,5 cms long and another one in bronze colour 9 cms, long. (See Pictures).

2 Different ones for Landau (no idea the year)

3 Different ones for the Munich 1923-1933, as you can see attached from the collection of COLLECT100.

What explanation could we have then?

For sure, I don’t believe that 100.000 of them were made, that is clear. Also I believe that, somehow, they were sold well after the event, it makes sense, especially if you have a shop and see the huge success of the event.

Were both of the Tinnies made for the event? In dubio pro reo?

Regards

Antonio

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There is a RZM rule, in 1934 i think, that stated that these kind of badges needed to be made in at least two different metals/colors and sent to the RZM for inspection... if this has any bearing on these in silver i don't know?
 
Thanks guys. I went through all of the UM up to June 1937 looking at the 'Orden und Ehrenzeichen' section of each one but I couldn't find any specific mention of the Potsdam badge unfortunately. However, 'Idee und Gestalt der Hitlerjugend' Griesmayer/Würschinger 1979 p84 talks about the fund-raising leading up to the event and what the HJ members were selling. Along with the postcards and the stickers the following is mentioned:

'...das bronzerne Potsdamabzeichen...' ('....the bronze-coloured Potsdam badge...')

They don't provide a reference for this but it gives an indication that the silver version of the badge did not exist prior to the event. The only mention of a silver badge prior to the event which I have found so far is the special strike in silver which Schirach presented to Hitler.
 
Hi All,

not much information to add. Today I received the Internationales Militaria Magazin number 141, which says a bit over this badge.

Well it shows the badges (Silver and Bronze), also the stick pin and a copy. It says that Hoffstätter was the only one with the rights to make theses Badges.

also, from the silver one, we can see the back side the makers name. But it is on the top. I have seen badges with the names below and on the side. BUT, not on the top.

Also, without markes means fake?

Regards

Antonio

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I would love to know what footnotes accompany that
claim of Hoffstätter being the only one who had the contract for these
. I would also like to know why any badge only marked ges.gesch is instantly recognizable as a fake.
 
Hola Metallwarenfabrik,

Ja Wohl.

Die Quellen:

* Bekleidung und Ausruestung der HJ. Hitler-Jugend-Bewegung e.V. Berlin 1934.
* Aufbau und Abzeichen der HJ - Heinz Drenkler 1940
* Hitlerjugend HW Koch
 
Aha. Thanks Antonio. We've got reference 2 on the forum and that just gives a little general info on what the badge was. I have HW Koch so I'll have a look at that now. The first reference will be the potentially interesting one and I don't have that unfortunately.
 
Thanks, but i would like to know exactly what source was used for this quote, not (what looks like) a few sources used to compile this article. Bekleidung & Ausrustung ..1934 will most certainly not have this info, Aufbau & Abzeichen der HJ 1940 i doubt as well, and HJ by Koch will probably not have any footnotes pertaining to this otherwise they would have been mentioned in this article. This definitely needs looking into.

The magazine you have is OK, but has been wrong before, they recently featured the Reichsparteitag 1935 HJ knives as being ..."Available to buy at the Reichsparteitage" but also with no footnotes at all, when it is largely accepted that they, along with HJ-Olympic knives are post war fantasy items that date back no more than 40 years.

These magazines are OK, the English version being the Military Advisor is also wrong, and not just once as well. I showed that with the S marked Leistingsabzeichen, and will show it again soon with an Article on the NSD-StB Honor pin, which the article in the MA is wrong, very very wrong about lots of the "facts"

Remember that these are written by collectors, for collectors, so all these magazines are, are Printed Forum threads, sometimes with good references, but also mostly just with accepted items that lots of collectors are comfortable with and no specific references, as is the case here. IF hoffstätter was the only one to get the contract for these, we will need to know where this is mentioned. When you make a cliam like this, you need to footnote that claim with a direct source for reference, that is vital.
 
Okay, I just read HW Koch and the Potsdam info is p139-142. Nothing about the badge...

I found "Bekleidung u. Ausrüstung der HJ" and the only thing the author of the article could have found in there was the colour of metal used for the badge. Apart from that, it contains nothing of any use (apart from the fact that it was clearly viewed as an honour badge at that point - that is useful). Does he give page number references in that article Antonio?

He didn't dig very deep for his article I must say. We've got more on the forum than that!
 
Exactly guys.

After buying and checking it before posting, I knew already your opinions. THANKS guys!!

One question, well 2 questions. Do you know about why there are so many differences in the badge from the same maker?

Can * Bekleidung und Ausruestung der HJ. Hitler-Jugend-Bewegung e.V. Berlin 1934 be here downloaded?

Thanks for your help.

Regards

Antonio
 
.... When you make a cliam like this, you need to footnote that claim with a direct source for reference, that is vital.
I of course don't mean YOU, i mean the guy who wrote that article. :001_tt2:
I will look tonight, i know i had a period mag in my hands and saw the article on them, but i have so many documents and catalogs i just don't remember any more.. i will look though. It is very easy to take what collectors are comfortable with and make it fact, but when you say that only hoffstätter had the contract, you need to footnote that specific statement and let people know where it can be traced back to...
 
I have some more information on these, But i need to get over the shock of being taken for a :censored:..ing Muppet today. I still cant really believe what has happened, it shouldn't be a problem as the "payment" went though Paypal so i guess i can get my money back if the Other Dealer involved tries to play the smart-alec... its horrible, its £100.- and at the same time its so damn funny that once this is cleared up, and i share the story with you, you will all be rolling on the floor with laughter.. Probably the most MUPPET thing that could happen, to me, at this time, has happened..... man!!!!
 
Looking forward to reading the new info Jo. Also looking forward to reading about your experience with that dealer when you have time.
 
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