Original WW2 German / Third Reich WHW - VDA donation badge - 1933/34, IN VERY NICE CONDITION, GOOD EXAMPLE, WORKING PIN DEVICE, DIMENSIONS: 30 x 20 mm
HISTORY OF THE VDA & WHW / WINTERHILFSWERK:
The Verein für Deutsche Kulturbeziehungen im Ausland "Association for German cultural relations abroad"), abbreviated VDA, is a German cultural organisation. During the Nazi era it was engaged in spying across the whole world, using German minorities living in other countries. Its other goals included preservation of German culture among "racial Germans".On the 13 May 1880, in Vienna, the Deutscher Schulverein (DSV/German School Association) was formed. In 1881, the Allgemeine Deutsche Schulverein zur Erhaltung des Deutschtums im Auslande (General German School Association for the Conservation of Germanness Abroad), was formed in Berlin by Hamburg lawyer Julius Scharlach. It was modeled on the Viennese DSV. The associations in Vienna and Berlin initially worked closely together. There are donation cards with the imprint of DSV-Berlin and Vienna in existence. In 1908, the Berlin association was renamed Verein für das Deutschtum im Ausland (Association for Germanness Abroad), and the current abbreviation VDA, which is usually used, was adopted. The VDA had its own symbol, a woman's head with braids and Crown. During this time, the DSV in Vienna continued under its original name. During World War I, the VDA was at work in the service of the fighting soldiers. Its collections (donation cards such as folk song cards, Our Field Gray etc.) were there to benefit the wounded, displaced persons and the next of kin of fallen soldiers.After 1919, the Association in Austria continued under the name Deutscher Schulverein Südmark (German school association South region). In Germany, the work of VDA was long interrupted after the war. It was not until 1925 that the association could commence its work again in Berlin, later Dresden. It was renamed Volksbund für das Deutschtum im Ausland in 1933. VDA welcomed the coming of the Nazi regime, as it shared its ideology with the Nazis, including elements such as racism. It was used to promote Nazi political and racist ideas and was especially active in schools. When Klagenfurt in Austria canceled the association's planned rally in 1933, some 18,000 participants flocked to Passau instead. During the pre-war years and through World War II, the VDA distributed over 1,200 different donation badges, postcards and other items to raise funds for its charity work. This was done alongside other similar charity drives by organisations such as the Winterhilfswerk (WHW), the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (DRK/German Red Cross) and others. In the middle of 1930s the organization found itself in dispute with Hitler, as it had more extensive territorial claims against other countries than Hitler was willing to demonstrate in international arena; after the Second World War started, VDA together with SS was engaged in preparing and carrying out ethnic cleansing in territories conquered by Germany. In 1955, it was reestablished under its former name Verein für das Deutschtum im Ausland at the initiative of the Bavarian Prime Minister Wilhelm Hoegner, the Minister of Culture Alois Hundhammer, the chairman of the German Confederation of Trade Unions in Bavaria Max Wönner, industrialist Rolf Rodenstock and several prominent public figures. It became the Verein für Deutsche Kulturbeziehungen im Ausland in 1998.
The Winterhilfswerk (WHW) was an annual drive by the Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (the National Socialist People’s Welfare Organization) to help finance charitable work. Its slogan was "None shall starve nor freeze". It ran from 1933-1945 and was designed to provide food and fuel to Germans. The Hitlerjugend and Bund Deutscher Mädel (boys' and girls' associations, respectively) were extremely active in collecting for this charity. Donors were often given small souvenir gratitude gifts of negligible value, somewhat similar to the way modern charities mail out address labels and holiday cards. A typical such gift was a very small propaganda booklet, reminiscent of Victorian-era miniature books; about 0.8" wide x 1.5" tall. More generous donors would receive concomitantly better gifts, such as lapel pins on a wide variety of themes. Some depicting occupational types or geographic areas of the Reich, others animals, birds and insects, nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters, or notable persons from German history (including of course Adolf Hitler himself). They were made from a variety of materials. Each individual miniature book, badge, badge set or toy set was only available for two or three days of a particular collection drive. So the populace would be encouraged to donate the following week and thereby collect the latest in the series. There could also be very annoying consequences; nagging by the appropriate official if your local Blockleiter saw that you were not wearing the current, appropriate pin by about Tuesday of the week. When he visited Germany in 1939 as a reporter for the North American Newspaper Alliance Dr. Lothrop Stoddard wrote: "...Once a fortnight, every city, town, and village in the Reich seethes with brown-shirted Storm Troopers carrying red-painted canisters. These are the Winter-Help collection-boxes. The Brown-Shirts go everywhere. You cannot sit in a restaurant or beer-hall but what, sooner or later, a pair of them will work through the place, rattling their canisters ostentatiously in the faces of customers. And I never saw a German formally refuse to drop in his mite, even though the contribution might have been less than the equivalent of one American cent. During these periodic money-raising campaigns, all sorts of dodges are employed. On busy street-corners comedians, singers, musicians, sailors, gather a crowd by some amusing skit, at the close of which the Brown-Shirts collect. People buy tiny badges to show they have contributed—badges good only for that particular campaign. One time they may be an artificial flower; next time a miniature dagger, and so forth. The Winter-Help campaign series reaches its climax shortly before Christmas in the so-called Day of National Solidarity. On that notable occasion the Big Guns of the Nazi Party sally forth with their collection-boxes to do their bit."