Product Description: This is a Third Reich produced Volunteer Fireman’s Armband from the village of Wollersheim, in North Rhine-Westphalia. It’s made of a thin red fabric with the village name “Wollersheim” printed in dark ink. The fabric and printing style are typical for wartime manufacture. During WWII, volunteer fire protection squads were among the organizations tasked with extinguishing incendiary bombs dropped during Allied air raids. These men wore coveralls or other work clothing, and armbands like these were often the only insignia issued. This Wollersheim Volunteer Fireman’s Armband is nice “home front” piece, certainly an uncommon armband.
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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