Product Description: This is a door plaque for a member of the Nazionalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (National Socialist Peoples Welfare), or NSV. The NSV was a social welfare organization that existed between 1933 and 1945. By 1939 it was the second largest Nazi organization. The NSV provided various kinds of insurance and other benefits. The organization supplied aid to the elderly, the handicapped, alcoholics and ex-convicts, and ran the Winterhilfswerk winter relief program. This NSV member door plaque is made of stamped metal with a bronze finish. The front bears the NSV emblem which has a polished, gold-toned finish that contrasts very nicely with the chocolate brown color of the rest of the plaque. The wording around the edge of this NSV member door plaque reads “Mitglied der N.S. Volkswohlfahrt- Gau Essen” which indicates is was for a member of the NSV in the Essen district. There are also two swastika emblems, and three small nail holes that would be used when affixing the plaque to a member’s door. The reverse of the plaque has an old patina as well as some adhesive residue in one spot. This NSV member door plaque has a striking design and makes for a great display object.
Historical Description: Membership in various Nazi organizations was strongly encouraged, or even mandatory, in Germany during the Third Reich. The members of the various organizations would show their affiliation in many ways including automobile pennants, special flags, uniforms and regalia and also door plaques. Some Nazi-era door plaques would simply indicate that one was a member of a specific organization, as a way of displaying to neighbors that one was involved. Others might indicate specific ranks or positions within an organization and could have had a practical value by informing community members where to go for assistance in various situations. There were also door plaques that were not for members of any specific organization, but were patriotic decorative items to show support. Door plaques were generally made out of stamped metal, with or without enameled embellishments. There were also versions that were made of enameled sheet metal. In addition, there were decals that could be put in windows that served a similar purpose.
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