Die hier gezeigten Abzeichen sind zu edukativen Zwecken dargestellt, aus diesem Grund sind sie nicht abgedeckt. Weiterhin möchte ich auf den folgenden Discliamer aufmerksam machen:
Disclaimer: Die hier gezeigten Abbildungen aus der Zeit des "Dritten Reiches", u.a. mit dem damals obligatorischen "Hakenkreuz", dienen der Berichterstattung über Vorgänge des Zeitgeschehens, der staatsbürgerlichen Aufklärung sowie Forschung und Lehre (§ 86a, 86 StGB)
Excerpt from the Völkischer Beobachter 13th September 1936: " As long as we have a healthy and strong male population – and that we Nationalsocialists will guarantee – no female handgrenade corps or female sniper battalion will be formed. This would not be emanzipating, but downgrading the women. The scope for employment of women is huge. To us the German woman always has been a true partner in work and life. A lot of times I am approached with the words: " You want to push women out of professional employment." No, I just want them to be able to start a family and have children on their own, as that would be most useful to our people! No matter if a female lawyer is successful, the mother with five, six, seven well raised and educated children living next door to her, has achieved more in securing a future for our nation."
This statement by Adolf Hitler, supported by the NSDAP, changed drastically in the years of war. Women of all ages were called to do their duty. At the beginning of the third year at war, the need for more workforce in the Wehrmacht and war industry forced the government to fall back on a new resource – women.
" I believe that the German girl, the German woman has more to give. Millions of German women are hard working on the fields, already standing in for their men. Millions of German girls and women are working in factories and offices as well as men do. I do not think it to be wrong to demand of millions of true German women to follow the example of the hundred of thousands already doing men´s duties."
Adolf Hitler announcing the drafting of women for the war effort, May 1941.
The occupation of Poland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium and France forced the Wehrmacht to upgrade their workforce in summer 1940 already. Even job centres were involved in the search for Stabshelferinnen and Nachrichtenhelferinnen. The media advertised the newly formed positions of Nachrichtenhelferinnen as well, as seen in the magazine "Die junge Dame" from the 8th October 1940.
Excerpt from the magazine:
" A lot of girls and women are needed for this duty, as a perfectly working signal service has to be errected in the occupied territories in a short time period. "Berlin, just a moment, I will connect you with the Kommandant.", are the words of a switchboard operator. She comes from Berlin herself and the Hauptmann of the Oberkommando will be connected to the Officer somewhere in France in no time. The woman from Berlin enjoys her new position and she knows that at a later time she can return to her old workplace without problems."
The young women loved the idea of working in a foreign country and hence the recruitment went smoothly.
Due to Operation Barbarossa, the advance on Russia, the need for men at the front grew. The Wehrmacht decided to release soldiers in the Reich for duty at the front and to replace them by women. The Luftwaffe swapped two male positions for three female Luftwaffehelferinnen. Kriegshilfsdienstmaiden of the RADwJ (Reichsarbeitsdienst der weiblichen Jugend) saw their duties within the borders of the Reich. Helferinnen were sent to occupied countries, even to the eastern front. In 1943, after the defeat of the German forces at Stalingrad, the Heeresführungsstab ordered all soldiers of the backup forces (office clerks, accounting clerks or interpretors for example) to be replaced by women – four Helferinnen were to replace three soldiers.
The Luftwaffe employed the highest number of female auxiliaries. When "total war" was announced in 1944, roughly 300.000 Helferinnen were part of the German Wehrmacht.
Another 150.000 were supposed to take over places in air defence. Searchlight batteries were to be operated solely by women. All support functions within the meteorological service were taken over by women. 22.000 women worked under the command of the General der Fliegerausbildung (General in charge of aircrew training). Male lorry drivers were supposed to be replaced by women, who were trained as Kraftfahrzeugbegleiterinnen (lorry escorts) first.
The number of Wehrmachthelferinnen in February and March 1945 was an estimated 500.000 and they were supposed to be coordinated by the Wehrmachthelferinnenkorps from 1st February 1945.
From the "Deutsche Sport-Illustrierte" Number 9 / 1943
A healthy spirit in a healthy body - this principal is highly regarded by the Nachrichtenhelferinnen even during leisure time. Part of the caption to these two pictures shown inside the magazine.