Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kriegsfreiwillege Der H.J.

In the year 1944, Reichsjugendfuhrer Arthur Axman proclaimed it as the "Year of the war volunteers". H.J. members born in 1928 who were unfit to join the Waffen SS or Grossdeutchland combat groups but still showed an interest in joining fighting units were used within the Luftschutz and for various wartime duties including the Fewerwhrscharen der H.J. and the Schnellcommandos. These units were led by a Police official and driver. These volunteers were authorized to wear a special red cord on the shoulder straps of the H.J. uniform. Known as the "Rote Kordel fur Kriegsfreiwillege" it was not a rank but rather a decoration. It was stated that this cord was the highest possible decoration for an H.J. member at the time it was introduced in July of 1944. Normally awarded by a Gebietsfuhrer and sometimes by a Kreigshauptbannfuhrer. Over time as thousands of these were awarded the significance of the award diminished. The kordel was allowed to be carried over and worn on military uniforms when the H.J. war volunteer began his active military service. (source: Hanbook of the Hitlerjugend by Wilhelm Saris).

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