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Original German WWII Police "Stadwacht" City Guard Printed Armband

Regular price $195.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice German WWII Police Stadwacht Ärmelbinde (City Watch armband), as worn by members of the militia-like force established on November 9, 1942. As with most organizations formed under NSDAP rule, the group was not nearly as benign as the name would suggest. The armband is white with Stadtwacht printed in black Latin letters as used later in the war. It measures approximately 15 1/4" x 4", and is sewn together in the back. It shows overall age toning, as well as staining from what looks to be adhesive from tape and/or a label.

A very nice example of a hard to find City Watch armband, ready to add to your collection!

When the NSDAP came to national power in 1933, Germany, as a federal state, had myriad local and centralized police agencies, which often were un-coordinated and had overlapping jurisdictions. Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich's grand plan was to fully absorb all the police and security apparatus into the structure of the Schutzstaffel (SS). To this end, Himmler took command first of the Gestapo (itself developed from the Prussian Secret Police). Then on 17 June 1936 all police forces throughout Germany were united, following AH’s appointment of Himmler as Chef der Deutschen Polizei (Chief of German Police). As such he was nominally subordinate to Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, but in practice Himmler answered only to AH.

Himmler immediately reorganized the police, with the state agencies statutorily divided into two groups: the Ordnungspolizei (Order Police; Orpo), consisting of both the national uniformed police and the municipal police, and the Sicherheitspolizei (Security Police; SiPo), consisting of the Kripo and Gestapo. Heydrich was appointed chief of the SiPo and was already head of the party Sicherheitsdienst (Security Service; SD) and the Gestapo. The two police branches were commonly known as the Orpo and SiPo (Kripo and Gestapocombined), respectively.

The idea was to fully identify and integrate the party agency (SD) with the state agency (SiPo). Most of the SiPo members were encouraged or volunteered to become members of the SS and many held a rank in both organizations. Nevertheless, in practice there was jurisdictional overlap and operational conflict between the SD and Gestapo. The Kripo kept a level of independence since its structure was longer-established. Himmler founded the Hauptamt Sicherheitspolizei in order to create a centralized main office under Heydrich's overall command of the SiPo.

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