Original German WWII NSKK "Motorsturm 25 / M2" Emailleschild Enameled Steel Sign - 11 3/4" x 19 1/2"

Item Description

Original item: One-of-a-kind. The National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK) was a paramilitary organization of the NSDAP that officially existed from May 1931 to 1945. The group was a successor organization to the older National Socialist Automobile Corps (NSAK), which had existed since April 1930.

The NSKK served as a training organization, mainly instructing members in the operation and maintenance of high-performance motorcycles and automobiles. The NSKK was further used to transport NSDAP and SA officials/members. The NSKK also served as a roadside assistance group in the mid-1930s, comparable to the modern-day American Automobile Association or the British Automobile Association. The outbreak of World War II in Europe caused the NSKK ranks to be recruited to serve in the transport corps of various German military branches. There was also a French section of the NSKK, which was organised after the German occupation of France began in 1940. The NSKK was the smallest of the NSDAP Party organizations.

This is a wartime slightly vaulted steel building Emailleschild (enameled sign). This is a very robust well-made sturdy sign, with typical construction details of German government signage. It is white with a large black NSKK Eagle emblem in the upper left corner, and has a double black border around the edge. The stylized German text on the front reads:

Motorsturm 25 / M2

This indicates that the sign was for Motorsturm 25 of Motorstandarte 2, which were the organizational groups of the NSKK. We have not been able to find the location in which M2 operated out of making this a great research piece.

Condition is very good, with the usual enamel loss and rusting at the edges and corners. There is also a bit of metal missing near the upper left corner, and a few other areas as shown. The main body of the sign also shows a bit of fading to the black areas due to weathering and light exposure. The rear is still in very good shape, with only a bit of enamel flaking and rusting. The sign measures 11 3/4" x 19 1/2", and is really a great example.

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.

History of the NSKK
The National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK) was a successor organization to the older National Socialist Automobile Corps (NSAK), which had existed since being formed on 1 April 1930. Legends about the actual emergence of the NSKK go back as far as 1922, when the publisher of the Völkischer Beobachter (People's Observer) and founding member of the German Workers' Party (DAP), Dietrich Eckart, allegedly purchased trucks so the SA could perform their missions and transport propaganda materials. Martin Bormann founded the NSAK, which itself was the successor to the SA Motor Squadrons (Kraftfahrstaffeln). AH made the NSAK an official NSDAP organization on 1 April 1930. The NSAK was responsible for coordinating the use of donated motor vehicles belonging to party members, and later expanded to training members in automotive skills. Adolf Hühnlein was appointed Korpsführer (Corps Leader) of the NSAK, which was to serve primarily as a motorized corps of the Sturmabteilung (SA). Hühnlein became the organization's "nucleus".

The organization's name was changed to the National Socialist Motor Corps (Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrkorps; NSKK), becoming official on 1 May 1931. It was essentially a paramilitary organization with its own system of paramilitary ranks and the smallest of the NSDAP organizations. Despite its relatively smaller size, when the NSDAP celebrated Braunschweiger SA-day on 18 October 1931, the NSKK had upwards of 5,000 vehicles at its disposal to move men and materials.

The primary aim of the NSKK was to educate its members in motoring skills or what was called "fitness in motoring skills" (Motorische Ertüchtigung), but it also transported NSDAP and SA officials. In the mid-1930s, the NSKK also served as a roadside assistance group, comparable to the modern-day American Automobile Association or the British Automobile Association.

Membership in the NSKK did not require any prior knowledge of automobiles. It was thought that training in the NSKK would make up for any previous lack of knowledge. Under the guidance of the police, numerous NSKK men were stationed at traffic junctions and trained in traffic control.

On 20 July 1934, weeks after the major purge of the SA in what became known as the Night of the Long Knives, the NSKK was separated and promoted into an independent NSDAP organization. From 1935 onward, the NSKK also provided training for Panzer crews and drivers of the Heer (German Army). The NSKK had two sub-branches within the organization known as the Motor-HJ (Motor-HJ Motor-HJ) and Naval NSKK (Marine-NSKK). The Motor-HJ branch was formed by Reichsjugendführer (HJ Leader) Baldur von Schirach after he became a member of the NSKK. It operated 350 of its own vehicles for educational and training purposes. The Naval NSKK trained men in the operation and maintenance of boats.

During the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, the NSKK assumed responsibility for a variety of transport tasks, proving themselves effective at political propaganda by transporting foreign visitors around on designated tours. By 1938, NSKK members were undergoing mechanical and operational training for both civilian and military type vehicles. Over time, the training at NSKK schools became primarily focused on military related tasks. For services to the NSKK and due in part to the general success of the NSKK, Hühnlein was promoted to the position of a Reichsleiter of the NSDAP in 1938. Hühnlein was NSKK Korpsführer from 1931 until he died in 1942, when Erwin Kraus took over.

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