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World War II: 1939 ~ 1945
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Untitled Document X0297



Weighing in at 29.8 grams, this is one of the rarest badges of the Nazi era as shown page 438 and 439 in Detlev Niemann 2008, Edition 3 masterpiece work and listed at a whopping $5,400.00 way back in 2008. Today's value is vastly more. Top items do not depreciate.

The badge appears to be straight era manufacture, right down to the bent hook SS rune attachments.

The badge matches up with era samples to measure in with my hand-held ruler at just a fraction over 46 mm (but again, it is hand-held and eyeballed) across, has a strong pin and clasp. You will have a hard time finding a better looking, feeling or for that matter, another one of these fine pins. Looks and feels like a winner. NO enamel damage and no detractions and the badge has excellent patina.

Notes on this coveted award are as follows:

Founded on the 15th of August in 1943 by direct order of Reichsfiihrer-SS Himmler and available in two classes: bronze and silver. The two enamel die struck SS victory runes are riveted over a convex mobile swastika that is 46mm in diameter. Notes suggest the badge was die struck zinc, like most late-war badges and then either bronze or silver plated with a semi-broad standard coke-bottle taper shaped pin. Original variations in the badge are known to exist, and my sample seems to be what is referred to as the "TYPE A" badge, the most prevalent. When awarded, the badge was center fastened onto the uniform's left breast pocket and was reportedly manufactured only by an occupation state-run mint in a town called Kreminca in Slovakia. True badges have NO markings and NO modern adhesives and NO soldering of any type and NO rivets used in their construction.

The Germanic Proficiency Runic Badge was designed to stress the true spirit of National Socialist within members of satellite occupation nations that worked in coordination with SS and SS authorized units, like the Dutch SS Volunteers. Interestingly, an 11th of February 1944 edition of a Dutch SS paper, "Stonn-SS - Weekblad der Germanische SS in Nederland," stated the badge was "an incentive for physical conditioning and military education in the spirit of National Socialist world outlook and a confirmation of voluntary acknowledgment of the Germanic communal destiny."

Selection criteria to even be considered to take the test meant the man had to possess a political leaders card issued by an SS service center; satisfactorily pass a wide host of physical events, such as timed runs, swimming and other sports achievements to include track events. Of course, rifle and field exercises. I was impressed after reading the list of This criteria is almost parallel to the U.S. Army "Expert Infantry Badge" (EIB) criteria and equally difficult to attain, especially in the old days. In WWII, as I have letters written from one man in the 33rd Infantry Division when that unit en-masse tested for the badge while in New Guinea, a minute portion of the men attained the badge. In 1974, while I was a member of the 1/13th Infantry Regiment in Baumholder Germany. Out of the 511 men from my battalion that tried out for the three week-long ordeal to earn the EIB, only 11 men achieved the award and I was one of those eleven.

Few were ever awarded, estimates range from a few hundred in silver to a thousand or so in bronze. The badge was first awarded by Himmler himself on the 1st of February in 1944 at the Dutch SS School at Avegoor, near Arnheim where 95 badges were presented; then in Denmark on the 2nd of June in 1944 at Hovelte to members of the Schalburg Korps where less than a dozen badges were believed awarded; in Norway on the 16th of August 16 in 1944 at the Norwegian SS School near HSSPF Norway (Rediess) where some two dozen total awards were made, and some believe exams were held in the Beneshau/Prague in Czechoslovakia. A few dozen documented as original badges are known in collections at this time.

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