Product Description: This is a very attractive example of an RLB members door ID plaque. Plaques like these adorned the homes of members of the Reichsluftschutzbund, the German Luftschutz organization that was tasked with protecting the homeland during enemy air raids. The plaque bears the wording “Mitglied des Reichsluftschutzbundes” (Member of the National Air Raid Protection Organization) along with “Landesgr. Berlin” indicating the Berlin branch. Door plaques like these informed neighbors of where they could go to seek assistance with issues regarding air raid protection. This plaque measures 73mm in diameter and is made of silvered Tombak. The silver finish shows some wear, with some exposed base metal to high points. The front of this RLB members door ID plaque has a very beautiful, deep, old patina. The center of the plaque has the early style RLB organizational emblem which features the stylized letters “RLB” superimposed on a starburst, surmounting a swastika. The RLB letters and swastika emblem are in beautiful blue enamel, which is in nearly perfect condition. The reverse of this RLB members door ID plaque has a heavy patina. The overall condition is excellent. A nice example.
Historical Description: German political and civil authorities began preparing for Allied air raids even before WWII started. The Reichs-Luftschutz-Bund (RLB), under the auspices of the German Luftwaffe, was the primary organization responsible for air raid protection and readiness. Shelters were constructed all over the German Reich, and civilians were issued gas masks. Members of the RLB wore many different kinds of uniforms and equipment, from fine regalia used in parades to work coveralls and protective equipment and gear for firefighting. After the outbreak of the war, the role of the Luftschutz was expanded, and other organizations were brought under the Luftschutz umbrella, including the Luftschutz-Warndienst, Luftschutzpolizei, and the Sicherheits- und Hilfsdienst. The men and women of the Luftschutz were tasked with extinguishing fires caused by incendiary bombs, often with nothing more than buckets of sand or water with hand pups. They maintained order in air raid bunkers and provided first aid to those injured in the bombings. In the day and night raids on the bombed-out cities, and even during the horrific firestorms that took the lives of thousands, the Luftschutz were on duty.
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