Third Reich Emblems - Party Badges and Emblems

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One of the first badges associated with that of the Third Reich was the emblem of the Germanenorden.
The Germanenorden (Germanic or Teutonic Order, not to be confused with the medieval German order of the Teutonic Knights) was a völkisch secret society in early 20th-century Germany.
It was founded in Berlin in 1912 by Theodor Fritsch and several prominent German occultists including Philipp Stauff, who held office in the List Society and 'High Armanen Order' as well as Hermann Pohl, who became the Germanenorden’s first leader.
The group was a clandestine movement aimed at the upper echelons of society and was a sister movement to the more open and mainstream 'Reichshammerbund'.
The order, whose symbol was a swastika, had a hierarchical fraternal structure based on Freemasonry. 
Local groups of the sect met to celebrate the summer solstice, an important neo-pagan festivity in völkisch circles, and more regularly to read the 'Eddas' as well as some of the German mystics.
In addition to occult and magical philosophies, it taught to its initiates nationalist ideologies of Nordic racial superiority and antisemitism, then rising throughout the Western world.
As was becoming increasingly typical of völkisch organisations, it required its candidates to prove that they had no non-Aryan bloodlines and required from each a promise to maintain purity of his stock in marriage.
Germanenorden Walvater des Heiligen Grals
In 1916, during World War I, the Germanenorden split into two parts.
Eberhard von Brockhusen became the Grand Master of the 'loyalist' Germanenorden.
Pohl, previously the order’s Chancellor, founded a schismatic offshoot: the 'Germanenorden Walvater des Heiligen Grals'.
He was joined in the same year by Rudolf von Sebottendorff (formerly Rudolf Glauer), a wealthy adventurer with wide-ranging occult and mystical interests.
A Freemason and a practitioner of Sufism and astrology, Sebottendorff was also an admirer of Guido von List and Lanz von Liebenfels.
He was attracted by Pohl’s runic lore, and became the Master of the Walvater's Bavarian province late in 1917.
Charged with reviving the province's fortunes, Sebottendorff increased membership from about a hundred in 1917 to 1500 by the autumn of the following year.
The Munich lodge of the Germanenorden Walvater when it was formally dedicated on August 18, 1918 was given the cover name, the 'Thule Gesellschaft', which is notable chiefly as the organization that sponsored the 'Deutsche Arbeiterpartei' (DAP), which was later transformed by Adolf Hitler into the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

Thule-Gesellschaft, originally the 'Studiengruppe für germanisches Altertum' - ('Study Group for Germanic Antiquity'), was a German occultist and völkisch group founded in Munich right after World War I, named after a mythical northern country in Greek legend. 
The Society is notable chiefly as the organization that sponsored the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP - German Workers' Party), which was later reorganized by Adolf Hitler into the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei - (National Socialist German Workers' Party NSDAP).
The organization's membership list read like a 'Who's Who' of early völkisch sympathizers, and leading figures in the arts and sciences in Munich, including Rudolf Hess, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Julius Lehmann, Gottfried Feder, Dietrich Eckart, and Karl Harrer.
The Thule-Gesellschaft was originally a 'German study group', headed by Walter Nauhaus, a wounded World War I veteran turned art student from Berlin, who had become a keeper of pedigrees for the Germanenorden, (see above).
In 1917, Nauhaus moved to Munich; his Thule-Gesellschaft was to be a 'cover-name' for the Munich branch of the Germanenorden, but events developed differently as a result of a schism in the Order.
Thule Curved Swastika
In 1918, Nauhaus was contacted in Munich by Rudolf von Sebottendorf, an occultist and newly elected head of the Bavarian province of the schismatic off-shoot known as the Germanenorden Walvater of the Holy Grail (see above).
The two men became associates in a recruitment campaign, and Sebottendorff adopted Nauhaus's Thule-Gesellschaft as a cover-name for his Munich lodge of the Germanenorden Walvater at its formal dedication on 18 August 1918.
A primary focus of the Thule-Gesellschaft was a claim concerning the origins of the Aryan race.
In 1917, people who wanted to join the Germanenorden, out of which the Thule-Gesellschaft developed in 1918, had to sign a special "blood declaration of faith" concerning their lineage.
'Thule' (Greek: Θούλη) was a land located by Greco-Roman geographers in the farthest north.
The Latin term "Ultima Thule" (English: most distant Thule) is also mentioned by Roman poet Virgil in his pastoral poems called the 'Georgics'.
The Thule Society identified Ultima Thule as a lost ancient landmass in the extreme north, near Greenland or Iceland, said by völkisch mystics to be the capital of ancient Hyperborea.
These ideas were derived from earlier speculation by Ignatius L. Donnelly that a lost landmass had once existed in the Atlantic, and that it was the home of the Aryan race, a theory which he supported by reference to the distribution of swastika motifs.
He identified this with Plato's Atlantis, a theory further developed by Helena Blavatsky, an occultist during the second part of the 19th century.
Deutsche Arbeiterpartei - (German Workers' Party - DAP) was a short-lived political party, and the precursor of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party - NSDAP).
The DAP only lasted from January 1919 until February 1920.
The DAP was founded in Munich in the hotel "Fürstenfelder Hof" on January 5, 1919 by Anton Drexler.
Anton Drexler
It developed out of the 'Freier Arbeiterausschuss für einen guten Frieden' (Free Workers' Committee for a Good Peace) league, a branch of which Drexler had founded in 1918.
Thereafter in 1918, Karl Harrer (a journalist and member of the 'Thule Gesellschaft'), convinced Drexler and several others to form the Politischer Arbeiterzirkel (Political Workers' Circle).
The members met periodically for discussions with themes of nationalism and antisemitism.
Drexler was encouraged to form the DAP in December 1918 by his mentor, Dr. Paul Tafel. 
Tafel was a leader of the 'Alldeutscher Verband' (Pan-Germanist Union), a director of the Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg, and a member of the 'Thule Gesellschaft'.
Drexler's wish was for a political party which was both in touch with the masses and nationalist.
In January 1919 with the DAP founding, Drexler was elected chairman, and Harrer was made 'Reich Chairman', an honorary title.
On May 17, only ten members were present at the meeting; a later meeting in August only noted 38 members attending.
This was the political party that Adolf Hitler subsequently joined.

Rudolf John Gorsleben was associated with the Thule Gesellschaft (see above) during the Bavarian Soviet Republic of 1919 and, along with Dietrich Eckart, he was taken prisoner by the Communists, narrowly escaping execution.
He threw himself into the ferment of Bavaria's völkisch politics, and formed a close working relationship with the local Germanenorden (see above) before devoting himself to literary pursuits.
On 29 November 1925, Gorsleben founded the 'Edda-Gesellschaft', a mystic study group, at Dinkelsbühl in Franconia.
He himself was Chancellor of the Society and published its periodical 'Deutsche Freiheit' (German Freedom), later renamed 'Arische Freiheit' (Aryan Freedom).
Assisted by learned contributors to his study-group, Gorsleben developed an original and eclectic mystery religion, founded in part upon the Armanism of List, whom he quoted with approval.
Grand Master of the Society was Werner von Bülow (1870–1947).
The treasurer was Friedrich Schaefer from Mühlhausen, whose wife, Käthe, kept open house for another occult-völkisch circle (Freie Söhne der Nord-und-Ostsee), which gathered around Karl Maria Wiligut in the early 1930s.
Mathilde von Kemnitz, a prolific völkisch writer who married General Erich Ludendorff in 1926, was an active member of the Edda Society.
When Rudolf John Gorsleben died from heart disease in August 1930, the Edda Society was taken over by Bülow who had designed a 'world-rune-clock' which illustrated the correspondences between the runes, the gods and the zodiac, as well as colors and numbers.
Bülow also took over the running of Gorsleben's periodical and changed its name from 'Arische Freiheit' to 'Hagal'.
The Artamanen-Gesellschaft was a German agrarian and völkisch movement dedicated to a 'Blut inf Boden' - (Blood and Soil) inspired ruralism (see below).
Active during the inter-war period, the League became closely linked to, and eventually absorbed by, the NSDAP.
The term 'Artamanen' had been coined before the First World War by Dr. Willibald Hentschel, a believer in racial purity, who had founded his own group, the Mittgart Society, in 1906.
The term was a combination of 'art' and 'manen', Middle High German words meaning 'agriculture man', and indicating Hentschell's desire to see Germans leave the decadence of the city in order to return to an idyllic rural way of life.
The Artamanen-Gesellschaft was strongly influenced by 'Lebensreform' - and both Heinrich Himmler and Walther Darré were influential members

Carin and Herman Göring
Carin Axelina Hulda Fock in Stockholm in 1888.
Her father, Baron Carl Fock, was a Swedish Army colonel, from a family which had emigrated to Sweden from Westphalia.
Her mother, whose maiden name was Huldine Beamish, was born in 1860 into an Anglo-Irish family famous for brewing Beamish and Crawford stout in Cork.
She was the fourth of five daughters; her sisters were Fanny von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (1882-1956), Mary von Rosen (1886–1967), Elsa, and Lily.
Mary was married to Count Eric von Rosen (1879–1948), one of the founding members of the Nationalsocialistiska Blocket ("National Socialist Bloc"), a Swedish National Socialist political party.
Carin married Herman Göring, introducing him to the occult völkisch Edelweiß Gesellschaft.



Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei - (National Socialist German Workers' Party abbreviated NSDAP), was a political party in Germany that was active between 1920 and 1945.
Its precursor, the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei - DAP (see above), existed from 1919 to 1920. 
The party emerged from the German nationalist, racist, and populist Freikorps paramilitary culture, which fought against the communist uprisings in post-World War I Germany.
The party was created as a means to draw workers away from communism, and into völkisch nationalism.
Initially, NSDAP political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric, although such aspects were later downplayed in order to gain the support of industrial entities, and in the 1930s the party's focus shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes.
(Golden Party Badge)
Goldenes Parteiabzeichen - (Golden Party Badge) was a special badge of the Nazi Party.
The first 100,000 members who had joined, and had uninterrupted service in the Party, were eligible for the badge (these were denoted by the party members' number stamped on the reverse).
Other Golden Party Badges (with the initials 'A.H.' stamped on the reverse) were awarded, at the discretion of Adolf Hitler, to certain members of the party who merited special treatment.
An identical badge was awarded each year on 30 January to persons who had shown outstanding service to the Nazi Party or State.
Only 20,487 men and 1,795 women were actually approved for and awarded the badge (outside of the ones Hitler awarded at his discretion).

The Sturmabteilung (SA) - Storm Detachment - functioned as the original paramilitary wing of the NSDAP.
It played a significant role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s.
Their primary purposes were providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties, especially the Red Front Fighters League (Rotfrontkämpferbund) of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).
The SA have been known in contemporary times as "Brownshirts" (Braunhemden) from the color of their uniform shirts.
The SA developed pseudo-military titles for its members.
The SA ranks were adopted by several other Nazi Party groups, chief among them the Schutzstaffel (SS), which originated as a branch of the SA before being separated. 

Hitlerjugend - (Hitler Youth) - often abbreviated as HJ in German - was the youth organisation of the NSDAP in Germany.
Its origins dated back to 1922.
From 1933 until 1945, it was the sole official youth organisation in Germany, and was partially a paramilitary organisation.
It was composed of the Hitlerjugend proper, for male youths aged 14 to 18, the GDeutsches Jungvolk in der Hitler Jugend (or "DJ", also "DJV") for younger boys aged 10 to 14, and the Bund Deutsche Mädel or "BDM" (League of German Girls).
By 1930 the Hitlerjugend had enlisted over 25,000 boys aged 14 and upwards.
A further significant expansion drive started in 1933, after Baldur von Schirach was appointed by Hitler as the first Reichsjugendführer (Reich Youth Leader)
The Hitler Youth regularly issued the 'Wille und Macht' (Will and Power) monthly magazine. 
This publication was also its official organ, and its editor was Baldur von Schirach.
Other publications included 'Die Kameradschaft' (Comradeship), which had a girl's version for the BDM called 'Mädelschaft', and a yearbook called 'Jungen eure Welt' (Youth your World).

Nationalsozialistischer Reichsbund für Leibesübungen, abbreviated NSRL (National Socialist League of the Reich for Physical Exercise) - was the umbrella organization for sports and physical education in the Third Reich.
The organization was expanded to Austria after that country's annexation by Germany. 
Hans von Tschammer und Osten
The NSRL was led by the Reichssportführer, who after 1934 was at the same time presiding over the German National Olympic Committee.
The NSRL's leaders were Hans von Tschammer und Osten (1933–1943), Arno Breitmeyer (1943–1944) and Karl Ritter von Halt (1944–1945).
The aims of the promotion of sports in the Third Reich included hardening the spirit of every German, as well as making German citizens feel that they were part of a wider national purpose.
This was in line with the ideals of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, the 'Father of physical Exercise', who connected the steeling of one's own body to a healthy spirit, and promoted the idea of a unified, strong Germany - the aim of which was the demonstration of Aryan physical superiority.

Nationalsozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund, abbreviated NSDStB (National Socialist German Students' League) was founded in 1926 as a division of the NSDAP, with the mission of integrating University-level education and academic life within the framework of the National Socialist worldview.
Organized (as with other departments of the NSDAP) strictly in accord with the Führerprinzip (or 'leader principle') as well as the principle of Machtdistanz (or "power distance"), the NSDStB housed its members in Kameradschaftshäusern ('Fellowship Houses').

The Reichsnährstand (RNST) was a government body set up by the Third Reich to regulate food production.
Walther Darré
The Reichsnährstand was founded by the Reichsnahrstandsgesetz (decree) of 13 September 1933.
The Reichsnährstand was led by R. Walther Darré.
The Reichsnährstand had legal authority over everyone involved in agricultural production and distribution.
It attempted to regulate the market for agricultural goods, using a complex system of orders, price controls, and prohibitions, through regional marketing associations.
In addition, the Reichsnährstand propagated the doctrines of 'Blut und Boden' (Blood and Soil) as espoused by Walther Darré and Heinrich Himmler.
Blut und Boden refers to an ideology that focuses on ethnicity based on two factors, descent blood (of a volk) and territory.
It celebrates the relationship of a people to the land they occupy and cultivate, and it places a high value on the virtues of rural living.
Blut und Boden evolved out of the German Lebensreform movement - and Richard Walther Darré popularized the phrase when he wrote a book entitled 'Neuadel aus Blut und Boden' (A New Nobility Based On Blood And Soil), in 1930, which proposed a systemic eugenics program, arguing for breeding as means of combating the problems plaguing the state

Nürnberg - Reichsparteitag  - Arbeitdienst
Reichsarbeitsdienst or RAD - (Reich Labor Service) was a major organisation established in the Third Reich as an agency to help mitigate the effects of unemployment on the German economy, militarize the workforce, and indoctrinate it with NSDAP ideology.
It was the official state labor service, divided into separate sections for men and women. 
From June 1935 onward, men aged between 18 and 25 had to serve 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.
Nürnberg - Reichsparteitag  - Arbeitdienst
In 1933 Adolf Hitler appointed Konstantin Hierl state secretary in the Reich Ministry of Labour, responsible for FAD matters.
Hierl was already a high-ranking member of the NSDAP, and head of the party's labor organization, the Nationalsozialistischer Arbeitsdienst or NSAD.
Hierl developed the concept of a state labor service organisation similar to the Reichswehr army, with a view to implementing a compulsory service.
With massive financial support by the German government, RAD members were to provide service for mainly military, and to a lesser extent, civic and agricultural construction projects.
The RAD was divided into two major sections, one for men (Reichsarbeitsdienst Männer - RAD/M) and the voluntary, from 1939 compulsory, section for women (Reichsarbeitsdienst der weiblichen Jugend - RAD/wJ).


Deutsche Arbeitsfront - DAF (German Labour Front) was the National Socialist trade union organization which replaced the various independent trade unions of the Weimar Republic after Adolf Hitler's rise to power.
After the 1933 May Day labor celebrations, the Third Reich not only nationalized all trade unions, but decreed union membership as a mandatory duty, requiring every worker to join the state-operated union.
The leader of the Deutsche Arbeitsfront was Robert Ley, who stated its aim was 'to create a true social and productive community'.
Theoretically, DAF existed to act as a medium through which workers and owners could mutually represent their interests.

Wages were set by the 12 DAF trustees.
The employees were given relatively high set wages and security of employment, and dismissal was increasingly made difficult.


Social security and leisure programs were started, (see Kraft durch Freude below), canteens, breaks, and regular working times were established, and German workers were generally satisfied by what the DAF gave them in repayment for their absolute loyalty.

Schönheit der Arbeit - SdA - (the Beauty of Labour) was an organisation of the Third Reich from the period 1934 to its eventual disbandment in 1945.
The SdA worked bilaterally with its counterpart organisation Kraft durch Freude (KdF) - (see below) to achieve an overall improvement in the working environments of the general population. 
Schönheit der Arbeit was one of the many areas that made up the Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF).
Campaigns such as the 'Fight against Noise' and 'Good Ventilation in the Workplace' gave the government the ability to stimulate productivity within the workplace whilst simultaneously installing a sense of community and greater cordiality between the government and the German population.

Kraft durch Freude - abbreviated KdF - (Strength through Joy) was a large state-operated leisure organization in the Third Reich.
It was a part of the Deutsche Arbeitsfront - DAF (see above), the national German labor organization.
Kraft durch Freude Poster
Set up as an organisation to promote the advantages of National Socialism to the people, it soon became the world's largest tourism operator of the 1930s.
KdF was designed to bridge the class divide by making middle-class leisure activities available to the masses.
This was underscored by having cruises with passengers of mixed classes and having them, regardless of social status, draw lots for allocation of cabins.
Another less ideological goal was to boost the German economy by stimulating the tourist industry out of its slump from the 1920s.
By 1934, over two million Germans had participated on a KdF trip; by 1939 the reported numbers lay around 25 million people. 
Other activities included trips to the movies, to parks, keep-fit clubs, hiking, sporting activities, theater, opera and concerts.


Fritz Todt
Organisation Todt -  (OT) was a Third Reich civil and military engineering group in Germany named after its founder, Fritz Todt, an engineer and senior figure in the NSDAP.
The organization was responsible for a huge range of engineering projects both in pre-World War II Germany, in Germany itself, and German occupied territories from France to the Soviet Union during the war. 
The OT was not given an official name until Hitler did so shortly after coming to power in 1933.
In 1938 Todt founded the 'Organisation Todt' proper, as a consortium of the administrative offices which Todt had personally set up in the course of the Autobahn project, private companies as subcontractors, and the primary source of technical engineering expertise, and the Labor Service as the source of man-power.
He was appointed by Hitler as plenipotentiary for Labor within the second four-year plan.

Berlin Philharmonic
Reichskulturkammer (Reich Chamber of Culture) was a government agency in the Third Reich.

It was established by law on 22 September 1933 in the course of the 'Gleichschaltung' process, at the instigation of Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels, as a professional organization of all German creative artists.

Defying the competing ambitions of the German Labour Front (DAF) (see above) under Goebbels' rival Robert Ley, it was meant to gain control over the entire cultural life in Germany creating and promoting Aryan art consistent with the ideals of the NSDAP.

Every artist had to apply for membership on presentation of an Aryan certificate.
Different subdivisions of the RKK dealt with music, visual arts, film, architecture, and literature, organized in seven departments - Reichsfilmkammer, Reichsmusikkammer, Reichskammer der bildenden Künste, Reichstheaterkammer, Reichsschrifttumskammer, Reichspressekammer, and Reichsrundfunkkammer.

Nationalsozialistische Frauenschaft - abbreviated NS-Frauenschaft (National Socialist Women's League) was the women's wing of the NSDAP.

alternative emblem
Gertrud Scholtz-Klink
The Nationalsozialistische Frauenschaft was founded in October 1931 as a fusion of several nationalist and National Socialist women's associations.
The Frauenschaft was subordinated to the national party leadership (Reichsleitung); girls and young women were the purview of the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM).
From February 1934 to the end of World War II in 1945, the NS-Frauenschaft was led by Reichsfrauenführerin Gertrud Scholtz-Klink (1902–1999).
It put out a biweekly magazine, the NS-Frauen-Warte.
The NS-Frauenschaft reached a total membership of 2 million by 1938, the equivalent of 40% of total party membership.
The Nationalsozialistische Frauenschaft Children's Group was known as "Kinderschar".

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