HJ/BDM Wattweiler Rheinpfalz Troop Pennant
(HJ/BDM) NSSi Wattweiler/Rheinpfalz Troop Pennant - Traditional triangular-shaped pennant. Two pieces of black cotton sewn back-to-back, obverse with red and white patchwork featuring a hand sewn black swastika in the centre creating an HJ insignia on the left, outlined in white stitching, white outlined "B.D.M.J."(Bund Deutscher Madel Jugend) stitched lettering to the right, "Wattweiler/Rheinpfalz" (Wattweiler is the westernmost district of Zweibrucken in Rhineland-Palatinate)stitched lettering below, reverse with white outlined National-Sozialistische Schulerbund (NSS = League of National-Socialist School Students) stitched insignia, three magnetic metal loops sewn in place on the hoist sleeve edge for attachment to a line, 470 mm x 770 mm, extremely fine. Footnote: The Bund Deutscher Madel (BDM = League of German Girls) was the female branch of the overall German youth movement in the Third Reich, the Hitler Youth. Membership in the Hitler Youth was open to all German girls and boys who were at least ten years old or older. Membership requirements were simple: prospective members had to be Germans who were of no more than one-eight Jewish heritage, and had to be physically and mentally sound. Once a girl reached eighteen years of age, she was expected to join the national labour service, the Reichsarbeitsdienst, but she was allowed to remain a member in the BDM until she either got married, had children, or decided to quit the BDM and go on to other pursuits. The majority of BDM leaders on the regional and national level, as well as the BDM's medical staff consisted of ladies with university degrees and job training who were in their late twenties or thirties. Besides preparing the young women in the Bund Deutscher Madel for what were meant to be their future tasks in the community, the BDM also offered a wide variety of other activities that were attractive to potential members and that were very similar to what is offered by youth organizations today. BDM members were able to get reduced rates at movie theaters, go on field trips, and attend camps that lasted anywhere from one day to several weeks. They were also able to compete at local, state-wide, and national sports festivals, and attend youth festivals with international participants. In its origins, the Hitler Youth was largely lower middle-class and working-class, proudly proclaiming itself the "Union of German Worker Youth" (Bund Deutscher Arbeiterjugend). However, an important pro-Nazi organization existed among young persons, almost exclusively the children of middle-class and upper-class parents, who continued their education after the age of fourteen (the age at which traditional schooling ceased). This was the National-Sozialistische Schulerbund (NSS = League of National-Socialist School Students), created in 1929, and its female equivalent, the NSSi (National-Sozialistische Schulerinnenbund), each regarding themselves as a "cut above" their comrades in the regular Hitler Youth.