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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nazi Insignia But Were Too Afraid to Ask

If you’ve ever wondered what a member of the SS wore to the gym, or which sailor suit was appropriate for a Nazi rally than look no further than ORGANIZATIONSBUCH DER N.S.D.A.P., which is a long name for what is essentially the design manual of the Nazi party.

This exceptionally rare book contains, in the bookseller’s words:

There are over 70 full-page, full-color plates (on heavy paper) that depict virtually every conceivable Nazi flag, uniform and insignia from the Führer Standard and Blood Order to the SS Honor Ring, and from the Hitler Youth leader’s dagger and sailor suits to Reichsarbeitsdienst Gorgets. There is a picture of a Nazi nurse in uniform, an Honor Pistol (a Walther PPK) and its holster, musicians uniforms, etc. There are patterns for official Nazi Party office signs, special armbands for the Reichsparteitag (Reichs Party Day), the Honor Badges of various Gaue and early Reichs Party Days. It has been said that Germans in general have a tendency to “over-explain the obvious” and this book leaves no Nazi Party organization question unanswered. It perfectly fulfilled its sole purpose.

Of course it’s incredibly creepy. Even creepier is the forward by Adolf Hitler and an entire chapter (with illustrations!) on the dangers of race mixing. This may be at it’s core a design manual, but make no mistake: it contains just as much of the disgusting worldview as Mein Kampf.

This book, and the annual updates, contained the entire National Socialist Party — it’s bureaucracy and its iconography — in a nutshell. After the surrender of Germany, Allied Forces destroyed the book in droves, perhaps as much out of spite as anything else. Or maybe they didn’t want the imagery of the Nazis being used by other groups in a bid for power and legitimacy. This book is now, ironically enough, a collector’s item, but also a window into a twisted worldview.

(USM books via J-Walk Blog, image via Design Observer)

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