This award took the form of an oval badge which measured 46 mm high and 35 mm wide. It had the outer edge with an indented inner line which measured 4 mm wide. The lower half of the oval was an open oak leaf wreath with two oak leaves with their stalks crossed. From these on either side are five bunches of three oak leaves. The badge at the top has the national emblem surmounting a banner in three folds bearing the inscription Wehr – Wirtschaft – Führer. Immediately below this is a factory complex belching smoke.
The reverse is plain with a vertical hinge pin and hook. The hinge and hook are held to the badge by an oval plate. The badge was constructed from aluminium and was gilded with the leading edges of the Eagles wing and the inscription being burnished. The badge was manufactured by the Firm, C. E. Juncker of Berlin S.W.68.
There is a second version that is of the same design, butmeasured 42 mm high and 33 mm wide. The reverse is plain with a vertical hinge pin and C shaped hook. The hinge and hook are held to the badge without an oval plate. The badge was constructed from tombak and was gilded with the leading edges of the Eagles wing and the inscription not being burnished.
It was worn on the left breast. A miniature version, differering slightly from the full size badge was worn on the left lapel. A citation accompanied the bestowal of the badge.
The full size badge and miniature version.
On 31st January 1938, Goring set up a Council for Defence Economy. Its members were chosen from the leading industrialists in Germany. each member had the title “Defence Economy Leader”. The Council was charged with the responsibility of preparing and carrying out mobilization of the armenent industry and directing it in time of war. But before an industrialist could receive either the title or the badge, he had to submit a “declaration of political attitude” couched in the following terms, “I herewith declare I stand by the National Socialist concept of state without reservation and that I have not acted in any way against the interests of the people” proving this was a political as well as an industrial award.
The golden badge for Defence Economy Leaders was instituted in March 1939 to recognise the members of the Council and to single out industrial leaders above middle management level who contributed significantly to the furtherance of industrial management. Recommendation for the award had to come from the Kreis in which the proposed recipient worked and had to be approved by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht.
A badge in wear at a conference in France mid war.
Kehrl Hans - SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor
6 August 1892 - 26 April 1984 D.
Party Number 498187SS Number 278247
1914 Iron Cross Second Class, 1914 Iron Cross
First Class, Cross of Honour 1914-18 Combatants, 1914 Wound Badge Black Class,
Knight’s Cross of the War Merit Cross with Swords 27 November 1944 (23
September 1944), 1939 Iron Cross Second Class bar, 1939 Iron Cross First Class
bar, War Merit Cross Second Class with Swords, War Merit Cross First Class with
Swords, Decoration for Defence Economy Leaders, SS Honour Ring, SS Honour Sword.
How many awards were made is not known but assumed that the number was very small. Among the recipients were :-
Otto, Prof. Dr. phil
Farben official, sentenced to 8 years' imprisonment at the I.G. Farben Trial
for involvement in slavery and mass murder, he was released in 1952.
of Flick, acquitted at the Flick trial.
- I.G. Farben official, sentenced to 6 years' imprisonment for his
involvement in slave labour and mass murder. He was released in January 1951.
created the Dornier planes for the Luftwaffe. He was exonerated by a
of several industries, sentenced to 7 years' imprisonment for involvement in
slave labour, released in 1950.
Farben official, acquitted at the I.G. Farben Trial.
Franz, Dr. re. pol.
and manufacturer of the He planes during World War II. He was classified as a
"fellow traveller" by a de-Nazification court and fined, despite
involvement in slave labour.
1896? - 1958
official, sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for involvement in slave
labour, released at the same time as Krupp.
Farben official, sentenced to 3 years' imprisonment for plunder and
spoliation. He was released immediately, his sentence having been considered
Janssen - Krupp
sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for involvement in slave labour, released
at the same time as Krupp.
official, acquitted of all charges at the Flick trial.
6.8.1892 - 1984
of commodity Office in the Ministry of Armaments
of the advisory board of I.G. Farben. Sentenced to 6 years' imprisonment for
involvement in slave labour, released in 1950.
Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach
of the Krupp industry until 1943, not tried due to ill health.
Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach
- Head of the Krupp industries, sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment for his
involvement in slave labour. He was released on February 4, 1951.
Ewald Oskar Ludwig
official was also involved in the July Plot. He avoided execution by faking
partial amnesia, but was sentenced to 7 years' imprisonment for his
involvement in slave labour. He was released in 1950.
Friedrich, Dr.-Ing. e.h., Dr. phil. hc.
of I.G. Farben, sentenced to 7 years' imprisonment for involvement in slave
labour at Auschwitz, the only defendant convicted on charges of plunder,
spoliation, mass murder, and slavery.
Wilhelm Prof. Dr-Ing.
designer and manufacturer, of the Messerschmitt planes. He was classified as
a "fellow traveller" by a de-Nazification court and fined.
at Krupp, sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment for slave labour. Released at
the same time as Krupp.
at Krupp, only defendant at the Krupp trial to be acquitted of all charges.
Hermann, Dr.-Ing. Dr. rer. pol. hc.
weapons firm J.P. Sauer u. Sohn of Suhl and SS Bf Theo Croneiß
Farben official, sentenced to 4 years' imprisonment for plunder and
Farben official acquitted of all charges ath the I.G. Farben trial.
- Official of I.G. Farben, sentenced to 5 years' imprisonment for involvement
in plunder and spoliation.
- in addition to being deputy to Friedrich Flick, was a captain in the navy.
He was sentenced to 5 years' imprisonment for having membership in a criminal
organization. He died in prison.
Heinrich Dipl Ing.
The main aircraft
factory production manager "Arado".
of the Walther PP/PPK and P38
Albert, Prof. dr. Ing.
Karl, Prof. Dr.-Ing.
and Vice President of the Chamber of Economics in Berlin. He continued to be
a successful industrialist after the war.