Some RADwJ items

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
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ancasta
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Post by ancasta » 29 Nov 2006 10:58

Matt Gibbs wrote:Klara, if you want a RADwJ ID for Beltring I can have a go at scanning and playing with mine, to see if I can kind of create a blank for you. Afraid it will not be perfect for you tho.
Hi Matt,
I wouldn't mind a copy for the same reasons myself :) I have a 1930's typewriter I can use to fill it in.


That private purchase hat stickpin is very interesting - never seen that before. You have some nice stuff in your collection Vikki :D And it seems that even members of the RADwJ engaged in private purchase - I wonder if this applied to tailored uniforms too, a bit like the male RAD privately tailored uniforms I've seen.

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Matt Gibbs
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Post by Matt Gibbs » 29 Nov 2006 13:24

Me too - a 1935 Imperial ;)
My latest id purchase {from H.Weitze} has the womans photo in uniform...just so you know I am not ripping photos from someones site! :D
ttfn
Matt
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Matt Gibbs
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Late stick pin

Post by Matt Gibbs » 29 Nov 2006 15:12

Hello again.
This is the stickpin mini I got. Quite nice detail but obvious 1943-on metal quality ;)
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Klara Hoffman
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Post by Klara Hoffman » 29 Nov 2006 22:05

Matt Gibbs wrote:Klara, if you want a RADwJ ID for Beltring I can have a go at scanning and playing with mine, to see if I can kind of create a blank for you. Afraid it will not be perfect for you tho.
ttfn
Matt Gibbs
Oh Yes please!
Anything from RADwJ is great, Im just getting into this section and didnt realise there was so much information out there.
I really like the Arbeitsmaid uniform with blue dress and apron, I think I would wear this for starters as Beltring is always so hot. So I have to get info on fabric and correct colours if anyone can help.

Danke
Klara

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ancasta
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Post by ancasta » 29 Nov 2006 23:29

I am sourcing a pattern for the blue Arbeitskleid Klara. I have tracked a copy down to a war-time edition of a book called 'Die Goldene Schnitt', but its very collectible amongst the swing revivalists. It has patterns for other woman's uniforms too. Its a fabulous book packed full of patterns of civilian (and later additional uniforms) wear which was published annually with separate additions throughout the year.

The Arbeitskleid came in two styles - the very early version, type 1, was pale blue cotton all in one dress. Type two which came out at the same time as the RADwJ uniform as we know it today and was a separate pleated skirt and an over the head blouse in a mid-blue. Type 3 is the war time version, an all-in-one cut to save on fabric. There is another version where the all-in-one dresses have waist ties to add shaping.

Obviously there is the red headscarf and the work apron, but I have found a photo within an archive where a group of ladies are marching along a road and have turned their headscarves into neckties BDM style with their throat pin holding it together. Presumably this was for special reasons? They also had a 'dress' apron for special occasions and wore their Arbeitskleid over a white slip which added white cuffs and collars to the whole look.

I am currently working with and reconstructing a RADwJ uniform pattern which is thanks to a lovely German private collector who let me have a detailed look at his complete RADwJ uniform.
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Klara Hoffman
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Post by Klara Hoffman » 30 Nov 2006 00:52

Great stuff

I cant wait to get the outfit together, loved the photo with the scarfs round neck. I think I would like the All In One style, the war time version as the group Im with portrays 1940s. I have seen the Goldene Schnitt on ebay but it always gets snatched up pretty quick. Hope you have luck with the pattern, please keep me up to date on your findings.

Danke,
Klara

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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 20 Jun 2007 03:21

I recently had the opportunity to show my RADwJ patches to a person who’s both an expert on antique cloth and a professional in the modern textile industry. I told him my observations on the differences between the thread composition and thickness of the real and suspect patches, and the two-colored background of the “suspect” patches. He agreed that these points were the most obvious giveaways of the fake patches, but he also gave me some very important and logical theories as to the “whys” of the differences in the modern patches. Most of what I’ve written below are his observations from his knowledge of the modern textile industry. And many of the problems with the “suspect” RADwJ patches can be explained by just that: their production by the modern textile industry.

My attachment of a real (on the right) and a “dubious” silver wire Leader’s patch (on the left), below, illustrate his points clearly. I purchased the “dubious” patch specifically as a study piece for analysis.

First, as Ancasta noted, there is a width difference between the real and suspect patches. The original Leader’s patch below measures 8.5 cm wide; the suspect example next to it measures just shy of 7 cm—2 ¾ inches. But more telling than the overall width of the patch is the size and appearance of the shield, circle, and swastika design itself. The design area of the dubious patches is squeezed or shrunk horizontally—so that the entire shield area is much narrower than on original patches. The circle around the swastika and wheat sheaves, which is a circle of equal height and width on originals, is squeezed horizontally on the fakes, to become an oval that is taller than its width. The swastika itself, which is not square but slightly wider than it is tall on the real patches (very subtle to the eye, but measurable with a ruler), in fact becomes square on the narrower dubious examples.

Modern industrial looms are set up to produce many thousands of yards of tape, and resetting such a loom to 8 or 8.5 cm would be cost-prohibitive for someone who wanted to produce a small run of RADwJ patches. But a 2 ¾ / three-inch width is a very common, standard width of American tape/ribbon/patch looms. The narrowing of the entire design area as shown on both questionable Leaders’ and regular ranks’ patches is exactly the type of “squeezing” that would be necessary to adapt the patches’ manufacture to pre-existing 2 ¾ inch American (or British) tape looms.

Many of the questionable patches’ background material appears wrinkled, as if the patches had been wet at some time. This may be an attempt to disguise their width difference from authentic patches, either by giving the appearance that they would be wider if they were pressed flat, or by suggesting that they had “shrunk” due to wetness. But even shrinkage due to wetness wouldn’t account for such gross distortion of the design area of the patches.

The two-colour background of the dubious patches is also explainable by modern manufacture and adaptation to already set up looms. When the textile professional unraveled several weft threads and examined them—against the black warp threads—he looked up with one of those “AHA!” smiles. On close examination, the cross threads are actually orange, rather than even brown as I had thought (see attachment). Modern American industrial looms are loaded with huge spools of warp thread, carrying several thousand pounds of thread, meant to run a large lot of textile. Black—along with other neutral colours like white and tan—is one of the most common warp colours. Changing the warp spool is a rather expensive proposition—not one you’d want to pay for if you wanted to produce, say, a limited run of a thousand RADwJ patches. So you have the mill change the weft threads to a colour that will offset the black warp threads, for an overall brown background colour….a weft colour like….orange.

Reproduction patches of many other types with two colours of thread in the background material have been produced for years and are well-known among collector-reenactors. The warp thread of these patches is most often black, as with the RADwJ patches. Often the weft colours used are as shocking and un-authentic as the orange on the RADwJ patches, in an effort to compensate for the black warp to make the background colour at least somewhat similar to the single-colour background of the originals: bright yellow/chartreuse with the black warp on reproduction Afrikakorps breast eagles, electric blue with the black warp on Kriegsmarine cap eagles, bright green with a black warp on Heer officers’ cap eagles, etc.

In each case, the stiff synthetic background, coarseness of thread or flatwire, and frequent distortion of design is as obvious as on the fake RADwJ patches. In fact, according to reenactor friends who’ve recently supplied me with examples, the patches were sold new as just that: reproductions. Often cutting them straight from a crisp new roll of 50 or 60 and selling them very cheaply, the dealers who sold them apparently never (or at least originally had no) intention of passing them as real patches. I think that this may have also been the original intention with the fake RADwJ patches. Unscrupulous dealers, the attraction of female items, or lack of a market because there are fewer female reenactors—who can say why the comparable reproduction RADwJ patches have now become “real”?
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Post by Vikki » 20 Jun 2007 03:32

Then…..there is the exception that proves the rule. As Angolia and Littlejohn say in a brief synopsis of the design and colours of the RADwJ unit patch in Labor Organizations of the Reich (p. 462, photo caption):
…Designed by Egon Jantke, it shows the RADwJ emblem on a white disc; the field is brown. The Bezirk number is always in Roman numerals. Members of the Reichsleitung staff (National Headquarters) had no number on their badge. The inner “frame” and the Roman numeral(s) are: Gold for senior leaders; silver for other officers; white cotton for non-commissioned grades. The outer edge is, in all cases, black. Uncut badges are sometimes found on a greenish-grey backing. [emphasis added]

Below is one of the “Uncut badges … sometimes found on a greenish-grey backing” that the authors mention. It is placed next to a “regular” non-commissioned original to show the contrast in the background colours. Note that the width of the patch, and the proportions of the circle and swastika, are consistent with known originals. Both warp and horizontal threads are rayon, rather than synthetic as in copies. The warp thread of the patch is the normal brown warp colour of original RADwJ patches, but woven with a feldgrau (grayish green) weft colour common to other period patches such as later wartime Heer eagle patches. There is no attempt to disguise the greenish gray background colour. Feldgrau thread on hand may have been woven with the normal RADwJ brown warp thread as a wartime contingency measure.
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Post by Vikki » 20 Jun 2007 03:49

And finally…..Something not often seen, and original…..

A Gold “Senior Leader’s” patch, with circle and inner border in Gold wire, for Stabsführerin rank and above. The absence of a number at the bottom of the patch indicates a member of the Reichsleitung (National Leadership) staff.
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ancasta
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Post by ancasta » 22 Jun 2007 14:16

Thanks for the posts Vikki, a nice outline for collectors to follow :D

I was chatting to an elderly German lady a couple of weekends ago at a event I was attending (for another period oddly enough) and we got talking about the RADwJ. She lived near one of the training camps as the daughter of a farmer at the time and had them working for her father, and told me that although there were L.S. schools she also swears that the ladies were never issued with a patch of any kind until they passed their training, by which time their patch would have been the unit they were designated to. I asked if the teachers possibly wore them; she again said no, as they wore their 'home' unit patch or a gold patch. So there you have it, one eye witness's point of view.

Which begs the question, why do they exist in the first place? I like the possible answer a collector told me once - A TV drama was made featuring the RADwJ in the 1960's, and the patches were specially made for it. Unscrupulous people sold off the patches afterwards as genuine, knowing that with the RADwJ too little was known to spot that they were fakes. The series may be lost - I have heard a lot was destroyed due to lack of storage space in the 1970's. I am currently on the look out for a 1946 German/American made film about Hamburg Flakhelferinnen. It too seems to have no film - I only know about it from an old poster.

Anyone else have a probable idea on the L.S. 4 patches origins?

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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 24 Jun 2007 05:03

My pleasure, Ancasta! I hope it's useful.

Best,
~Vikki

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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 10 Jan 2008 08:51

A couple of photos of the women's trousers in wear, with the belted hip-length tunic.

Best,
~Vikki
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Post by WEISWEILER » 26 Jan 2008 09:31

I don't often visit the Women's forum.

This morning, however, I took the time to watch some of the topics.

Very nice work!

/W

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Re: Some RADwJ items

Post by curiousrommel » 08 Mar 2008 23:37

Vikki,
Is that female RADwj tunic for sale??? I need one like it for my RAD uniform collection.

Thanks,
Ignatius Grech
(Malta)
rommel10452@yahoo.com

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Re: Some RADwJ items

Post by Vikki » 09 Mar 2008 20:03

Hello Ignatius,

Not a chance. Especially not as long as it stills fits me--or I can fit into it! 8O :D

Best,
~Vikki

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