By late 1942,
the war on the Eastern Front was taking a toll on the German Army,
especially on the Waffen-SS non-German personnel. Because of their
heroic deeds at the Front, something needed to be done to encourage
and honor these Germanic SS volunteers.
Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler
introduced the Germanische Leistungrune (Germanic Proficiency Runes)
Badge, which was available to all branches of the SS. This Germanic
Proficiency Badge was to be awarded to men who excel in athletics
and political ideology.
The Germanic Proficiency Badge was instituted
by Himmler on 15 August 1943. If you will like to see a copy of
the Official Document signed by Himmler, please see Andrew Mollo
and H. Page Taylor's book "UNIFORMS OF THE SS,GERMANISCHE-SS 1940-
45, Volume 2. This award was rendered to all SS personnel but especially
the Germanic SS volunteers from Norway, Denmark, Holland and Flanders.
The overall task of organizing sports competitions was assigned
to the Germanic Leitstelle or Germanic Central Administration. The
Germanic Leitstelle, which came under the overall jurisdiction of
the SS Hauptamt (SS main Office) oversaw the political direction,
education and training of the whole SS and police. To qualify for
the Germanic Proficiency Badge, SS men were required to fulfill
the following three categories:
1. Individual achievement.
3. SS Ideology.
On 15 July 1943, Himmler had tasked
SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Gotlob Berger and the Germanic Leitstelle to
prepare and develop the course outline. The selected applicants
had three weeks to prepare and review the course outline. Applicants
who had 120 hours of training in six months or less qualified for
the award. The test was supervised by the instructor and two representatives
of the Germanic Education-training Section.
If you want to find
out more about the test requirements,I recommend you read Volume
2, Germanische SS 1940-45 by Hugh Page Taylor.
of the course requirements, the selected recipients were awarded
with the Germanic Proficiency Badge in either Bronze or Silver grade.
The silver grade being of higher standard.
In addition, they also
received a Certificate commemorating the event.
Germanic Proficiency Badge
was authorized by Himmler after consultation with the Chief of
the SS Hauptamt, SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Gotlob Berger. The Germanic
Proficiency Badge shown below, illustrates the Germanische Leistungrune
bronze grade. The design was geared to appeal the Germanic SS.
The badge shows the Sun Wheel in the background with the Siegrunes
(Victory Runes) superimposed in front.
The Sun Wheel or movable Swastika was the symbol used by the Wiking
Division and the 3rd Germanic SS Panzer Corps. The construction
of the badge was made of cast copper plated zinc with a white
silver wash. The Siegrunes are black enameled die- struck tombak
with silver plated edges. Construction is typically German of
excellent quality. The Sun Wheel is convex in form and measures
47mm in Diameter. The Runes measure 5mm in width.
The Siegrunes in the back have been secured by pins. The back
of the badge does not have any makers identification.
The book "FOR FUHRER AND FATHERLAND" by Angolia shows the back
of a bronze grade Germanic Proficiency Badge. The Reichszeugmeisterei,
"RZM" ( National Ordnance Department) was authorized by the SS
to make numerous decorations and awards.
The Germanic Proficiency Badge was also manufactured by various
other firms that did not applied their maker?s mark. The pin on
the back of the badge is of the type normally found on German
Naval War badges.
Mr. Angolia indicates in his book that numerous badges of a lesser
quality were produced in Slovakia. This badge is extremely rare.
Less than 200 were ever presented and only about 15 or less have
been found in collections.
There are many Post-production badges in circulation. About four
types of reproduction badges have been identified. Measuring 43mm,
44mm, 49mm and 50mm. All have spuriously markings shown on the
back "RZM" "RZM M/25" and "RZM M011." I believe that the Germanic
badge shown in Formans Guide to Third Reich German Awards shows
a post-production badge.
The Germanic SS NCOs Sleeve Diamond
Germanic SS sleeve diamond was worn by the political SS organizations
of Flanders, Holland and Norway, the Danish Schalburg Corps was
the only exception. The sleeve diamond shield is made up black
wool base with hand embroidered SS runes in heavy silver- aluminum
thread. Base is piped in alternating twisted silver-aluminum and
black threads, signifying NCO rank. The Germaansche SS Nederland
and the Germanske SS Norge wore the diamond on the upper right
sleeve and the Germaansche SS Vlaanderen wore it on the upper