Original German WWII NSDAP Nellendorf Public Welfare Office Enameled Sign on Display Board - 14" x 19.5"
Original item: One-of-a-kind. This is a wartime heavy iron vaulted building identification Emailleschild (enameled sign). This is a very robust well-made sturdy sign, with typical construction details of German government signage. The front is covered with white porcelain enamel, with a double black border around the edge. The German Blackletter typeface text on the front reads:
Amt f. Volkswohlfahrt
The National Socialist People's Welfare (Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt, NSV) was a social welfare organization during the Third Reich. The NSV was established in 1931 as a local welfare organization in the city of Berlin. On 3 May 1933, shortly after the NSDAP took power in Weimar Germany, AH turned it into a party organization that was to be active throughout the country. The structure of the NSV was based on the NSDAP model, with local, county (Kreis) and district (Gau) administrations.
Under the NSV, German social welfare and voluntary charity were thoroughly restructured to follow the racial and ideological goals of the Third Reich. The NSDAP government declared that in the future, welfare and charitable aid would be granted only to individuals who were "racially superior" and could prove their value to the Volksgemeinschaft. The criteria for receiving aid were both racial and political, as individuals could be denied assistance for being Jewish and also for being Communists, Social Democrats, or other political opponents of the regime. The list of those excluded from NSV benefits was composed of "alcoholics, tramps, homosexuals, prostitutes, the 'work-shy' or the 'asocial', habitual criminals, the hereditarily ill (a widely defined category) and members of races other than the Aryan."
Condition is very good, with loss of the enamel on all four corners, which was touched up with white paint at some point in the past. There is also a production number on the lower left side, but it looks to be incomplete. There was probably also a maker mark on that corner. The sign measures 14" x 19.5", and is really nice example.
The sign is mounted to a lovely hardwood display board, which looks to be some type of oak based on the grain pattern. It has been varnished in a lovely red brown color, and is about 1" thick, with beveled edges. It measures 16 3/4" x 22 1/2" in size, and has a chain mounted on the back for wall display. We unfortunately do not know if this is an original WWII mounting, or whether it was done for display post war.
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 (beware many fakes) porcelain building signs from the Third Reich has become quite difficult in the collector's market.
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