Genuine German DRL - German National Union for Physical Training Badge in BRONZE (post WW2 - 1957 pattern - NO SWASTIKA), NICE CONDITION - PERFECT PIN DEVICE (SOLID HINGE BLOCK), MAKER: STEINHAUER UND LUECK (ST&L), DIMENSIONS: cca 48 x 38 mm
In 1957 the West German government authorised replacement Iron Crosses with an Oak Leaf Cluster in place of the swastika, similar to the Iron Crosses of 1813, 1870, and 1914, which could be worn by World War II Iron Cross recipients. The 1957 law also authorised de-Nazified versions of most other World War II–era decorations (except those specifically associated with Nazi Party organizations, such as SS Long Service medals, or with the expansion of the German Reich, such as the medals for the annexation of Austria, the Sudetenland, and the Memel region). The main government contract to manufacture and supply these new de-nazified WW2 1957 official decorations went to the world famous German firm Steinhauer & Lueck, Luedenscheid Germany. Knights Crosses, Iron Crosses , Wound Badges, Tank Assault Badges etc were re-designed by Steinhauer & Lück - often with the oak-leaf spray replacing the swastika, with S&L having the sole patent rights to all WW2 1957 German decorations. S&L did not have the whole monopoly on medal making, other famous firms such as Deschler & Sohn, BH Maher and Juncker also manufactured these new German decorations. Lüdenscheid is situated between the cities Dortmund and Bonn. It was here that one of the youngest medal firms was founded in 1889 by August Steinhauer and Gustav Adolf Lück. The first production began in a cellar, the customer base continued to increase. A property was bought at 51 Hochstrasse which is still home for this famous company today. During WW2 Steinhauer & Lück produced medals and badges, like the famous Knights Cross and many other types of medals and badges. In 1957 this company was awarded the contract to produce all the newly re-designed legal WW2 1957 de-nazified decorations, plus the contract to manufacture all of Germany's official decorations including Germany's highest order the Bundesverdienstkreuz. Only a very limited number of original WW2 1957 medals are still produced, mainly Iron Crosses, German Cross Gold & Silver & Wound Badges and are considered 100% genuine by the German Government.
HISTORY OF THE AWARD:
DRA/DRL - German National Union for Physical Training Badge - (Deutsches Reichsbund für Leibesübungen). Originally introduced as DRA Badge shortly after the 1913 Olympic games as an incentive to promote physical training among the German population. On its introduction the badge was issued in two grades, bronze and gold and was only awarded to males who met the required criteria. In 1920 a silver grade of the badge was introduced and in 1921 award of the badge was expanded to include eligible females. The bronze badge was awarded to personnel between the ages of 18 and 32 years old who passed the required level of physical training in a twelve month period. In 1933 control of physical training was passed to the Deutsches Reichsbund für Leibesübungen. (German National Union for Physical Training), and the DRA badge was discontinued and replaced by a new DRL badge of the same design with only a change in the central lettering. In 1937 the DRL badge was modified with the addition of a swastika to the bottom of the oak-leaf wreath. The badge is a struck bronze award, which is in the form of a 50mm tall, vertical oval oak leaf wreath, with a mobile swastika and bow to its base, encompassing the stylized, cut-out letters, "DRL." To the reverse is a vertical pin-back device, hinged to its top and with a catch to its base.