Who made the Nazi's gear?
I understand the brown shirts came from an imperial German surplus of tropical uniforms, but where did the Nazis get their shoulder straps, kepis, buckles, etc from?
Did the Nazis have like a donation bin to get troops proper gear? I'll assume they either made the stuff themselves or hired people but it all sounds expensive to me.
07-22-2014 08:22 PM
I think that like any political party they fund-raised and had wealthy donors.
They did get a lot of funding from various sources, some from Germany, some from elsewhere...they also borrowed money legally, and obviously stole from the jews. So money was no object.
Hugo Boss was an early member of the Nazi Party, and he did supply it with uniforms quite early on.
NSDAP had its sponsors as early as 1919 in the form of wealthy Industrialists like Krupp and Stinnes. Later on (mid 1920's) others also joined in- Thyssen, von Schroder, Kirdorf, Voegler. 1930's saw surge in 'donations' as unions and various associations got involved pledging money for the Party.
Later on, most everyone who was anyone in the Industrial Sector 'saw the writing on the wall' so to speak and that opened the door to a wide and steady stream of funds for the NSDAP in hopes of future favors.
The last big drive to bankroll the Party came in the form of 1933 Election Campaign in Germany. The biggest contributor to that cause was by far IG Farben (close to 50%) with others picking up the rest of the tab (Automotive Industry, Telefunken Gesellshaft, OSRAM, even German General Electric). After the results were announced the immediate need to look for sponsors started to slowly dissipate although most decided to stick around for obvious reasons.
Hugo Boss joined NSDAP in 1931 and has been seen by many contemporaries as an opportunist rather than a true believer. Although he did supply uniforms to different branches of Nazi Conglomerate, he certainly did not do so out of the goodness of his heart. Foreseeing into the future guaranteed him well paid Party and, later on, Government contracts but I have not seen anything indicating he was 'donating' anything to the cause. He was apparently chosen due to his connections within the Party and the quality of his products, which even then, were perceived as luxurious.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Gau Ehrenzeichen Collector
Okay, makes sense!
I know they started with home made armbands on top of their WWI uniforms. What a pitiful start for what was to come with all the pretty uniforms and insignia. Some of the armbands didn't even have the swastikas turned the right way, haha! Thanks for the help.
So then they just used the money to request insignia and stuff from tailors and artisans?
As you pointed out the beginnings were humble- to put it mildly- and so a fair portion of what was needed was made 'in-house'. I forget whose wife it was that would sew a lot of armbands as well as some early flags for 'the boys'. It wasn't unheard of individuals sourcing out their own insignia as well - those items are generally the ones that bring today's collectors most 'excitement' as for most part they simply do not conform to known rules and standards by which original material is judged. Backwards swastikas wouldn't even begin to describe it but at that time NSDAP wasn't exactly a collection of white collar workers either. We're talking wayyy before RZM.
by Luftwaffe Hauptmann
The Party was also fortunate to get services of few individuals who were not only very skilled at their respective trades but also sympathetic to the 'cause' - Gahr, Deschler, Fuess, Assmann, Hoffstaetter are names made mostly famous for their NSDAP work- whether they would admit it or not is another story. Even Hitler himself enjoyed helping designing the odd piece here and there.
Majority of what was needed was either produced by members or was contracted out to professionals (mostly also NSDAP members with few notable exceptions). Late 1920's and early 1930's were not known for abundance of work so every bit that was available would typically go to their own.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Gau Ehrenzeichen Collector
!!!!!!! ......... I'm going to look at that cologne of mine in a different light from now on ........ eeek!!!!
" When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "
Thank you for the explanations.
This has become a pretty educational thread fast!