Product Description: This SS Former Member Hitler Youth Sleeve Diamond (Vorigmitglied HJ Ärmelabzeichen) is believed to have been worn by Waffen-SS members who had previously been members of the Hitler Youth. It’s a black wool diamond, measuring about 3 inches tall and 1-3/4 inches wide, and it features the diamond and swastika logo of the Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend), machine embroidered in light gray thread. As is typical for these, there is no stiffener and no backing on the reverse. This is known as a Dachau pattern patch, typical late war construction, and is likely one of the many removed from the clothing storehouse at Dachau when the camp was liberated by US Army troops in 1945. This one is unissued, never used. This SS Former Member Hitler Youth Sleeve Diamond is a great example that remains in excellent condition, with only extremely minor edge wear and age toning.
Historical Description: The uniforms worn by the various SS branches before and during WWII used a variety of insignia to indicate rank, unit assignment, and role, including collar tabs and shoulder boards, cuff titles, and sleeve diamonds. The sleeve diamonds were initially authorized in October 1935. Each had a distinctive letter, symbol or emblem, with its own unique meaning. SS sleeve diamonds were used to indicate which SS organization the wearer was assigned to, specific roles of SS personnel, special achievements such as proficiency in sports or marksmanship, or to recognize former service in other Nazi Party organizations. Some diamonds were specific to certain SS branches, such as the Allgemeine-SS, Waffen-SS, or the SS-Totenkopfverbände. Other sleeve diamonds could be worn by a member of any SS branch. The materials and construction of original sleeve diamonds varied. Some were either hand-embroidered or machine-embroidered on black wool, while others were “Bevo” machine woven on a rayon base. Generally, silver-gray thread embroidery was used for enlisted ranks and NCOs, while officers wore hand embroidered wire bullion. Diamonds could be edged with silver-colored twisted wire cord for officers, or black and silver twisted cord for NCOs. Originals existed with paper or cloth RZM tags on the reverse, or were unlabeled. In total, there were dozens of different types and variations of these made between 1935-45. Some were produced in limited numbers, and others are more commonly encountered today, but all are desirable and collectible pieces of SS regalia.
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