VINTAGE GERMAN ‘STAHLHELM’ SOLDIER’S WW1 MEMBERSHIP SERVICE BADGE MEDAL
Offered is a rare WW1 returned soldier’s Stahlelm membership badge, consisting of a slightly convex, 31mm diameter, nickel-silver alloy badge, against whose black enamelled obverse is pinned a profiled M16 helmet, above whose chin strap rivet is stamped an Iron Cross followed by "Der Stahlhelm" in Gothic script. The recessed Iron Cross and lettering have been darkened in a way that highlight them. Beneath the helmet, the enamel breaks to form two crossed oak leaves above a "1921" date (this badge was available with consecutive dates from 1919-1932). To the reverse is a hinged, vertical pin and is complete with the original. To the right of the pin is embossed the manufacturer’s logo of an underlined and stylized "S," "T," and "H." To the left of the pin is embossed "Ges. Gesch.," (Gesetzlich Geschützt) (By-law Protected). Handwritten to the reverse is "VI. Ns 323" and the date "3.6.1921." (the member was the 323rd person to join the Stahlhelm organisation that year, joining on the 3rd of June 1921).
"Der Stahlhelmbund" (The Steel-helmet-league) was conceived as a national veterans’ organization by Franz Seldte in November of 1918, and was officially founded on Christmas day of that year. It was mostly comprised of WWI veterans trying to assimilate back into what was then a devastated society. The Stahlhelm became the largest of the post-war veterans’ groups, incorporating many of the smaller Freikorps groups into it. Most of its members were assimilated by the SA in 1933, and it was disbanded in 1935, with its remaining members absorbed by the DRKB ("Deutscher Reichskriegerbund"), which, in turn, was absorbed by the NS-RKB ("Nationalsozialistische - Reichskriegerbund") in 1938.