Last modified: 2020-07-26 by pete loeser
Keywords: german navy league | deutscher flottenverein | german soldiers league | deutscher soldatenbund | railway protection | bahnschutz | werewolf | werwolforganisation | national socialist association of german victims |
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Image by Jaume Ollé
Editorial Note: The German Navy League or Fleet Association (Deutscher Flottenverein) in Imperial Germany was an interest group formed to develop popular support on the German parliament (Reichstag) to support the expansion of the Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine).
Image by Jaume Ollé
Editorial Note: See Flag of the German Soldier´s Association 1933-1945
Images provided by John Spence
I have a unique Nazi flag that my father brought back from the war. I am sending this picture and a detail showing the words which are printed on the canton which appear to be [Bahnschutz R. B. D. Kassel].
John Spence, 5 Aug 2001
This is probably the unit colours of a force detached to protect the railway in Kassel. Bahnschutz means railway protection. Kassel is a town in the state of Hesse in Germany. The symbol upon the swastika is a winged wheel, a common symbol for railways.
Elias Granqvist, 7 Aug 2001
R.B.D. stands for Reichsbahndirektion, or National Railways Directorate, a regional authority of which there were 28.
Santiago Dotor, 7 Jul 2003
Image by Fornax 2008
Werwolf (werewolf) was the name given to a Nazi plan, which began development in 1944, to create a clandestine resistance force of commandos, which would operate behind enemy lines as the Allies advanced through Germany itself. The Werwolf Freischärler (Werewolf Partisans) remained entirely ineffectual as a combat force, however, in practical terms, its value as propaganda far outweighed its actual achievements. It also caused the Allies to overestimate the threat of a Nazi insurgency, leading to greater hardship for the German population. After Hitler's death on 5 May 1945, the German Admiral Karl Doenitz prohibited more "werewolf" action as illegal militant activities.
The Werwolf Freischärler used on a black cloth a stylized white wolfangel ("cramp" or "crampon" in English, also called a Doppelhaken "double-hook") with crossbar. For more information on the group see this Wiki article: Werwolf.
Jens Pattke, 3 September 2012
Image from Scott Singleton, 19 December 2000
Scott Singleton sent me an inquiry about a possible Third Reich flag he owns with hammer, cogwheel and letters 'NSAO'. Initially I thought it might be a Technische Nothilfe (TeNo) flag, but it appears to belong to a different organisation. He said the flag is about 5-6 feet square.
Santiago Dotor, 19 Dec 2000
The flag seems homemade. It doesn't have any finials and the circle seems a bit small. I found this webpage that mentions the initials NSAO in a military context, "5610 a NS.- Reichsverband der deutschen Arbeitsopfer (NSAO) Mitgliedsabzeichen".
Marc Pasquin, 19 Dec 2000
This is the membership insignia of a Nazi era organisation whose name means NS (i.e. National Socialist) National Association of German Victims of Industrial Accidents. It was apparently not officially part of the party - at least I have not been able to find it in lists, etc. and it is not mentioned, as far as I can find, in the Party Organization Book for 1943 nor in the 1939 list of organizations whose insignia are protected by law. Oddly the abbreviation is NSAO and not as one would expect either NSRVDA, NSRDA, NSRVDAO or NSRDAO - i.e. Reichsverband is
not abbreviated. Apparently, the same insignia was (later?) used by the Gesamtverband
deutschen Arbeitsopfer (General Association of German Victims of Industrial Accidents, abbreviated GDAO). The insignia on the unidentified flag roughly corresponds to that on the membership insignia, although the disk with the swastika is much too large and I still suspect it to be hand made. The data above comes from Handbuch der Abzeichen deutscher Organisationen
1871-1945, 1985/1986 edition.
Norman Martin, 20 Dec 2000
Image by Jaume Ollé
NSBO was a left-wing Nazi trade union. It was planning to become the only union after Hitler came to power. In 1934 Hitler crushed the Sturmabteilung (SA) and the left wing of the party lost all power and the NSBO never gained any influence in the Third Reich.
Marcus Wendel, 1999
Color and letters of the rectangle on canton, uncertain.
Norman Martin, Feb 1998
The Nazis had a trade union, prior to their seizure of power. They opposed the other trade unions, the free (loosely connected with the Social Democrats), the Red (smaller, Communist) and the Hirsch-Dunkler (loosely connected with the Democrats). After they took power all of these
were nationalized and merged into the German Labor Front and at first the NSBO became a cell group within the German Labour Front (DAF). I do not know when they closed down, but the lists of party organizations during the 1940s seem not to have it listed.
Norman Martin, 21 Dec 2000
The Deutsche Arbeitsfront was not really a company, but an organization of NSDAP. The DAFCS was for charter ships. According to sources its flag was always hoisted together with the shipowners houseflag and a white pennant with an inscription Kraft durch Freude (power by joy) in red gothic letters. Being a party organization of NSDAP it must have existed between 1933 and 1945 and dissolved in 1945.
Its flag is a white flag with a black gear in its centre. The gear has fifteen teeth, a fine lined red edge and a black swastika in its centre. From the outside of the gear there are four non-symmetric red bundles of twelve rays. Perhaps they are symbolize sparks, which occur, when the gear is moving fast.
Source: Arnold KLUDAS: Die Geschichte der deutschen Passagierschiffahrt (5 vols.), Hamburg 1986; Reprint Laibach Slovenia-Buch Nr. 03617-8; flagchart p.224.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 10 Jun 2007
Another image of the flag you can see in Hormann/Plaschke: "Deutsch Flaggen Geschichte, Tradition, Verwendung", Hamburg/Bielefeld 2006; ISBN 3-89225-555-5; p.143
The red rays there are denominated as a wheel of sun.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 14 June 2007
Image by Fornax
The German Christians (Deutsche Christen) were a group of fanatical Nazi Protestants who became active in 1931 under the leadership of Ludwig Müller. They claimed that the Jews had killed Christ, thus actively encouraging anti-Semitic sentiment among Christians in Germany. The group also fully supported the Nazi goal of combining all the Protestant churches into a single Reich church, and after a series of Nazi-directed political maneuvers, Müller was appointed the new Reichsbischof in 1933. Although the Nazis had found the Deutsche Christen useful during their initial consolidation of power, it was soon effectively rendered powerless and placed under government control. Although Reichsbishop Müller continued in his office until 1945, his power, like his whole movement was dissolved and disappeared at the end of the Nazi regime.
Pete Loeser, 21 August 2012
This was a Nazi government organisation trying to gather all church denominations in Germany under one roof, to make it a national church. Some Christians accepted it, some didn't.
Elias Granqvist, 29 December 2013
The name for the flag should be Flagge der Deutschen Christen or Fahne der Deutschen Christen. It was both a religious and a political flag. Actually it was a movement in the Protestant Church only, Catholics (for instance) had nothing to do with it. The organisation is rather well described on Wikipedia. A photograph of a rally in 1933 shows a lot of flags of the German Christians, including two examples of a vertical version [and a whole row of smaller horizontal DC flags directly behind the viewing stand]. Also visible are vertical versions of the Nazi flag, the black-white-red flag and the Protestant Church flag.
M. Schmöger, 5 January 2014