Question about 'Heim ins Reich' badges
Sorry if this has been addressed elsewhere, but I couldn't find the answer online.
Were the painted zinc 'Heim ins Reich' badges made as such to conserve material during wartime, and, if so, why were they even made at all? Why would such effort be expended purely for propaganda pieces, at a time when the area for which the pins were intended (Luxembourg) was already under German occupation?
02-21-2014 12:44 AM
Under German occupation, and annexation - are not the same thing. If we take Austria as an example, groups had been fighting for an annexation with Germany before Hitler was old enough to drink beer. They wanted it, well many of them did, the feeling of a belonging to Germany was, at least present. In Luxembourg it was the same as it was in the Sudetenland, it was a forced occupation, with a good deal of the population in Lux. (& the Sudetenland) not wanting anything to do with the Germans.
Taking over a country with force is one thing, Germany did this quite quickly from 1939 onwards with many countries. But propaganda did not stop just because a country was under German hand, especially if that country was populated by a majority of people who were no in agreement with the new rulers.
An important question is also the exact use of this badge. For pure propaganda reasons?, or a badge that was expected to be worn by German supporters, indeed possibly even compulsory to wear?
Thank you for the response! That makes a great deal of sense, and it's something that I didn't really consider; I just always assumed that the German-speaking nations (Luxembourgish being essentially German) were more receptive to their occupiers.
by Jo Rivett
The purpose of them may yet be discovered. I assume if it was not an official mandate that Luxembourgers wear it, that information would have come out by now, in the form of some published decree. Maybe it was just a means of self-preservation. Anyway, it's very interesting badge.