Base Metal: Brass (Tombak)
Product Description: An excellent example of a Hitler Youth Leaders Proficiency Badge. This is the earlier numbered version of the Hitler Youth Leaders Proficiency Badge, as apposed to the later unnumbered types being known as the “B” types. The badge is made of two separate pieces of high quality fire gilded brass. The reverse of the badge is numbered “5173”. The attaching hardware is soldered directly, and originally, to the reverse of the badge. A desirable example of the Hitler Youth Leaders Proficiency Badge.
Historical Description: The first Nazi youth organization was created in Germany in 1922. In 1926, this organization took on the name “Hitlerjugend” (Hitler Youth) and by 1930, it had over 25,000 members. From 1933 to 1945, the Hitler Youth was the only official youth organization in Germany. The Hitler Youth was for boys aged 14 to 18, and also included the “Deutsche Jungvolk” for boys aged 10 to 14, and the “Bund deutsche Mädel” for German girls. This was primarily a paramilitary organization. Members learned military skills such as drill and marching, and were arranged in units with a command structure similar to that of the military. These units were subject to political lectures and other types of indoctrination using Nazi propaganda. By December of 1936, the Hitlerjugend had over 5 million members. During WWII, The Hitler Youth assisted the German postal service and the Reich national railways, among other tasks. By the end of the war, Hitler Youth members were being deployed in combat as anti-aircraft gunners attached as auxiliaries to the Luftwaffe, and as members of the Volkssturm militia units. Hitler Youth personnel had a wide variety of uniforms and headgear, including tan summer uniforms, wool winter uniforms, and specialized clothing for sports competitions or special units. These uniforms were worn with a wide variety of different insignia which designated specific functions and units. Headgear ranged from simple field caps and ski caps, to specialized equipment. Hitler Youth members were also eligible to earn a range of awards. At the end of the war, the Hitlerjugend was disbanded, and later banned by the German criminal code.
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