RADwJ Arbeitsmaid rank brooch aged Deutscher Frauenarbeitsdienst
The female version of the male RAD, “Reichsarbeitsdienst” (National-labor-service), was originally established in February of 1933, and was considered a sub-section of the “National Sozialistisches Frauenschaft” (National Socialist Women’s’-organization). In April of 1936 the female labor service was dissociated with the NS Frauenschaft, and was given the official designation RADwJ, “Reichsarbeitsdienst der weiblichen Jugend” (National-labor-service for female Youth). The RADwJ was originally a voluntary organization, in spite of regulations of June, 1935, that dictated a six month mandatory service period. Actual conscription of RADwJ personnel began in August of 1936, but it wasn’t until September of 1939 that the mandatory six months service was enforced. Prior to its separation from the NS Frauenschaft, a series of rank brooches had been introduced and were worn until August of 1937, when a new series of rank brooches were introduced. The second pattern (1937) rank brooches were utilized until a third and final pattern was introduced in October of 1939.
A third pattern (1939), die struck alloy, convex brooch. The 46mm diameter brooch features a smooth outer border encompassing a pebbled field, upon which is embossed a mobile swastika held aloft by two sprigs of barley. A horizontal pin-back device is brazed to its hollow-back reverse. Unmarked. Brooch is the “iron” grade and the pattern indicates the rank of Arbeitsmaid.
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