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Collector Alert!






A Site for Collectors and Historians


The Golden Party Badge of the NSDAP is regarded by collectors as some of the most attractive and historically significant pieces of Third Reich memorabilia available.

Unfortunately, with increased interest in the Golden Party Badge comes a flood of recent reproductions - some good, some bad. There does not seem to be a single resource for collectors in this specialized area to explain the history and significance of this badge, or a guide to the wide variety of fakes being passed off as expensive originals at auction or shows.


The Golden Party Badge of the NSDAP was authorized by a Hitler decree of October 13, 1933 to honor those Party Members who, as of November 9, 1933, had a registered membership number under 100,000 - provided their party membership had been active and uninterrupted since the NSDAP's re-founding on February 17, 1925. In fact, the NSDAP had already exceeded membership number 100,000 by December, 1928 (although only about 55,000 had remained with the Party - the rest dropped out for various reasons, including the inability to pay dues during the depression). On November 9, 1933 the Treasury Department of the NSDAP certified only 22,282 of the first 100,000 NSDAP members eligible for the badge. This included 1,795 women.

The first awards were made November 9, 1933, on the 10th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch. Award documents show awards were frequently presented on significant dates in the Nazi calendar - Nov. 9, Jan. 30, April 20, etc., as well as throughout the year.

Since people were anxious to get this prestigious award, the bulk of the numbered Golden Party Badges were presented in 1933 and 1934, with relatively few additional ones after that date. This accounts for the consistency in quality of the badges.

A handful of numbered badges were awarded after the initial qualification date. Because the Gold Party Badge was the symbol of the new elite of Nazi Germany - and carried with it certain privileges - there was a rash of people who had held NSDAP membership numbers under 100,000, but had left the Party before 1930. Often they rejoined, but entering the NSDAP with a higher number that did not entitle them to the Gold Party Badge. These people frequently petitioned to have their old party number reinstated, entitling them to the Gold Party Badge, explaining why they left the Party. They often enlisted the help of senior Nazis to lobby on their behalf for their old or a replacement low number.


Hitler reserved the right to award the badge for special recognition of service to the Party or State, and used it politically to bring people into the NSDAP who had otherwise resisted or refused to join. These awards usually took place on the 30th of January of each year to anyone who had demonstrated outstanding service to the Party or State.

Although it was essentially the same badge, it was referred to as the Goldene Ehrenzeichen der NSDAP, or Golden Honor Award of the NSDAP, instead of the "Golden Party Badge". It appears the first honour award was given out in 1935 and continued until 1944. Klaus Patzwall in his book "Das Goldene Parteiabzeichen" (Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall: 2004) counts about 900 awards of this badge, and provides a list of the recipients. You can read more about the Honor Award version here.


A breakdown of the original 22,282 Gold Party Badge awards can be found in the publication "NSDAP Partei-Statistik 1935," Vol. 1 published by the Zentralverlag of the NSDAP in 1936, and includes an exact breakdown of the Golden Party Badges awarded by location, percentile, sex, etc. Sadly it does not break it down by name. As far as can be told, there is no complete listing of holders of the Golden Party Badge, although the "SS Dienstaltersliste" lists several thousand members of the SS who were holders of the Golden Party Badge and gives their corresponding NSDAP membership numbers. Complete membership lists of the NSDAP (some 8+ million NSDAP membership records) can be accessed at the Berlin Document Center and several archives in the United States. It is not, however, easy work.

If you want to research a Gold Party Badge from only a number, or name and number, I recommend the services of Robert McDivitt, who runs Militaria Research Services. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in history and graduate degrees in Library Science and Instructional Media. Rob is a professional librarian and has been doing biographical/historical research of German militaria since 1982. Click on the banner below to go to his website.

If you are looking for a group of collectors interested in discussing Gold Party Badges, or want to post photos or have specific questions about them not answered here, there is a discussion forum dedicated just to Gold Party Badges. You'll have to register to see the photos, but it is free and easy, and the people there are generous with their assistance. To visit, click on: http://www.worldwarmilitaria.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=67

A final note - this is a serious site for collectors and history students. It is not meant in any way to glorify or condone the actions of a monstrous regime. If you're looking to promote racism - go somewhere else. If you're ticked off at me for being interested this dark corner of history - just point your browser elsewhere.

Otherwise, I'm always happy to hear from genuine collectors with a serious interest in the subject. Sorry - I don't sell these badges. I recommend you only buy them from reputable and established dealers with "no questions asked" return policies.

It has been brought to my attention that there are a few websites that have "borrowed" whole pages from my website and present them as their own. I don't mind sharing information, as the whole point of this is to help collectors steer clear of the many fakes and those who sell them. However, one website (http://ww2army.com) that sells fake gold party badges conveniently also runs their own "authentication" service which has copied large parts of my website. They sell through their website and eBay. I have written to them and asked them to take those pages down, but they have not, so I'm warning visitors about this unethical behaviour.

As always, I'm pleased to have a look at photos of any gold party badges to assist in making a determination of authenticity. Just email me at goldpartypin@gmail.com. Provide the best photos you can of front and back, and please keep individual photos under 100K each.

Many thanks to the many collectors who have generously provided information and photographs for use here. I have tried to be respectful of copyright, obtain permision, or conform to "fair use" principles in presenting this information for educational purposes.


Legal Stuff: This website is a hobby, not a business. As a service to the collecting community I endeavour to provide as accurate information as possible, but this is an area that is complex and sometimes controversial as to what is genuine and what is not. This website may not always be up to date with new fakes coming on the market, or information comes to light that casts doubt on a type or style of badge. Everyone makes mistakes. In these pages and in any opinions my email, I will always do my honest best, but as in all areas of collecting, the ultimate decision about and responsibility for the genuiness of a piece rests with you.

© 2009 Gold Party Pin Guy