Original German Pre-WWII SS Member's Wool & Rayon Multi-Piece Armband with SS RZM Tag
Original Item: Only One Available: The SS (Schutzstaffel - 'Protection Squadron') was originally formed in 1925, ostensibly to act as a small, loyal bodyguard unit to protect the Führer, Adolf AH. Under the direction of the Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the SS grew to be the most ruthless and feared organization of the 20th century. They were the vanguard of NSDAPsm and eventually controlled nearly every function of German life and much of Occupied Europe.
This is a very nice SS Member's Kampfbinde (Armband), with a red woven wool band, and a multipiece rayon swas (hook cross) sewn onto the front. This armband is more or less identical to the standard armband of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated NSDAP), except for the black rayon borders on the edges.
The reverse bears an original correct embroidered fabric RZM tag with the double sig ((ᛋᛋ)) symbol of the SS in a double circle. The SS had their own standards and channels for materials, and only those for the organization would ever bear that mark. The tag is marked with Vom Reichsführer SS befohlene Ausführung (Production Ordered by the Leader of the SS), over maker code 61 / 35. Research indicates that this type of tag was used from 1935 until 1938, when the move was made to less expensive paper tags.
It is in very good condition, and measures approximately 18" x 4 5/8", and is not sewn together in the back. There are stitches along the edges and at the ends, so this is definitely an armband that saw service, probably attached to an overcoat or similar article of clothing. There is definitely wear to the exterior, and discoloration of the white circle. It also has suffered some mothing over the years, most of which is confined to the nap of the fabric. A very nice example of a rare armband!
Nearly every military, civil, political and paramilitary organization in existence during the Third Reich used armbands. Armbands were worn on military and civilian uniforms and also on civilian clothes, from suit jackets to work clothing. They were used to denote membership in organizations, to indicate a specific role or function of the bearer, and as insignia of rank. Many organizations would change the design of their armbands over time, which added to the variety produced. These were manufactured in countless variations, ranging from simple printed bands to elaborately hand-embroidered pieces of the highest quality. Some NSDAP armbands were worn by all members of large organizations and were made by the millions. Others were intended for use at a specific time and place and were unique. Many types were made in very limited numbers. Some bore metal insignia or special identifiers that indicated the wearer’s rank, unit affiliation, or nationality. Armbands were sometimes but not always marked with ink stamps by the issuing authorities.
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