N014681 HJ/DAF KREIS LEVEL NATIONAL TRADE COMPETITION BADGE. (Keissieger Abzeichen im Reichsberufswettkampf)

BACKGROUND: In February 1934, National Youth Leader Baldur von Schirach and Dr. Robert Ley, head of the German Labor Front collaborated in a joint effort to institute a National Trade Competition to encourage German youth to develop proficient skills in manual, technical or professional trades. The competitions consisted of twenty main categories with over seven hundred assorted trades being represented. All participants were required to belong to the HJ, DAF, or another NSDAP organization, and only those under 21 years old were eligible to compete. Participants were required to demonstrate their particular skills and successfully complete appropriate written tests. The competitions were held at the three different political levels with the winners advancing to the next level. Local, (Kreis), level competitions were held in February followed by the State, (Gau), level competitions in March and the National, (Reichs), level competitions held in April, with the National winners being bestowed their awards by Hitler personally on May 1ST, the Day of National Labor. Although all competitors were issued a participants badge and certificate, originally only the National winners were bestowed an actual award with corresponding certificate. In 1938 a new award was instituted in three grades with the colored finish determining the grade of the award as follows, gold finish for the Reichs level award, a silver finish for the Gau level award and a bronze finish for the Kreis level award. Of Note: In 1938 eligibility to compete in the National Trade Competitions was extended to include those over 21 years old and participants were no longer required to belong to an NSDAP organization. After the outbreak of the war the competition was renamed, Kreigsberufswettkampf, (War Trade Competition), with the last event held in 1944.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Nice quality, multi-piece, bronze washed, die struck tombac construction Kreis level badge with multi-colored enamel work. Badge is in the form of a 40mm diameter, circular base with recessed outer edge with embossed laurel leaf wreath. Wreath encompasses a white enameled central field with inlaid gold gilt, Latin script and date, "Keissieger 1939", (Local Victory 1939). Central white enamel field is surmounted with a bronze washed political style eagle with outstretched wings, clutching a DAF style cogged wheel with an enameled HJ diamond superimposed on top. The HJ diamond is the standard type with translucent red enamel to top and bottom tips with an underlying pebbled field and white enamel to each side with central, canted, black enamel swastika. Solid concave reverse with solid soldered hinge, broad vertical pin and heavy soldered catch all intact. Reverse is well marked with embossed manufacturers name and location, "H. AURICH DRESDEN A.16".

GRADE ****1/2                             PRICE $399.00 (Or Best Offer)

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