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Midwifery

A midwife is a usually a woman specially trained to assist women giving birth usually at home. This is an old tradition in many parts of the world where doctors were scarce and most people couldn’t afford them anyway. Germany has had a long tradition of highly trained midwifes. In effect these ladies are nurses with specialized midwife training. Back in the Kaiser’s Germany several German States had badges and decorations for midwives. During that time a national midwives organization was established. After the Nazis took over Germany everything became “Nazified”. Swastikas were added to all insignia and names were usually changed to conform with the new reality. The national association for “Hebammen” (midwives) was no exception. Illustrated below is their Nazi era badge. The name was changed to the “Riechsfachschaft Deutscher Hebammen” which roughly translates as the national organization of German midwives. The legend remained the same and translates “in service to the future of our people”. The design remained intact showing a woman holding up a new born in the center of a white enamel cross within a blue enamel circle within a silver wreath. Of course the swastika was added at the bottom to keep collectors like us from selling it on ebay. Maybe some doctors who lost out on their fees because midwife services were available would agree with ebay rules banning this badge as a hateful item. As for me I think it ironic that some of the bloody Third Reich’s most attractive badges and decorations are those issued for life affirming activities.

About Fred Borgmann

Retired from KP after nearly 31 years as new issues editor and the Standard Catalogs.
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One Response to Midwifery

  1. SSG Luna, Lorenzo says:

    This is a very beautiful piece:

    Thank you for posting:

    Lorenzo

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