A Scarce Early Pattern BDM/JM Wattweiler Rheinpfalz Untergau Pennant
This is a scarce early non-regulation pattern BDM/HJ Wattweiler Rheinpfalz Untergau Wimpel (pennant) used by local district-level rally's and meetings. This traditional triangular-shaped pennant consists of two piece of black cotton sewn back-to-back, with the obverse with red and white patchwork featuring a hand embroidered black swastika in the centre of the emblem, creating an HJ diamond on the left, outlined in white stitching. Directly besides the HJ insignia, in white lettering is “B.D.M.J” (Bund Deutscher Mädel/Jungmädel). “Wattweiler/Rheinpfalz (Wattweiler is the westernmost district of Zweibrucken in Rhineland-Palatinate) lettering below, with the reverse with a Wolfsangel outlined in white stitching. Three magnetic metal loops are sewn in place on the hoist sleeve edge for attachment to a pole. Measuring 770 mm x 470 mm, and in overall extremely fine condition. Footnote: The Bund Deutscher Madel (BDM = League of German Girls) was the female youths branch within the German Hitler Youth movement while the Jungmädel branch was intended for young girls too young to join the BDM. 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. 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, statewide, 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).