NSDAP Golden Party Badge '7129' (Goldenes Parteiabzeichen). The Golden Party Badge of the NSDAP was authorized by a decree of 'Adolf Hitler' on 13 October 1933. The badge was to honour those Party Members who had a registered membership number under 100,000 - provided their party membership had been active and uninterrupted since the NSDAP's re-founding on 17 February 1925. Only 22,282 of the first 100,000 NSDAP members were eligible for the badge. This is the 30,5mm Deschler made badge. The shows the same design as the standard enamel NSDAP party membership badge, surrounded by a thin white enamel border and a golden oak leaf wreath. The badge is made of fire gilded brass with the metal edges, letters and highlights in the enamel center silver plated. There is no enamel damage at all, only some very slight surface scratching caused by period wear and use. The badge is marked 'Ges.Gesch.' on the back. The badge is nicely maker marked on the pin plate by the company of 'Deschler & Sohn' from München 9. Of course is the original pin/catch construction complete and functional. The member's party number '9452' has been engraved on the back as well.
This was the party number of 'Paul Wilhelm Schneider'. Paul Schneider was born on 20 July 1892 in Westhofen. Since 1919, the former teacher and his wife Dorothea (born 19 September 1892), born Heckenmüller, ran his father-in-law's mill construction company at Dorfstrasse 28 in Itzehoe.
Paul and Dorothea Schneider were among Itzehoe's National Socialist notables. Schneider had been enthusiastic about ethnic ideas since the early 1920s. In 1923, with the Wilster teacher Dietrich Klagges (1891-1971), he founded a “Working Group for World Views” in whose weekly meetings ideological and political questions were discussed. In 1925, shortly before the founding of the Schleswig-Holstein Gau on March 1st, the Schneider couple joined the NSDAP. Paul Schneider was co-founder and local group leader (Ortsgruppenleiter) of the local Itzehoer NSDAP-Ortsgruppe, Dorothea took over the leadership of the Steinburger National Socialist Women's Association (NS-Frauenschaft). At this time, Schneider appeared in public life in Itzehoe primarily as a propaganda speaker. He also organized performances for Joseph Goebbels and other propagandists and was one of the creators of the 'Schleswig-Holsteinischen Tageszeitung', the daily newspaper for Schleswig-Holstein. The Schneiders' house was a meeting place for Nazi leaders who were in the region for agitation purposes: Goebbels stayed there several times, and in 1929 Adolf Hitler was a guest.
In 1927, Schneider relinquished leadership of the local group and became deputy to Gauleiter Hinrich Lohse. From 1931 he worked as a “Gaukulturwart” and from 1933 to 1934 as a District Inspector (Gauinspektor). He then withdrew from active party work and devoted himself primarily to mill construction. He remained loyal to the Nazi ideology: his commitment shifted from propagandistic work to promoting prehistoric research, which at that time was characterized by the cult of the mythical Germanic ancestors and the blood and soil ideology.
In 1935 Paul Schneider took political office again. As regional head of culture, he inaugurated the Nazi ancestral cult site “Germanengrab” in 1938. He was active in the Itzehoer city parliament as a councilor from 1935 and as a city councilor from 1939. In 1940 he was appointed NSDAP district leader (NSDAP-Kreisleiter) for the Steinburg district. However, he held this office on a voluntary basis and delegated the service to general manager Walter Bilkau, who held the office of district leader full-time from 1943.
During the Second World War, the Heckenmüller mill building factory also switched largely to war production. The area around the factory building was hit and devastated by British aerial bombs on May 2, 1945. The attack is said to have taken place because the Schneider family had clearly displayed a swastika flag on their house. This rumor cannot be proven, but it is an indication that the Schneiders were known in the city as leading National Socialists.
After the surrender of the Wehrmacht on May 8, 1945, Paul Schneider was arrested and sentenced to two and a half years of internment in 1946, and Dorothea Schneider to eleven months. During this time, trustees continued to run the mill factory, which was rebuilt after the bombing in 1945/46. Paul Schneider was fired in 1948 and the company was returned to his possession in 1949. From then on he devoted himself to business and voluntary work, for example in the local association. Paul and Dorothea Schneider were able to regain their positions as successful entrepreneurs and respected citizens and lived in Itzehoe until their deaths on April 30, 1974 and May 12, 1985, respectively. The Heckenmüller mill construction factory existed until it went bankrupt in 1982.
Scarce original 'named' Golden Party Badge in very good condition!
Source for information: www.steinburger-geschichte.de/drittes-reich/paul-schneider
Photo: Landesarchiv Schleswig-Holstein