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Some DDR badges

Article about: Normally, I do not collect East German items, but I have now dabbled a bit in GDR badges and thought I would share them here. Still quite cheap, the items seen below (except for the last one

  1. #21


    Some more Red Cross badges.

    The Pflegedienstspange [Nursing Service Clasp] was instituted in 1966 in three grades: Bronze was for 125 hours of nursing work, Silver for 250 hours and Gold for 500 hours. Seen below are all three grades:

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    In 1986, the clasp was down-sized. Seen below are the old and the new model clasp in the Bronze grade. Approximate measurements are 54 mm x 20 mm for the older model and 40 mm x 13 mm for the new model. Note that the old model is enamelled, while the new model is lacquered:

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    Three new, higher classes for the Gold grade were also introduced in 1986 and identified by small pendants [Anhänger] bearing a Roman numeral. "I" was for 1,000 hours of nursing work, "II" for 3,000 hours and "III" for 6,000 hours. Seen below are the 1986-model clasps for the Bronze grade, the "basic" Gold grade and the three higher classes to the Gold grade:

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  3. #22


    Like its West German counterpart and the Red Cross organizations of many other countries, the GDR's DRK presented wearable awards for voluntary blood donations.

    The first version of the Blutspender-Ehrennadel [Blood Donors' Honor Pin] (not pictured here) was in the shape of a shield with a scalloped top with a cluster of oak leaves at the bottom. The shield's white center bore a Red Cross symbol and the text "BLUTSPENDER" [blood donor] at the top and "DEUTSCHES ROTES KREUZ" [German Red Cross] around the Red Cross. Below this was the number of donations for which the badge was awarded. The badge came in three classes: Bronze for 5 donations, Silver for 10 and Gold for 15.

    In 1972, the badge was re-designed as a pin with an outline based on the shape of a (blood) drop.
    The three classes and their criteria were retained, but three new, higher grades of the blood donors' award were also created. For these, the badge was decorated with an additional oak leaf cluster at the base and suspended from a pinback clasp with the DRK's logo. These higher grades were referred to as the Blutspender-Ehrenspange [Blood Donors' Honor Clasp]: Bronze was for 20, Silver for 30 and Gold for 40 blood donations.
    Seen below in the top row are a basic "Blutstropfen" [Blood Drop] stickpin that could be worn after the first blood donation and the three grades of the Blutspender-Ehrennadel. In the bottom row are the three grades of the Blutspender-Ehrenspange:

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    A close-up of the Bronze grade stickpin together with a pinback version of the same grade. I rather like the central design, with the red figure symbolizing the blood donor and the white figure the recipient of a blood transfusion:

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  4. #23


    As a postscript to the above post, I have since acquired examples for the first-model (pre-1972) blood donors' badges.

    The bronze badge for 5 donations is an earlier variant than the silver one for 10 donations: As on the basic membership stickpin (see post # 20), the badge initially did not bear the letters "DDR", which were only added at a later date:

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  5. #24


    More on the subject of the DDR's Red Cross and its badges.

    Here we have the Jugend-Rot-Kreuz-Abzeichen [Youth Red Cross Badge] as awarded to members of the Junge Pioniere [Young Pioneers] organisation who took part in the "Junge Sanitäter" [Young Medics] program.
    This was an außerschulische Arbeitsgemeinschaft [extracurricular working group] aimed at familiarizing its members with the Red Cross' history, activities and organisational structure and training them in first aid skills. They also administered basic first aid to fellow students during outings and school events. At 14 years of age, members could then transfer to the DRK proper.

    The badge was awarded in bronze, silver and gold grades. Its design features both the Red Cross symbol and the logo of the JP organisation. Up until 1976, it bore the motto "ICH KANN HELFEN" ["I CAN HELP"], which was then changed to "JUNGER SANITÄTER" ["YOUNG MEDIC"]. Shown below are a bronze badge with the first text and two gold grade badges with the second one:

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  6. #25


    Away from the German Red Cross and back to the Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse (see posts # 5 and 13).

    Just in, here is a qualification badge for Kampfgruppen commanders. The badge was awarded to those who had successfully attended the commanders' training course at the Zentralschule für Kampfgruppen "Ernst Thälmann" [Central School for the Kampfgruppen "Ernst Thälmann"] at Schmerwitz. The ZSfK was awarded the name "Ernst Thälmann" on the occasion of its 10th anniversary in 1967.

    This is a gold-colored, pentagonal screwback badge. Its red central field bears a portrait of Ernst Thälmann over a Kampfgruppen logo surrounded by an open laurel wreath:

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  7. #26


    Like other uniformed services, the Kampfgruppen had their own Bestenabzeichen.

    The badge was instituted in 1966. Originally, it came in one class only. However, it could be awarded multiple times; as with the first model of the Kampfgruppen shooting badge, the number of awards was identified by a small oval insert bearing a Roman numeral.

    In 1975, the numbered inserts were abolished and two classes added: The original Bestenabzeichen now became the silver class and was supplemented by a lower (bronze) and a higher (gold) class.

    In 1984, the bronze and silver classes were abolished, and the badge was now awarded in one class (gold) only. It was also slightly re-designed with a somewhat beefier appearance and the inclusion of the Kampfgruppen logo on the red flag.

    Here are examples for the three models of this badge. Top: First model with number "I" insert, center group: second model in bronze, silver and gold, bottom: third and final model.

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  8. #27


    and here I thought I had them all, thank you. I need to add the first award to the list to find

    47th MP Co/47th Inf Div 1983-1988
    583rd Ord Co 59th Ord Bde Muenster, W Germany
    Looking for P37 ammo pouch with No4 bayo frog

  9. #28


    Back to Red Cross material with this little update.

    Like its West German counterpart, the GDR's German Red Cross was also active in mountain- and water rescue.

    Let's start with the Mountain Rescue Service [Bergrettungsdienst]. Seen in the photograph, from left to right, are two qualification badges for rock training [Felsausbildung] as symoblized by the rope border, a qualification badge for winter training [Winterausbildung] as symbolized by two crossed skies and a combined qualification badge for rock- and winter training [Fels- und Winterausbildung] with both the rope border and the skies. Obverse and reverse views:

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    A closer look at the two badges for rock training. "BRD" is the abbreviation for Bergrettungsdienst [Mountain Rescue Service]:

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    And a close-up on the badges for winter- and rock-/winter training. Note that the "BRD" was eventually replaced by "DDR" (I don't know when the change occurred, or whether it had anything to do with somebody in power being unhappy with the fact fact that "BRD" was also the abbrevation for the Federal Republic of Germany [Bundesrepublik Deutschland].) Also note the usual decline in quality. Early badges were enamelled, late ones painted:

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    The badge for the Water Rescue Service [Wasserrettungsdienst] as symbolized by a life saver-and-rope. As with the Mountain Rescue badges, the branch abbreviation "WRD" was replaced on later badges by "DDR". These badges, too, were first enamelled and later painted:

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