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Social Welfare Officer


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Dagger Gallery

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Full Glory

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Red X & Social Welfare Hangers

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Red X & Social Welfare Fittings

Social Welfare Section of the German Red Cross [Deutsches Rotes Kreuz (DRK)]

In the early years of the 3rd Reich, the German Branch of the Red Cross, was the main social welfare organisation in times of hardship.

In December 1939, Hitler conferred a new legal status on the Red Cross by recognising it as a national organisation with some independence from Geneva. With this new status, the German Red Cross expanded it size and remit within Germany. It expanded it organisation into two distinct branches:

1)… Active in medicine, nursing and first aid. (Red Cross)

2)… Charitable and social works caring for children, the old and the homeless. (Social Welfare)

During WW2, the Red Cross became involved in both the home front and the International scene, tracing and monitoring prisoners of war.

Although the members, both male and female, were on a non-salaried basis, a full-time cadre of uniformed salaried leaders supervised them. The DRK incorporated the omnipresent eagle and swastika with the International Red Cross symbol in the design of their own distinctive insignia.

The DRK Prasident was Dr Ernst Robert Grawitz who also held office in the SS as Obergruppenfuhrer. His duties also involved acting as Chief Police and SS medical officer.

Production ceased in 1940 although the dress dagger was authorised for wear until much later in the war.

Dagger Information – Social Welfare Officer

The DRL leaders dagger was introduced in February 1938 for dress wear by officers of the rank of Wachtfuhrer and above.

The Social Welfare Officer dagger was the same as the Red Cross Dagger except for the following features: This is all speculation based on one persons theory. There are NO document facts to sustain this theory at all.

1)... The hanger fixings on the scabbard had square instead of round holes.

2)... The double straphangers had square pebble dash buckles, not the round buckles of the Red Cross Officer.

3)... The dual hanger straps were grey velvet with blue aluminium facings as opposed to the red facings of the Red Cross Officer dagger.

The dagger was 37 cm long and featured a plain pointed blade that conformed to the Geneva Convention because it was not worn in the field.

The grip was plastic and coloured pale yellow to orange with 10 horizontal simulated wire cords running around the grip.

The pommel and cross guard is similar in style to the Hewer and both were nickel-plated. The cross guard had the same DRK insignia at its centre.

The scabbard had a pebbledash finish with two square or circular suspension rings.

Although the dagger ceased production in 1940 it was worn by officers until the end of the war.

Again let me say that there are NO documented facts to sustain the theory of any such differences and the difference may in fact be only manufacture variations and cost cutting efforts rather than anything else.

Edited by Bruce Petrin