"DER STAHLHELM" BUND DER FRONTSOLDATEN: Germany Weimar Republic. 1918-1935.  Founded by Franz Seldte, a German Army reserve officer in World War I, in December 1918 as a nominally non-partisan paramilitary political and social service group of former soldiers.  By 1930 Stahlhelm had a reported 500,000 members.    In the 1920s, the organization developed a Technical Service, the Technische Dienst, of which one of the largest components became the Reichs-Kraftfahr-Staffel, the National Motorized Section.  However,  in 1930 the Technische Dienst also included a public information service, a disaster service, and an air raid protection service.  With the accession to power of the Hitler government of the Third Reich, the Stahlhelm was incorporated into the Sturm Abteilung, the uniformed paramilitary arm of the National Socialist German Workers Party, by 1935.  The eventual organizational affiliation of the disaster service and the air raid protection service is unknown.

Sources: Ager, VerKuilen B., "Badge of the Stahlhelm Motorized Section," The Medal Collector, Volume 32, Number 1-2, Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, United States of America, the Orders and Medals Society of America, January and February 1981, pages 17-18.  "Der 'Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten'," location http://www.dhm/de/lemo/html/weimar/gewalt/stahlhelm, accessed 2 August 2003.

Entry 0378 - posted 2 August 2003