Original German Pre-WWII SS Member Wool and Rayon Multi Piece Armband
Original Item: Only One Available: The SS (Schutzstaffel - 'Protection Squadron') was originally formed in 1925, ostensibly to act as a small, loyal bodyguard unit to protect the Führer, Adolf AH. Under the direction of the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS grew to be the most ruthless and feared organization of the 20th century. They were the vanguard of NSDAPsm and eventually controlled nearly every function of German life and much of Occupied Europe.
This is a very nice SS Member's Kampfbinde (Armband), with a red woven wool band, and a multipiece rayon swas (hooked cross) sewn onto the front. This armband is more or less identical to the standard armband of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated NSDAP), except for the black rayon borders on the edges.
It is in lovely worn condition, and measures approximately 17" x 4 5/8", and was sewn together in the back. It appears that the armband was forcibly removed from a uniform. There is still some black thread visible where it would be slightly stitched to the uniform. There is a repaired tear about 5 ⅝” in length. Possibly cut from a uniform by an allied soldier and then repaired to give it a better appearance while being displayed. There are stitches along the edges and at the ends, so this is definitely an armband that saw service, probably attached to an overcoat or similar article of clothing. There is wear to the exterior, and discoloration of the white circle. It also has suffered some mothing over the years. Regardless, this is a rare example of a historic armband!
Nearly every military, civil, political and paramilitary organization in existence during the Third Reich used armbands. Armbands were worn on military and civilian uniforms and also on civilian clothes, from suit jackets to work clothing. They were used to denote membership in organizations, to indicate a specific role or function of the bearer, and as insignia of rank. Many organizations would change the design of their armbands over time, which added to the variety produced. These were manufactured in countless variations, ranging from simple printed bands to elaborately hand-embroidered pieces of the highest quality. Some NSDAP armbands were worn by all members of large organizations and were made by the millions. Others were intended for use at a specific time and place and were unique. Many types were made in very limited numbers. Some bore metal insignia or special identifiers that indicated the wearer’s rank, unit affiliation, or nationality. Armbands were sometimes but not always marked with ink stamps by the issuing authorities.
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