Maker: Gustav Brehmer
Product Description: This is a really nice 1938 HJ Kreissieger Badge, made by Brehmer. It’s in excellent condition. Nearly all of the original dark bronze finish is retained to the metalwork on the front and back. It’s a crisp strike, showing almost no wear. The white enamel to the central roundel as well as the beautiful translucent red enamel on the HJ diamond organizational emblem are perfect, with no damage, although there is some patina built up on the white enamel in the recesses at the edges of the national eagle. The text on the front of the badge indicates it was awarded to a Kreissieger (local winner) in 1938. The reverse of this 1938 HJ Kreissieger Badge is clearly marked “G. Brehmer, Markneukirchen” indicating manufacture by the firm of Gustav Brehmer, the only manufacturer of these authorized to make the highest (Reich) level awards. The hardware setup is intact and functional and features a wide, straight pin as is textbook on these. The 1938 HJ Kreissieger Badge is not very commonly encountered and is a desirable civilian award.
Historical Description: The Hitler Youth Reichsberufswettkampf Badges were awarded to the local and national winners of the annual Reich vocational contest. These contests were held by the Nazi labor organization, the DAF, with the assistance of the Hitler Youth and the Nazi students association. The competitions started in 1934 initially were intended for youth who were learning skilled trades. Contestants took a series of tests in which they were graded on specialized skills pertaining to their trade (theory and practice) as well as punctuality, personal hygiene, orderliness, and adherence to Nazi ideology. Starting in 1936, special badges were awarded to winners at the national levels; these were in the form of a pinback badge in the shape of a toothed wheel (the emblem of the DAF) with the date and wording indicating the wearer was a winner of the Reich vocational contest, and superimposed with an enameled Hitler Youth diamond organizational emblem. Starting in 1938, the contest was open to non-members of the Hitler Youth, including adults. Also in this year, badges for the winners were not only awarded at Reich level but also at local and Gau (district) level. The badges used in 1938 and 1939 featured a white enameled disk surrounded by a wreath, adorned with a large Nazi eagle emblem holding the DAF cogwheel and HJ diamond emblem (itself also enameled). The competition was stopped because of the war, but in 1944 there was a final wartime Reichsberufswettkampf competition, with badges made in the same form as in 1938-39, but only for Gau and Reich winners, and painted, rather than enameled. All of these badges were finely made as they were prestigious awards at the time, especially the Gau and Reich level awards, which of course were issued only in limited numbers as they represented a very high achievement in the regulated world of the Third Reich. The Hitler Youth Reichsberufswettkampf Badges are all collectible and desirable today.
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