Epic Artifacts

Third Reich Eagles

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To the Germans, a “Hoheitszeichen” is the symbol that represents national sovereignty as exercised by the state, in the form of the state and municipal authorities and organs. During the Third Reich, the German Hoheitszeichen was the eagle clutching the swastika emblem of the Nazi party. This eagle emblem appeared in countless forms, from military uniform insignia to the seals and stamps used on official documents. National eagle emblems were also used as wall and building decorations, for official buildings and meeting halls used by Nazi Party organizations, and also private homes. These state symbols in some cases were used to recognize official Party spaces, and in other cases were simply decorative items used by Nazi supporters. During the Third Reich, wall and building eagles existed in myriad forms. Some were unique, and cast in concrete, or even carved in stone; indeed, some of these eagles still adorn German buildings today, with the swastikas removed or concealed. Other wall and building eagles were mass produced, and were made in materials ranging from metal to cardboard. There were also wooden Third Reich Eagles, individually hand-carved in the Black Forest tradition. Many of these wall and building Third Reich Eagles used generic national eagle emblems, while others depicted the organizational emblems of military or paramilitary groups. Allied denazification policies in 1945 and later stipulated that these national emblems bearing the Nazi swastika had to be destroyed. Surviving examples are rare and extremely collectible.

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