Product Description: This Second Class Fire Brigade Medal is an attractive piece, in excellent condition, with perfect enamel. The front of the medal is in the form of a cross, with a central black and white enameled swastika device, and bright red enamel flames on a white background on the arms of the cross. The cross is superimposed on a circular ring, with the wording “Für Verdienste im Feuerlöschwesen” (For Services in Fire Fighting). The enamel retains full original color and has no damages, and the metal shows no real wear, and only normal age toning. The reverse of this Second Class Fire Brigade Medal is flat, and shows light wear and toning to the original finish. It’s complete with its correct original ribbon, which is nice and clean. This is really a great representative example of this scarce award.
Historical Description: Prior to the Third Reich, Germany had a wide variety of municipal fire departments. In 1933, the Nazis created a new law that made the professional fire departments, as well as the volunteer fire departments, subordinate to the German police. At this time, German fire department ranks were standardized and made to match the German police rank system. The German fire department at that time was given the new name “Feuerlöschpolizei.” The municipal fire departments in cities worked together with compulsory fire brigades (Pflichtfeuerwehr), volunteer fire brigades (Freiwillige Feuerwehr) and industrial fire brigades (Werkfeuerwehr). In 1938, this changed again, as the various municipal Feuerlöschpolizei departments became officially a part of the police. The red-painted fire department vehicles were painted green, and they were given police license plates; the fire department personnel themselves were given green Polizei uniforms with distinctive insignia. The new name for fire departments was “Feuerschutzpolizei” (Fire Protection Police). The volunteer fire departments were given the status of auxiliaries to the “Ordnumgspolizei” (Order Police). During WWII, German fire departments organized units that deployed to the field and followed the German Army’s advance, taking over fire protection duties in the occupied territories. At home, the fire brigades worked together with air raid protection units to try to extinguish incendiary bombs during the horrific aerial bombardments of German cities. The various organizational changes during the Third Reich as well as the wide range of uniforms, regalia and equipment used by German fire departments created an almost endless variety of distinctive collectible items.
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