Maker: Marked PARIS on Buckle
Product Description: This Defense Passive French Occupation Armband is a rare original. The Defense Passive was a French civil defense organization that was set up by the Germans, and tasked with organizing shelters and helping to protect cities and factories in occupied France. This blue armband is the type used by Single Shelter Command, between July 1940 and August 1944. This Defense Passive French Occupation Armband is made of a thin blue fabric, with “Defense Passive” and “D.P” printed (or possibly stamped) in black ink on the front. The front also bears a French issue stamp as well as a German “Dienststempel” stamp, showing authorization by the German occupation authority. The rear of this armband has a buckle closure, which is typical for this armband type. The textbook buckle is marked “Paris.” This Defense Passive French Occupation Armband is in excellent condition, with no holes, staining or discoloration, and only extremely minor age toning.
Historical Description: 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 Nazi 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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