Original German WWII RAD Labor Service Dress Brocade Belt with Buckle by F. W. Assmann & Söhne - dated 1938
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice WWII German Reichsarbeitsdienst (RAD - National Labor Service) Officer's Bullion Dress Brocade Belt, with attached aluminum buckle. These belts were worn with the dress uniform for ceremonial occasions, and were standard issue to all officers with their dress uniform.
The belt is a die struck/stamped, aluminum alloy based construction that has been silver washed. It depicts the RAD shovelhead logo, which has a canted Hakenkreuz (Swastika) in the middle, with 5 sheaves of wheat surrounding it on the perimeter of the buckle.
The buckle is attached by a double square ring to a long quality woven bright silver/aluminum construction brocade belt. The belt pattern has three horizontal green lines, and the two sliding vertical loops have the same pattern. These help hold the belt ends in place. The reverse is lined in a nice Green Field Gray fabric, and the length is adjusted with a hook that fits into eyelets on the left side of the belt.
The belt itself measures about 37” currently, but looks to have around 3 inches more of eyelets, so the maximum length is probably around 40". The back of the buckle clip is marked with the "barred A" trademark logo of F. W. Assmann & Söhne of Lüdenscheid, a large maker of belts, buttons, and other accoutrements. Below this is the DRGM marking, indicating it is a trademarked design, and 38. for the year of manufacture.
The buckle is in fantastic shape, with minimal wear, and clear frosting, and the opposing clasp is just as nice. The belt and sliders are in equally nice condition, as shown.
Overall a great example of a hard to find WWII German Dress Belt, ready to display!
The basis of the RAD, Reichsarbeitsdienst, (National Labor Service), dates back, at least, to 1929 with the formation of the AAD (Anhalt Arbeitsdienst) and the FAD-B (Freiwillingen Arbeitsdienst-Bayern). Shortly after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in Jan 1933, the NSDAP consolidated all labor organizations into the NSAD (Nationalsozialist Arbeitsdienst), a national labor service. It served as an agency to help mitigate the effects of unemployment on the German economy, militarize the workforce and indoctrinate it with Nazi ideology. It was the official state labor service, divided into separate sections for men and women.
On June 26 1935 the NSAD was officially re-designated RAD, and from then onward, men aged between 18 and 25 may have served six months before their military service. During World War II compulsory service also included young women and the RAD developed to an auxiliary formation which provided support for the Wehrmacht armed forces.
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