12-29-2010, 06:30 AM
Furthermore, the RZM Handbuch listings in A2 for cap makers on the handicrafts, artisan basis eclipse by many, many times the number of cap factories on an industrial basis, that is A1. The cap makers under A2 eclipse by many times the reference in Wilkins book. That is, the names of these firms, small as they were, are mostly unknown and unexplored especially on the know it all, lord of the flies website.
Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 12-29-2010 at 06:04 PM.
12-29-2010 06:30 AM
12-29-2010, 06:41 PM
12-30-2010, 05:15 AM
I love that RZM license. It speaks volumes, more than a combat helmet ever could.
The RZM system and the 1934 law cited on the hat tags is an early form of branding and protecting intellectual property.
It was an evolution of the idea of trademarking. Of course today we live in a world surrounded by brands.
But it is clear how conscious the NSDAP was of image, in the '30ies no less, that they would protect their "brand" so jealously -- Ultimately licensing their brand like the NFL does today.
I wonder how much revenue the RZM system generated for the party? Between the Winterhilfe campaigns, the exortations to buy newspapers and dues stamps in NSDAP mitgliedbuchs, it seems the party was seared by poverty of its salad days.
12-30-2010, 05:45 AM
I would not describe this system as you have, though.
The "brand," as you interpret it, was the Nazi attempt to take control of the textile industry for its purposes.
The Nazis were very opposed to US public relations, commercial advertising, what you call "branding," although on a superficial level, the party insignia looks to some of you like a brand. It was not so simple, really, I think.
I think we have discussed this elsewhere. I suggest you read the Victoria De Grazia book I enclosed elsewhere on US commercial and public relations ideas in the 1920s and 1930s and the Nazi rejection of same. The Nazis would never have described their own symbols in this way, nor would they have described the licensing system for textiles in this way, as they saw commercial marketing on a mass basis as "Jewish, capitalist, un German, and possessed of an alien spirit."
It is also true that much of what one saw in national socialism reflected an answer to US commercial and cultural penetration of Europe after 1918, i.e. film, consumer goods, mass marketing, etc, but I would never equate the NFL to the NSDAP.
The RZM license system was an attempt to extract money for the party treasury from its users, which was part of the generalized procedure in the NSDAP and SA to make its members pay for the privilege of being a Nazi. This fact is well documented in the work of Henry Turner and others. But the origins of the Zeugmeisterei system were from the old armies, then to the Freikorps period supported by the Reichswehr and into the NSDAP and the SA. The goal was to provide equipment to irregular military units off the books in somewhat the manner as had been done in the regular army prior to 1919. In the case of the SA, the problems of equipping the party army with the brown shirt etc. were ones of price, quality, and uniformity. The license system as it evolved after 1933 was a further step in the consolidation of power, especially in the Aryanization of the garment industry, the growth of the uniform industry, and the disenfranchisement of Jews in the fashion industry, which along with other sectors of economy and society which the Nazis claimed were in the hands of Jews, demanded a radical reorganization according to Nazi principles. Considering the suffering and down right theft that accompanied this loss of rights and property, one cannot compare it to institutions in the present with trade marks.
Last edited by Friedrich-Berthold; 12-30-2010 at 06:06 AM.
12-30-2010, 05:50 AM
Read this book.
12-30-2010, 05:56 AM
This article makes clear the origins of the RZM system and its roles and missions, which were something other than a "brand" as we understand such a term in our own age. There was a significant aspect of ideology in the symbols of the party, but contemporaries would have been much put out by the concepts we might employ to describe them. Read UM on this score.
Mind you, this is a Nazi talking about the good 'ole days, and one should take it with more than a grain of salt, but it does give you some sense of the idea. Kurt Daleuge was the spiritus rector of the thing, and this man Assmann was of the Luedenscheid family.
12-30-2010, 06:26 AM
Now that I have had a chance to deepen myself in this document by the courtesy of a generous friend, I am full of it.
Thanks for Robert H that I pinched his picture. I have no camera of my own anymore.
12-30-2010, 06:37 AM
I knew my NFL allegory would raise hackles and apologize if it was inappropriate.
By nature I reduce things to their most simple elements. But please understand, when I discuss branding, I don't mean it in a purely simplistic way, it's more than a buzzword to me, as I am someone who has an understanding of the incredible amount of thought, effort and craft that goes into generating an impression on the public mind.
I am aware of the disdain the Nazis had for mercantilism and their belief of it as a foreign, or Jewish influence on the national body. However I have several period magazines and one would be hard pressed to distinguish the advertising in Die Woch from Life magazine.
I have been struggling to build a working grasp of Nazi ideology but so far only have a piecemeal collage built of triangulation through my thoroughly modern and American lens.
It is clear that there was a deep hypocrisy within the stated creed of the party and its actions. I see hypocrisy in the Arynization of business with the purpose of reorganizing them under a NSDAP organized cartel. I would be interested in the tax structure of fabricators/wholesalers and merchants and retail business vis a vis the State and Party, but that is another longer topic.
And I am glad when you connect the theft of livelihoods and lives by the Nazis to these curious we collect. I gives pause.
When I look at the RZM and its licensing of Nazi iconography; branding is what I see.
I understand the quality control issues of clothing and equipping a political army, a paramilitary. But isn't that uniformity; the manner in braun marching down the cobblestones; an important component of -- yes -- the Nazi brand. By branding I mean the creation and management of iconography to convey meaning. Obviously the NSDAP can not be compared to modern American commercial ventures, but there are parallel concepts -- Protecting the IP with legal means, control of WHO can use the images. How and where the images are used. These issues are germane to messaging; no matter driven by ideology or profit.
And yes my knowledge is shallow and fast, but I do crack the occasional book. If only that Oswald Pohl book were in English. *sigh*
12-30-2010, 06:52 AM
Sorry to hammer you and to drive my point home with my pedantry. The key here is the different world view, social outlook, ideal of the individual and the market which were seriously at odds with the consumerism of the last generation. In the counter reformation, the dynasty and the state invented rococo as a kind of symbol of the power of the church to win back those who had strayed into Lutheranism. Wagner was a brand, I guess, as was the architecture on the Ringstrasse in Wien, and on and on. You had best to begin with the aesthetic and ideological elements in Hitler's world versus our own as a point of departure. You cannot get to the past from the present with the terms and ideas that are common to us. The swastika was as much taken from the Catholic church as it was from commercial design in the present or even then. Though Germany had superb industrial design and public aesthetics. George Mosse is the man to read on all of this. His book the Nationalization of the Masses makes it all quite clear and in English from the pen of a real master of this material. I am not much of a sports fan, as you can infer, so sorry if I am also a pain in the a$$ with these things.
The protection of party symbols was also engaged with the Heimtueckegesetz, which was the beginning of state terror and the disenfranchisement not only of those Jews in the garment business and uniform trade, but of all Germans overall and then, in turn, all of those who eventually came into the sway of the Nazi empire. There is a very good book in German on the Heimtueckegesetz (with the 1934 law on the tags....pi pa po.)
Hitler and his likes had a very distinct sense of politics of aesthetics and things that to the modern observer seem like a brand in this odd world where everyone wears a maker's label as the measure of their human value. I drive an expensive German car, it is true, but the way that all the labels are on the outside today would strike a person eighty years ago as quite odd.
The uniformity and the uniforms were designed to establish a people's community, with rank, privilege, rights, and duties, but also to show, moreover, who was outside the people's community, who was the enemy, who was unwanted, unhealthy, etc.
Do go to Berlin and the Zeughaus to see the exhibit on same. I did, and found it very useful.
Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!
12-30-2010, 06:59 AM