special award authorised by Adolf Hitler
The Golden Party Badge (Goldenes Parteiabzeichen) was authorised by Adolf Hitler in a decree in October 1933. It was a special award be given to all Nazi Party members who had, as of 9 November 1933, registered numbers from 1 to 100,000 and unbroken Party membership. Other Golden Party Badges (with the initials 'A.H.' stamped on the reverse) were awarded at the discretion of Hitler to certain members of the party who merited special treatment. An identical badge was awarded each year on 30 January to persons who had shown outstanding service to the Nazi Party or State. Only 20,487 men and 1,795 women were actually approved for and awarded the badge (outside of the ones Hitler awarded at his discretion).The Golden Party Badge was the basic Nazi Party Badge with the addition of a gold wreath completely encircling the badge. The badge was awarded in two sizes: 30.5 mm for wearing on service uniforms and 24 mm for wearing on a suit jacket. In the event of the death of the recipient, the badge would be kept by the family. However, due to the numbered certificate, no one else was allowed to wear the badge.Adolf Hitler's own Golden Party Badge had the number '1'. However, his actual Party number was 555, as the numbers started at 500 to make the party's membership at the time, appear larger. He awarded his Golden Party Badge to Magda Goebbels in late April 1945 and proclaimed her as the "First Mother of the Reich". The '1' badge was stolen from a display in Russia in 2005. The guards thought that a cat had set off the alarms and this allowed the burglar to escape with the badge.In the 1930s, Rudolf Hess had explored the possibility of making the Golden Nazi Party Badge the first degree of a multi-degree award of the German Order. In Hess' proposal, the Golden Nazi Party Badge would have been the lowest degree, followed by a 2nd class medal, 1st class cross, and then a Knight's Cross neck order. Hess's degrees were never bestowed, but the German Order retained the Golden Nazi Party Badge as its centerpiece.
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