Early SS or SA armband, beautifully reproduced with 5 pc construction, with correct tresse edging. Very limited supply.
The Sturmabteilung (SA; “Storm Detachment”) was the Nazi Party’s original paramilitary wing. It played a significant role in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Its primary purposes were providing protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies; disrupting the meetings of opposing parties; fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties, especially the Roter Frontkämpferbund of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD); and intimidating Romani, trade unionists, and especially Jews.
The SA were colloquially called Brownshirts (Braunhemden) because of the colour of their uniform’s shirts, similar to Benito Mussolini’s blackshirts. The official uniform of the SA was the brown shirt with a brown tie. The color came about because a large shipment of Lettow-shirts, originally intended for the German colonial troops in Germany’s former East Africa colony, was purchased in 1921 by Gerhard Roßbach for use by his Freikorps paramilitary unit. They were later used for his Salzburg Schill Youth and in 1924 were adopted by the Schill Youth in Germany. The “Schill Sportversand” then became the main supplier for the SA brown shirts. The SA developed pseudo-military titles for its members, with ranks that were later adopted by several other Nazi Party groups, chief amongst them the Schutzstaffel (SS), which originated as a branch of the SA before it was separated from it after the Night of the Long Knives.
The Schutzstaffel (SS; “Protection Squadron”) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany, and later throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II. It began with a small guard unit known as the Saal-Schutz (“Hall Security”) made up of party volunteers to provide security for party meetings in Munich. In 1925, Heinrich Himmler joined the unit, which had by then been reformed and given its final name. Under his direction (1929–1945) it grew from a small paramilitary formation during the Weimar Republic to one of the most powerful organizations in Nazi Germany. From the time of the Nazi Party’s rise to power until the regime’s collapse in 1945, the SS was the foremost agency of security, surveillance, and terror within Germany and German-occupied Europe.
The two main constituent groups were the Allgemeine SS (General SS) and Waffen-SS (Armed SS). The Allgemeine SS was responsible for enforcing the racial policy of Nazi Germany and general policing, whereas the Waffen-SS consisted of combat units within Nazi Germany’s military. A third component of the SS, the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV; “Death’s Head Units”), ran the concentration camps and extermination camps. Additional subdivisions of the SS included the Gestapo and the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) organizations. They were tasked with the detection of actual or potential enemies of the Nazi state, the neutralization of any opposition, policing the German people for their commitment to Nazi ideology, and providing domestic and foreign intelligence.