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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
AWARDS BY 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
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provide the best photos you can of front and back, and please keep
individual photos under 100K each.
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.
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