Wednesday 25 April 2012

Hitler Youth Expert Skier Badge

Hitler Youth Expert Skier Badge.                

Instituted on 1934?

Rarity – Extremely Rare

Known Makers –Wittman, München, F Hoffstätter, Bonn.

This badge comprises of a circle that measures 60 mm and has a width of 6 mm.  On to this, in raised capital letters is, 'SKI HJ. FÜHRER'.  A pair of crossed skis is superimposed across the badge.  Over their centre is an edelweiss incorporating the enamelled HJ membership diamond.  The skis measure 77 mm long and they are soldered to the circle at their four meeting points. There are subtle differences in the badges constructed by Wittmann and Hoffstätter, which can be detected by observing the badges from the obverse. The upper ends of the Skies on the Hoffstätter badges have a more pronounced “hook”, and the tip of the large petal of the Edelweiss at the “five o clock” position lies on top of the centre line of the ski, while those on the Wittmann examples touches but does not overlap the centre line 

The reverse of the circle is plain with the maker's name impressed in small, capital letters that are found in two lines, 'WITTMAN, MÜNCHEN', or ‘F HOFFSTÄTTER, BONN’ and similarly impressed 'Ges. Gesch'. The reverse of the edelweiss shows the negative of the obverse.  There are two needle pins, and hinge and hook attachments.  The whole of the badge is very finely constructed and finished in silver that is artificially patinated with an old smoke effect. It is highly possible that these two companies were not the true makers of the award, but the distributors of it.

The specific criteria for award of the badge are unknown but it is probable that some form of rigid alpine skiing test was undertaken to earn the award.  This could also have encompassed first aid and other leadership qualities.  The date of institution is unknown but the badge is shown in an HJ manual for 1934, which describes it as being for the HJ, BDM and JM.  It is most probable that this was given as a mark of qualification upon passing their tests prior to becoming recognised instructors in those organisations.  It must therefore be considered in this light rather than an actual award. When awarded the HJ Ski Leader’s Badge was presented in a fitted case with press-stud button. The colour of the case and liner are not known. The citation that accompanied the award is also not unknown, as is the length of time this very rare badge was in being.

Hitler Youth Expert Skier Badge -  Questionable.

Hitler Youth Expert Skier Badge - FAKES.


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