German Winter Help Booklet - a token of thanks from the Fuhrer!

This one nearly escaped our latest sort out. The tiny WinterHilfsWerke mini book is one of a series of donation books. They were given to people who donated money for the Winter help in Germany from the early 1930’s through to the end of WW2. This one entitled Der Fuhrer in den Bergen (The Fuhrer in the Mountains) was issued in 1936.

WinterHilfsWerke was an annual charity drive held every year from 1933 to 1945. Its purpose was to get people to donate money to support those who were less fortunate through the winter months. The money was supposed to go towards providing food, clothing, coal, and other items.

Donors were awarded with a small token of appreciation in the form of these propaganda booklets. Many were about Hitler, but others in the series focused on German military heroes. The string on the corner of the booklet enabled it to be hung as a decoration at Christmas time in the home. These donation gifts came to be seen almost as a badge of support for the Nazi Party.

Talking of badges, if you were a generous donor, you would receive a lapel badge as a sign of gratitude for your kindness. Whilst badges and booklets identified those who had donated money to the cause, they also helped to identify those who had not given their support. Some of these people found themselves on the receiving end of violent treatment for failing to do their bit.

By claiming this idea as his own, Hitler was able to use the WinterHilfsWerke to increase his own popularity and that of his party as they were seen to be looking after the German people.

If you want to read more about the WinterHilfsWerke go to:

http://histclo.com/essay/war/ww2/cou/ger/home/whw.html

or

http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Winterhilfswerk

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