Product Description: This Stretcher Bearer Armband is a near-perfect example of a rare and interesting variant. It’s made of a thin white fabric, with the wording “Hilfs-Krankenträger” (Stretcher Bearer) in Gothic lettering, enclosed within a box. The wording is crisply printed in black ink. The lettering is smaller than is typically found on this type of armband, with this example being a rarer variant. All of the edges of this armband are neatly finished with factory style machine stitching. This Stretcher Bearer Armband appears to have been barely used, if at all. The fabric is crisp, with only extremely minor age toning and surface soiling, no stains, holes, or other damage. There is no manufacturer’s marking, as is typical for these. The condition rates as near mint.
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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