Original German WWII DAF Labor Front Painted Steel Propaganda Sign - 31 1/2" x 21 3/4"

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The DAF (Deutsche Arbeitsfront or German Labor Front) was a National Socialist trade union that supplanted independent unions once the NSDAPs had come to power in Germany. This 20 cm (8 inch) round Aluminum Wall Sign would most likely have been mounted outside DAF offices. It is in extremely-fine condition. The reverse is unmarked but we are confident that it is 100% period authentic.

With the dissolution of all Free Trade Unions in Germany in May 1933 the Deutsche Arbeitsfront, (German Labor Front), was established to replace the unions and to educate the workers in industry and commerce for smooth and efficient operation of all labor in the Third Reich. In October 1934 the DAF was given official status as a sub-section of the NSDAP and in March 1936 it was recognized as an independent NSDAP affiliated association and granted control of its own monetary budget. With this money it was able to procure its own signs and other insignia.

This is a very nice DAF painted steel propaganda sign, mounted to a recent fiberboard panel with modern screws. The sign measures a substantial 31 1/2" x 21 3/4", and is made from relatively thin steel, with rolled edges. It looks to possibly have previously been rolled up, most likely by a USGI so that it would fit in their duffle bag. It has been flattened out and attached to the board to maintain the shape, but it definitely shows folding, as well as oxidation around the edges, which was most likely from long ago. These signs were hung outside, and it has a fantastic aged look.

The sign has a red background with a white border and text, and has a large DAF emblem in the center. Around this is the following text in what looks to be Fraktur or some other "Blackletter" type face:

diesem Zeichen
(DAF Insignia)
marschieren und arbeiten
alle schaffenden

This translates to "All working Germans march and work under this sign!", exhorting the "unity" that the DAF purported to give. In reality, the dissolution of trade unions and formation of the DAF effectively removed any type of freedom the workers had, and heavily favored industry employers. Instead of better wages, the workers instead were compensated by the "Strength Through Joy" initiative, which pretty much subsidized all types of leisure activities to keep the workers "happy". The lower right border of the sign has Düsseldorf-Oberkassel printed, but we do not know if this is where the sign was made, or where it was posted.

Signs of this nature were quickly destroyed after the fall of Germany in April 1945, ones like this were salvaged by USGIs who wanted to bring home a trophy of war. Therefore, finding authentic signs from the Third Reich has become quite difficult in the collector's market.

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