Condition: Near Mint
Product Description: This RLB Leader Armband is a great example of a rare armband. It was intended for someone with a leader position in the Reichs-Luftschutz-Bund, the German air raid defense organization. This armband could have been worn on a dress or service uniform, or on the work clothing worn by these men and women when they deployed during air raids in German cities and towns. This RLB Leader Armband is Bevo machine woven construction, and is adorned with the early, first pattern organizational emblem of the Reichs-Luftschutz-Bund (“RLB” superimposed on a starburst, over a Nazi swastika emblem) on a blue cotton band. The upper and lower edges of this armband have bright silver Luftwaffe pattern aluminum Tresse, indicating a leader position. This Tresse was applied at the time of construction of the armband, before the reverse was sewn together. The reverse of this RLB Leader Armband has a woven-in manufacturer marking that appears to read “Erha Wuppertal Ges. Gesch.” The condition of this armband is fantastic, with bright original color, and no stains, holes, or other damage. It rates near mint. It would be tough to upgrade this piece.
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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