Original German WWII Winter Relief Organization WHW Emailleschild Enameled Sign - 16 1/2" x 11 3/4"

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Item Description

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. It is white with a large gray NSDAP Party Reichsadler (National Eagle) in the background, and has a black border around the edge. The German Blackletter typeface text on the front reads:

des Deutschen Volkes


The Winterhilfswerk des Deutschen Volkes (English: Winter Relief of the German People), commonly known by its abbreviated form Winterhilfswerk (WHW), was an annual drive by the National Socialist People's Welfare (German: Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt) to help finance charitable work. Its slogan was "None shall starve or freeze". The drive was originally set up under the government of Heinrich Brüning in 1931, though Adolf Hitler would later claim sole credit. It ran from 1933 to 1945 during the months of October through March and was designed to provide food, clothing, coal and other items to less fortunate Germans during the inclement months.

The donation drive often involved many people who would travel around towns with donation tins. The word Ausgabestelle translates to "issuing office, so this is a sign that was attached to the building where donation tins and other promotional items were issued and collected. The sign also is marked on the bottom with FERRO EMAIL (Iron Enamel) on the left and with C. ROBERT DOLD., the company who manufactured the sign.

Condition is very good, with some loss of the porcelain enamel on the lower right corner, and left and right sides on the upper middle edges, as shown. The rear is still in very good shape, with only a bit of enamel flaking and rusting. The sign measures 16 1/2"W x 11 3/4"H, 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.

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