SEE BELOW FOR DESCRIPTION
N005478 RADwJ KAMERADSCHAFTSALTESTE'S RANK BROOCH.(Dienstgradabzeichen)
BACKGROUND: The female version of the male RAD, "Reichsarbeitsdienst" (National-labor-service), was originally established in February of 1933, and was considered a sub-section of the "National Sozialistisches Frauenschaft" (National Socialist Women's'-organization). In April of 1936 the female labor service was dissociated with the NS Frauenschaft, and was given the official designation RADwJ, "Reichsarbeitsdienst der weiblichen Jugend" (National-labor-service for female Youth). The RADwJ was originally a voluntary organization, in spite of regulations of June, 1935, that dictated a six month mandatory service period. Actual conscription of RADwJ personnel began in August of 1936, but it wasn't until September of 1939 that the mandatory six months service was enforced. Prior to its separation from the NS Frauenschaft, a series of rank brooches had been introduced and were worn until August of 1937, when a new series of rank brooches were introduced. The second pattern (1937) rank brooches were utilized until a third and final pattern was introduced in October of 1939.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Third pattern, (1939), die struck, circular, steel brooch is roughly 46mm diameter and features three embossed ridges to the outer edge border encompassing an embossed, canted swastika flanked by embossed sheaths of wheat on a pebbled background field. Reverse of brooch is a mirror image of obverse and the soldered on horizontal pin back device is intact. Unmarked. Brooch is the "Iron" grade and the pattern indicates the rank of Kameradschaftsälteste.
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