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National Air Raid Protection League 1933-1945 (Germany)

Reichsluftschutz Bund, RLB

Last modified: 2012-09-05 by pete loeser
Keywords: reichsluftschutz bund | rlb | star: 8 points (white) | star: faceted (white) | swastika (black) | cross: swastika (black) |
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National Air Raid Protection League

[National Air Protection League 1935-1945 (Germany)] Image by Jaume Ollé

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Introduction: National Air Raid Protection League (RLB)

The RLB was a civil defence organization founded in 1935 on the order of Hermann Göring.
Marcus Wendel, 1999

     The National Air Protection League (Reichsluftschutzbund) was actually formed in 1933 (29 April). Realizing the cities of Germany would be vulnerable to air attacks in case of war, the German government hoped to attract volunteer support for a large air defense organization. Thousands of Germans volunteered to serve in the Reichsluftschutzbund and to provide services in case of air raids, both for precautionary activities and for responces in case of attack. This eventually would come to include bomb disposal, fire-fighting, rescue, damage repair, neigborhood watch, and even making ground decoys and camouflage after war broke out in 1939.
     The Reichsluftschutzbund was divided into two main branches: the Self-Protection Service (Selbschutz) and the Extended Self-Protection Service (Erweiterter-Selbschutz). The Self-Protection Service focused on air raid shelters and fire prevention, while the Extended Self-Protection Service focused protecting individual buildings and facilities without their own air raid protection teams. In these later cases, members of the Self-Protection Service were normally the employees who actually worked in these buildings. In 1942, the Air Protection Police (Luftschutzpolizei), or LSP, would also be formed and worked closely with the Reichsluftschutzbund. By 1943, the Reichsluftschutzbund reportedly had 22 million volunteers.
Pete Loeser, 10 January 2012

National Air Raid Protection League
Reichsluftschutzbund (later variant with red field and black swastika)

Photo from Matt Creelman, 26 February 2002      Image drawn by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 16 May 2010

I have a flag which was brought back from Germany in 1945 by a U.S. veteran. The best assumption thus far is that it is a flag of some civil unit but the color is not typical police or fire which would lead me to believe more of a local government. It was taken from the front of one of the houses used as a billet by the 10th Armored Division's Artillery Wire Section in Heidelburg, Germany in late March/early April 1945.
Matt Creelman, 26 February 2002

The insignia is that of the Reichsluftschutzbund (National Air Raid Protection League). Almost certainly, the flag is connected with that organization. However, all flags and arm bands that I can recall were blue — sometimes medium, sometimes sky blue.
Norman Martin, 27 February 2002

I sent the above picture to the German Flaggenkunde mailing list. Jürgen Rimann confirmed, what we had suggested already, namely that this is a flag of the Reichsluftschutzbund. The first variant (blue one) is the one at the top, the second variant was that red one.
Marcus Schmöger, 7 April 2002

The Reichsluftschutzbund also had a red flag having a "police star" in its centre superimposed by a black swastika.
Source: My image is based upon the photo above.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 16 May 2010

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