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NSDAP Goldene Ehrenzeichen (Golden Honor Badge) or
NSDAP Goldene Parteiabzeichen (Golden Party Badge)

The NSDAP Goldene Ehrenzeichen (Golden Honor Badge) was established in 1933 and designated by the acronym, “EZ”. English speaking collectors often use the term Golden Party Badge and the acronym “GB”, showing a preference for the alternate name of the award, Goldene Parteiabzeichen. Both names are found in Third Reich era publications. You may hear someone say that the Goldene Ehrenzeichen features the letters A.H. or Adolf Hitler’s facsimile signature on the reverse side while the Goldene Parteiabzeichen features a number. That statement is incorrect; the official name of the award is Goldene Ehrenzeichen. Goldene Parteiabzeichen or Golden Party Badge is the common name for Goldene Ehrenzeichen. I use a more specific acronym “NSGE” (Nationalsozialistische Goldene Ehrenzeichen) in my research work. For the benefit of Internet Web users who utilize keyword search terms, I will use the names interchangeably throughout this text, which provides some brief information about the Goldene Ehrenzeichen and the service I provide to collectors.

I am always glad to receive lists of Golden Party Badge numbers accumulated by collectors. Maybe you or someone you know started to compile a list of recipients and/or badge numbers, but lost interest in the project. Or maybe you or one of your friends kept a list of badge numbers bought and sold in the past. I would be honored to receive a copy of the information. Basically, the Golden Party Badge was awarded to members of the Nationalsozialistische Deutschen Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP who qualified with unbroken membership from February 1925 and held a membership number (Mitgleid-Nummer) that did not exceed 100,000. The Golden Party Badge gave the recipient special perks in the workplace and society. Roughly 22,000 men and 1,700 women qualified for the Golden Party Badge. I have a NSGE database containing over 11,000 identified Golden Party Badge numbers. You have almost a fifty/fifty chance of identifying the recipient of a numbered Goldene Parteiabzeichen. When the identification process is successful the result is documentation for your Goldene Parteiabzeichen. If I cannot identify the recipient, the number is retained and periodically re-checked against the growing database of Goldene Parteiabzeichen recipients.

The Goldene Ehrenzeichen is a round badge consisting of black, white and red cloisonné enamel within a gold color oak-leaf wreath. The wreath encircles “National Socialistische D.A.P.” separated by three dashes or hyphens around the circumference with a swastika in the center of the Golden Party Badge. The award was presented in a case. Photographs of badges are easily found on the Internet. The standard Goldene Parteiabzeichen features the recipient’s NSDAP Mitgleid-Nummer (membership number). The Besitzurkunde (award document) provides the name of the Party member, his or her membership number, place of residence and the award date. There is a special version of the Golden Party Badge with an award date and the initials A.H. or Adolf Hitler’s facsimile signature, without a membership number. The special Goldene Ehrenzeichen was presented in recognition of important services contributed to the Third Reich. The special version was presented with a larger award document of a different style. Both versions of the badge were produced in two sizes. The kleine (small) Goldene Parteiabzeichen is 25mm in diameter and was worn with civilian dress. The große (large) Goldene Parteiabzeichen is 30.5mm and was worn on political and military uniforms. There were rules for the placement of the Golden Party Badge on uniforms and civilian clothing. For an understanding of Goldene Parteiabzeichen design variants, consult militaria publications, Internet Websites and online militaria forums.

As the value of the Goldene Ehrenzeichen or Goldene Parteiabzeichen increases, a collector wants to know that a particular badge is real, in other words of the Third Reich era. This quest for accurate visual identifiers produces inquiries titled, “Real or Fake” found on most online militaria forums. The routine is for a specific Goldene Parteiabzeichen to be featured in photographs with obverse and reverse exposures, along with comments from the owner. Experts and novices alike then critique and make pronouncements regarding the Golden Party Badge offered up for discussion. Sometimes the electronic chatter, clouded by personality issues, produces no gain in knowledge. In other cases, the discourse proves to be enlightening. Make no mistake; egos do come into play in the activity of buying and selling expensive Third Reich militaria such as the Goldene Parteiabzeichen.

A collector is mainly interested in the Golden Party Badge because most of the badges have a number. The number links a particular Goldene Parteiabzeichen to a specific person, the same way an SS-Dienstdolch (SS service dagger) featuring an SS-Ausweis-Nummer (SS identity number) is linked to the original owner. The Goldene Ehrenzeichen is a desirable item for collectors. Golden Party Badges are bought and sold for different prices. Prices tend to reflect value as defined by collectors.

Based on my experience researching Golden Party Badges, I have created a hierarchical value scale for the Goldene Ehrenzeichen that should prove to be a useful tool for collectors. Value weight is based on the premise that a Goldene Parteiabzeichen awarded to a high leader or a person of historical significance will always have the most value but not necessarily the same value. All Golden Party Badges fit into one of four types, with the Type 1 NSGE generally having the most value. The four classes are defined as follows:

    Type 1 NSGE

    A dated Goldene Ehrenzeichen, featuring A.H. or Adolf Hitler’s facsimile signature, accompanied by an award document or a confirmable statement of provenance. Why is this Goldene Parteiabzeichen classified as a Type 1 NSGE? The recipient is identified and received special recognition for contributing important services to the Third Reich.

    Type 2 NSGE

    A numbered Golden PartyBadge accompanied by the award document, a confirmable statement of provenance or documentation linking the NSDAP membership number (the badge number) to a specific person. Why is this Goldene Ehrenzeichen classified as a Type 2 NSGE? The recipient is identified and directly linked to the Goldene Parteiabzeichen by his or her NSDAP membership number. Most numbered Golden Party Badges were given to persons of limited or no distinction within the Third Reich. A biographical profile reflecting activities at the local, state or national level will add value accordingly. High leaders and persons of historical significance add the most value. Depending upon the biographical profile of the high leader or person of historical significance, his or her Type 2 NSGE has the ability to exceed the value of a Type 1 NSGE. When comparing Golden Party Badges awarded to persons of limited or no distinction within the Third Reich, a Goldene Parteiabzeichen awarded to a woman always has more value than a Goldene Parteiabzeichen awarded to a man. Why? Only approximately 1,700 women received the Golden Party Badge.

    Type 3 NSGE

    A numbered Goldene Ehrenzeichen awarded to an unidentified recipient, because there is no award document and no confirmable statement of provenance. Why is this Golden Party Badge classified as a Type 3 NSGE? Even though the recipient has not been identified, there is always the possibility of identification through my NSGE database or another information source. Every Type 3 NSGE has the potential to be reclassified as a Type 2 NSGE.

    Type 4 NSGE

    A dated Goldene Ehrenzeichen, featuring A.H. or Adolf Hitler’s facsimile signature, awarded to an unidentified recipient. The Goldene Parteiabzeichen is not accompanied by an award document or confirmable statement of provenance. Why is this Golden Party Badge classified as a Type 4 NSGE? There is no way to positively identify the recipient. A Type 4 NSGE will always remain a Type 4 NSGE.

Obviously, a Type 1 NSGE or a Type 2 NSGE has more value than a Type 3 NSGE or a Type 4 NSGE. Remember, the most value is given to identifiable recipients who were high leaders or persons of historical significance. A Goldene Parteiabzeichen held by a poultry farmer or a champagne salesman will have less value on the scale. As previously stated, a particular Type 2 NSGE can trump the value of a Type 1 NSGE after comparing the biographical profiles of the recipients. Finally, the physical condition of a particular Golden Party Badge will add or detract value.