Product Description: This Veteran’s Association Membership Badge (Der Stahlhelm Mitgliedsabzeichen) is a very desirable, early, low numbered example. It’s a beautifully made, top quality piece, made in two parts, with a silvered helmet on a silvered and black enameled base with an oak leaves emblem and the year “1920.” This badge shows almost no wear, and all of the original silver finish is still present. The beautiful, glossy black enamel is completely intact, with no chips or even notable scratches. On the reverse, this Veteran’s Association Membership Badge is complete, with a functional vertical attachment pin. The hinge and catch plates are affixed to the badge with the original solder. The badge is maker marked with a stylized “STH” and is also marked in raised lettering with “Ges. Gesch.” indicating a legally protected design. The membership date of “12. 1. 1920” as well as “IV Mi. 19” indicating Mitglied (Member) 19 are neatly hand engraved. This very appealing membership badge measures 35.07 mm in diameter and weighs 14.8 grams. It displays exceptionally well, and remains in excellent condition.
Historical Description: “Der Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten” was a paramilitary organization of WWI veterans, in the time of the Weimar Republic. It was founded in December of 1918 by reserve officer Franz Seldte, in Magdeburg. It was opposed to the Weimar political system, and though it was officially a non-party organization, after 1929 it served as an armed branch of the Deutschnationalen Volkspartei political party. Officers and men of the Stahlhelm served as a personnel reserve for the Reichswehr. By 1933, there were 1,500,000 members of the Stahlhelm. In 1934, the Stahlhelm became an official Nazi organization, and was renamed, with large parts transferring to the SA; the last Stahlhelm units were disbanded in 1935, and WWI veterans transferred to the Nazi sanctioned veterans organization. Stahlhelm members wore a wide variety of regalia including special uniforms and insignia that denoted their rank, role and specific group membership. As with all of the interwar paramilitary organizations, they had their own specific uniforms, belt buckles and headgear. Items pertaining to the Stahlhelm are collected today for their historical importance.
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