Original German WWII RLB Luftschutz Air Raid Shelter Directional Sign - Zum Schutzraum
Original Item: Only One Available. For a time during WWII, Germany held a distinct advantage in the air, as Allied forces at first lacked a long range fighter that could escort their bombers over Germany. However, the introduction of the North American P-51 Mustang in January 1942 meant that the Allied bombers would have protection from German fighters, which mean that German cities were now much more vulnerable to Air attack, and Air Raid shelters were needed. The RLB had been created earlier to help with the Civil side of Air defense, and had been prepared, and deployed signs such as this to help the city inhabitants find shelter.
The sign itself measures 19 1/2" x 7 3/4", and is coated with bright yellow enamel on the front, with a large red enamel arrow pointing to the right. Above and below the arrow it is marked Zum Schutzraum, or "To The Shelter". The rear of the sign is all black enamel.
These signs were used outside and inside buildings to guide people to a hopefully safe area to weather the bombing. This is a very nice example, with some rust and wear, with a bit of chipped enamel. However overall it is very attractive, and would make a great display item for any wall.
History of the RLB
The Reichsluftschutzbund (RLB) (National Air Raid Protection League) was organized by Hermann Göring in 1933 as a voluntary association. Existing volunteer air raid precaution associations were forced to merge with RLB. In 1939 the RLB became a Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization), while in 1944 it became an affiliated organization of the NSDAP Party. It was in charge of educating and training ordinary German men and women in civil defense procedures necessary for the basic level of local self-help of the civil population against air raids. The local level was formed around air raid wardens and operated in small first intervention squads. The training include fire fighting, protection against chemical weapons, communication procedures and preparation of houses and apartments against air raids.
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