BACKGROUND: The origins of the Hitler Jugend, (Hitler Youth), may be traced back to March 1922 with the formation of the Jugendbund der National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei, (Youth League of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party), under control of the SA, Sturm Abteilung, (Storm/Assault Detachment). In April 1924 the Jugendbund der NSDAP was renamed Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung, (Greater German Youth Movement), and on July 4TH 1926 the Grossdeutsche Jugendbewegung was officially renamed, Hitler Jugend Bund der deutschen Arbeiterjugend, (Hitler Youth League of the German Worker’s Youth). Although the early versions of the HJ had worn a uniform of sorts it wasn’t until after Hitler’s ascension to power in 1933 that the uniforms and insignia began to become standardized. Basically the shoulder straps were intended to display the individual‘s rank, the duty assignment and the particular branch of service. HJ reorganizations in ranks and organizational structure resulted in at least four main modifications to the shoulder straps between 1933 and 1938 when a final pattern was introduced and utilized until the end of the war. The organizational structure of the HJ was loosely based on the structure of the SA and the NSDAP and was quite complex. In relation to the shoulder straps the organizational structure was represented in numerals and assorted colors which originally included the Oberbann, (Region), in one of six different colors, the Bann, (Regiment), represented by Arabic numerals and the Unterbann, (Battalion), represented by Roman numerals. Of Note: The Unterbann numerals were discontinued in 1934 and the Oberbann color system was discontinued in April 1936 being replaced with branch of service colors. Also Of Note: Generally the HJ Bann numbers were chosen to match that of army regiments that had been raised in the same geographical location resulting in a somewhat haphazard numbering system. Originally the Gefolgschaft, (Company), was displayed as an Arabic numeral on the shoulder board button but it was to be discontinued in 1938, although it appears the directive was not strictly followed. On November 6TH 1936 narrow black shoulder straps were introduced for Officer’s ranks and on September 30TH 1938 that last main modification was enacted with the shoulder straps being black for all ranks. Originally established in early 1933 the Motor-HJ was one of the earliest, and largest speciality section of the Hitler Youth organization. The age entry level for the Motor-HJ was fifteen years old and the first year was spent on driving theory and practical mechanic training until the member reached sixteen years old and was eligible to qualify for his driver’s licence. In 1936 Reichsjugendführer, (National Youth Leader), Baldur von Schirach and NSKK, National Sozialistisches Kraftfahr Korps, (National Socialist Motor Corps), NSKK-Korpsführer Adolf Hühnlein collaborated to establish the Reichsmotorschule, (National Motor School), which provided most of the driver training for the Motor HJ. With the discontinuation of the Oberbann colors the Motor-HJ was allocated pink as their branch of service color. As an official, Gliederungen der NSDAP, (Formation of the NSDAP), uniform, equipment and insignia items for the HJ were under the control of the RZM, Reich Zeug Meisterei, (National Equipment Quartermaster). Of Note: The RZM was officially founded in June 1934 in Munich by the NSDAP as a Reich Hauptamt, (State Central Office), and was based on the earlier SA, Sturm Abteilung, (Storm/Assault Detachment), Quartermaster’s Department which was established, circa April 1929. The functions of the RZM were not only to procure and distribute items to Party formations, including the HJ, but also to approve chosen designs and to act as a quality control supervisor to ensure items manufactured for the Party met required specification and were standardized. As a result, items produced for the HJ were to be approved, and marked, by the RZM to insure that they met the required standards.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 1938 pattern, woven black rayon construction, slip on shoulder strap with bright pink, rayon piping, and machine woven Bann numerals, "246" also in bright pink threads. The shoulder strap represents a rank of Hitlerjunge while the pink piping and Bann numerals indicate service with the Motor-HJ.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $89.00

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