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Underappreciated Third Reich Areas of Collecting & Research

Article about: Hello All, One Third Reich area that is very interesting is armaments manufacturer factory identification badges or pins. I've attached photos of one example - a Heinkel employee's badge. It

  1. #1

    Default Underappreciated Third Reich Areas of Collecting & Research

    Hello All,

    I request that senior members, with much collecting and research experience, will join this thread. Their ideas, thoughts, and related experiences are of tremendous value.

    Industry & Factories:

    The armaments industry was HUGE. Literally millions worked as part of the Third Reich war engine. Considering the huge number of people employed, one would think that identification badges, factory badges & pins, literature, etc. would be plentiful. However, the truth is that these items are surprisingly scarce. Furthermore, the relationships between civilian employees and the German military at the time is not well understood. Few books and original resource material is available. For example, General der Artillerie Emil Leeb's book "Aus der Rusting des Dritten Reiches" is one notable exception. There are also US Military Intelligence reports, but not much else.

    I know of no photograph showing a civilian worker wearing a factory identification badge of any sort. There is scant coverage of such items in available reference texts. Like I said, considering the numbers of employees, it is astonishing.

    The relationships, rules & regulations, and organization of technical schools, Heereswaffenamt Inspectors, factory management and a whole slew of matters along these lines are not well understood. These are topics that beg to be well researched - they are extremely important to understanding the Third Reich.

    Factory IDs
    Factory Badges & Pins (abzeichen)
    Aircraft Manufacturers
    Ship Builders (Just try to find anything!)
    Heereswaffenamt (He.Wa.A. - Army Ordnance Office) hereafter referred to as the HWA
    Heeresabnahmewesen (Army Acceptance Organization), also known as the Abnahmeabteilung des Heeres Waffenamts (Wa.Abn. - Acceptance Section of Army Ordnance Office) hereafter
    referred to as the Abnahme
    Waffenamt Officer (Acceptance Inspector)
    Abnahmemeinspizient (Acceptance Inspector)
    Technische Lieferbedingen (TL’s)
    Ballistische und Munitionsabteilung (Ballistics and Munitions Section of Army Ordnance [Ammunition]
    Infanterieabteilung (Infantry Section of Army Ordnance)
    Heeres Bezirk Aaabnahamestelle (Army Area Acceptance place)
    Heereswaffenmeisterschule (Army Ordnance Armourers School) in Berlin at Spandau

    Banking, Economics and Finance:

    Economics, finance and banking were just as much a part of the Third Reich war effort as any form of armaments production. The size of economic and financial operations during the war was, quite simply, gargantuan. Yet try to find a Reichsbank stickpin or any form of Ministry of Finance identification or a Ministry of Economics award.

    The only piece of uniform from the Ministry of Finance was a badly damaged cap. In fact, the wearing of uniforms in the Ministries of Economics and Finance is not well understood. Remember, although under the control of the government, these ministries were essentially civilian-run. An educated guess about uniform wear would be under the same rules and regulations as Gau leaders.

    This is one area that is ripe for research.

    Ministry of Finance
    Ministry of Economics

    Medicine and Health Sciences:

    This is another area that lacks serious study. I've included a photo of the only medically-related uniform (Pharmacist Officer) that I've seen in over 30 years of Third Reich research.

    * * * * *

    Badges, pins, identification documents, awards, Urkundes, original contemporary literature, uniforms, insignia, shoulder boards, collar tabs, etc., etc. pertaining to any of the areas listed above need much further investigation. One can only imagine the discoveries to be made.

    * * * * *

    Most of these items are going to be scarce to extremely rare. My advice here is to be careful with regard to what you pay for such items. Since they are so uncommon, the tendency is to price them very richly. Just because they are rare doesn't make them worth the "sky." Just like old doesn't automatically mean valuable, likewise rare does not automatically mean valuable.

    One has to carefully analyze really obscure, rare items. I emphasize obscure. These type items are quite esoteric. If not careful, a collector could "create the market." This is not as unrealistic as you might think.

    One therefore has to ask "How does one determine values?" The rule that applies is "Whatever the market will bear." It takes a combination of careful analysis, research and common sense.

    Consequently, I must make this warning. CAVEAT EMPTOR!

    The above is not an endorsement of investment potential. My advice is to collect militaria for its entertainment-value only.

    This entire thread is only meant as my personal opinion regarding areas and topics related to the Third Reich era that appear to be particularly interesting, and potentially rich areas of "discovery."

    Best Regards,

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Luther; 01-11-2010 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Fix Errors in Formatting; enhance for ease of reading

  2. #2

    Default Re: Underappreciated Third Reich Areas of Collecting & Research

    Hi Luther, I don't have any ID tags, or uniform apparatus, but I do have documents pertaining to the Wehrmacht procurring everyday items from entities in the General Government. After looking through thousands of documents, I must say, I have not seen actual identification for civilian workers. Give it time, and I'm sure there will be someone on the forum that has.


  3. #3

    Default Please Post Some Photos Of Your Documents

    Hello sitges1990,

    If possible, could you share a few photos? I know it may just be some pages of what appears to be mundane "stuff," it would give us an idea of what we may expect to find.



  4. #4

    Default Re: Underappreciated Third Reich Areas of Collecting & Research

    Sure Luther, I'm at work now, but I will put some documents on first thing in the morning. Most of the stuff I have is the army purchasing as you said "mundane" stuff in Poland and Latvia, I'd love to post it. Even the mundane stuff is interesting to me. If I can find it, I even have a reciept where the army bought stuff from a german jew in the General Government mid
    1940. Very strange indeed.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Underappreciated Third Reich Areas of Collecting & Research

    Hello Luther and welcome,

    You have brought up very good subjects to which is rarely touched as a collector or for research. You are correct!

    I for one have thought about the subjects at hand but the actual artifacts of the "common TR worker or general service" is a subject that i believe has not been brought enough interest for one reason or another. I personally have thought about it but have not collected nor intended to collect anything of that relation.

    It would be interesting (only because i am interested) what others have to say on this subject or if they have any significant material in regards to the collectors/research world.

    rgds, Tyrone

  6. #6

    Default Re: Underappreciated Third Reich Areas of Collecting & Research

    Here are several scans of the everyday paperwork for people living in the General Governemt. The Kaufbestatigung is a letter from the Reich Leader of Warthegau "Posen" to a Jewish firm "Jarocinski's" demanding machinery to be dismantled and given to the General Government I believe. It's somewhat confusing. There is also a tax letter from Der Kreishauptmann of Krakau-Land (that part got cut off). Also included is registration for a 1937 Olympia automobile, unable to read the owners name. Also a German ration card and a Polish clothing ration card. I have more reciepts, but it's late and i need to dig them out. If anyone can get a clearer translation, please feel free to correct me. Not really what you wanted, but close, due to everyday life documents.

    Take care,
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7

    Default Re: Underappreciated Third Reich Areas of Collecting & Research

    I have posted this on another part of the forum but I feel it belongs here. The letter says it all.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8

    Default Mercedes-Benz AG Identification "Shield"

    Hello mauser98k,

    What a great identification shield!

    This is exactly the type of item that I think is greatly underappreciated. It seems all the focus in the militaria hobby is on metal badges.

    Who wrote the letter - Mercedes-Benz AG historians?

    In any case, thanks for sharing.

    Best Regards,


  9. #9

    Default Re: Underappreciated Third Reich Areas of Collecting & Research

    Hi Luther
    The person I bought it off contacted Mercedes-Benz AG themselves and I guess they must have looked into their archives and came up with this reply. I would like to collect more of this underrated part of the hobby but pieces seem to be pretty scarce.


  10. #10

    Default Collecting Underappreciated Third Reich Areas of Collecting & Research

    Hello mauser98k,

    That Mercedes-Benz put forth the time and effort to research this item is great. Most companies would not want to be bothered with such a thing.

    * * * * *

    Once you get past the first 20% of militaria everything becomes scarce to extremely rare.

    For the most part you can only collect what becomes available and research the story behind it.

    If you tried to find similar items it would be most difficult. I like to think that such items stand on their own merits and become their own "center-piece." The rare and the unknown. - it's neat stuff. You did good.

    Your item is not militaria per se, but it is, nevertheless, a noteworthy piece of Third Reich history.

    Best Regards,


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