Winterhilfswerk - WHW

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Geli
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Winterhilfswerk - WHW

Post by Geli » 07 Apr 2004 05:22

I wanted to do some research on the WHW. Does anyone have any info/links/books/etc. to recommend?

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Post by Vikki » 07 Apr 2004 07:10

How much research do you want to do on it?

Basically, it was the organization which collected contributions for the Nazi Party's Winterhilfswerk. A different organization was responsible for collections each week, on Sundays---last week the NSKOV, this week the NS-Frauenschaft, next week the Reichsarbeitsdeinst. Contributors got a pin in exchange for their "contributions," often with the collecting organization's logo on it.

But beware---"contributions" weren't entirely "voluntary," at least not as we think of it. There could be very annoying consequences---nagging by the appropriate official---if your local Blockleiter saw that you weren't wearing the current, appropriate pin by about Tuesday of the week.....

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Post by xcalibur » 08 Apr 2004 00:26

These folks have some booklets from the WHW:

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/ww2era.htm

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Geli
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Post by Geli » 09 Apr 2004 03:11

Fraulein Valkyrie wrote:How much research do you want to do on it?

Basically, it was the organization which collected contributions for the Nazi Party's Winterhilfswerk. A different organization was responsible for collections each week, on Sundays---last week the NSKOV, this week the NS-Frauenschaft, next week the Reichsarbeitsdeinst. Contributors got a pin in exchange for their "contributions," often with the collecting organization's logo on it...


Interesting. I knew that the Hitlerjugend collected but I wasn't sure if other organizations did as well. One thing that I want to know is what the WHW did after the war started. I have some peacetime WHW postcards that depict clothing drives and soup kitchens. Did the organization do anything special for soldiers or bombing victims?

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Post by xcalibur » 09 Apr 2004 04:07

Geli wrote:
Interesting. I knew that the Hitlerjugend collected but I wasn't sure if other organizations did as well. One thing that I want to know is what the WHW did after the war started. I have some peacetime WHW postcards that depict clothing drives and soup kitchens. Did the organization do anything special for soldiers or bombing victims?



Actually, no. After the war started they took out time-share condos in Florida during the winter...

Try reading the bleeding link.

:roll:

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Geli
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Post by Geli » 09 Apr 2004 05:32

xcalibur wrote: Actually, no. After the war started they took out time-share condos in Florida during the winter...

Try reading the bleeding link.

:roll:


What is your problem? :?

I looked at your link. It does not answer the question I asked above; it only shows some of the booklets that were given to people who donated to WHW.

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Post by Obdicut » 04 Jun 2005 19:35

Geli--- Umm, maybe what xcalibur was trying to say, though somewhat obtusely is that-- from everything I've seen: Yes, the Winterhilfswerk was a real winter charity, but it also had a second, and arguably more important manifestation, as a propaganda organization. In other words, if you think about it, it's very fascist to have the freaking soup-kitchen charity send out "thank you" postcards that include lines like "Since this morning, soldiers of the German army are crossing the border at every point into German-Austria," and, "I can assure you that since 28 May, the most gigantic defensive positions of all time have been under construction."

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Geli
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Post by Geli » 05 Jun 2005 19:10

Well, perhaps I wasn't clear. My question was: Exactly what did WHW do to help people during the war years?

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Post by stcamp » 05 Jun 2005 23:49

Hello Gelli,

I believe they had fur drive in 1942. Women were encouraged to donate their furs to create warm clothes for the soldiers. I believe a lot of the money taken in was skimmed by the party or in the early years used for armaments. There was another agency that acted as a "welfare office". I can not remember the name right now. If I understood you question correctly you are looking for agencys of the 3rd Reich that proved social services?

regards,

Steve

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Post by stcamp » 06 Jun 2005 00:06

Ok, I pulled the book off the shelf.

In 1937 16% of the population of the Reich receiving WFW parcels or subsidies.

From pg 190 The 12 Year Reich: A social History of Nazi Germany 1933-1945 by Richard Grunberger.

Also of interest was that every month the German family was supposed to have a "one pot meal". The money that would of gone for the rest of the courses was supposed to go to Winter Relief.

I believe I also read that the WFW donated clothes to people who had been bombed out of their homes. The clothes came from the camps.

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Post by Geli » 06 Jun 2005 01:07

Wow, 16%. That's actually a high percentage if you think about it. Interesting information. Thanks for looking it up.

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Post by Obdicut » 06 Jun 2005 01:12

It's not necessarily high, or low, or anything without other data involved. Such as: How substantial were these packages? How much money did the "charity" take in? How much money was spent on aid vs. propaganda and whatever else?

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Post by stcamp » 06 Jun 2005 16:44

Obdicut wrote:It's not necessarily high, or low, or anything without other data involved. Such as: How substantial were these packages? How much money did the "charity" take in? How much money was spent on aid vs. propaganda and whatever else?


All very good points. Numbers not in context are just numbers. Unforunately I do not have any documentation that answers those questions. I went back and reread the proceding paragraphs before precentage was given. It appears while employment was very high the wage structure was still uneven. People engaged in "Cottage Industries" were having great difficulty making a living. After 1937 the Labour Front began enforcing wage regulations which apparently helped those in this type industry.

There was also another agency. The NS Peoples Welfare of which I know very little about.

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Post by Vikki » 08 Jun 2005 03:35

The Winterhilfswerk was an annual drive by the Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (the NSV, the NS People’s Welfare Organization) to help finance its charitable work. In the early years of the Reich, the drives were also called the Kampf gegen Hunger und Kälte. Perhaps the most well-known methods of collection were appearances by film stars, political leaders, etc. to collect and promote donations---the railway carriage in which the 1918 and 1940 armistices were signed at Compiègne was even put on display in Berlin in July 1940 to promote the WHW drive. Party organizations’ members were also expected to collect for the WHW drives. Pins, buttons, or other small mementos were given out in exchange for donations; often the “tinnies” had a common theme over several weeks so that people were encouraged to donate each week to “collect the whole series”. And once monthly, usually on a Sunday, each German family was encouraged to participate in the Eintopf program by consuming a simple one-pot meal, with the savings from the meal going to the Winterhilfswerk. Less known sources of funding of the program, in addition to direct monetary donations, included hefty surcharges paid directly on some postage stamps (“semi-postals”) which went to the WHW.

Here are some specific figures for donations taken in by the Winterhilfswerk in Berlin in 1940-41, and the breakdown of where the money came from, in millions of Reichsmarks (from The German Home Front 1939-45 by Terry Charman, p. 228):

Firms’ and Organizations’ donations: 15.78
Donations from wages: 18.56
“Sundays of Sacrifices” (Eintopf): 12.22
Reich street collections: 7.48
Gau street collections: 1.02
Winterhilfe stamps: 0.07
Special efforts including “Police Day” and “Wehrmacht Day”: 4.00

Total: 59.13



stcamp wrote:I believe I also read that the WFW donated clothes to people who had been bombed out of their homes. The clothes came from the camps.


I would be interested in the source for this, that the WHW was involved in the distribution of clothes, and especially those from camps, as I’ve searched both Grunberger’s book and others on the subject and haven’t been able to find any reference to it. In fact, although various authors attribute clothing donation drives to the WHW, I wonder about that. Original clothing and Spinnstoff collection advertisements and donation receipts with which I’m familiar mention neither the WHW nor the NSV as the sponsors, even though items from those organizations usually have the organizations’ logos or names displayed prominently on them. Many of the ephemera which survive from such drives as the Reichs-Spinstoff-Sammlung, Woll-Aktions, and Woll, Pelz, und Wintersachen Sammlung bear no logos of the WHW. Such drives may have been a separate campaign, such as the clothing drive sponsored by Goebbels in the autumn of 1941, when it was realized that German troops would not be out of Russia before the winter, and were without adequate winter clothing. Then, and continuing until 1944, the public was urged to donate textiles of any type or fabric which could be picked apart and re-dyed and re-woven into cloth for uniforms, woolen clothes which could be worn in addition to the uniform, and furs. Special bulk-rate postage stamps were also issued in the winter of 1943-44 to encourage the public to send items of winter clothing directly to troops on the Eastern Front.

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Post by stcamp » 09 Jun 2005 11:44

Hello,

That was a well written response Fraulein V.

Well I took a look for my source on WFW and clothing distribution but was unable to find it in a quick check of indexes of books I suspected might conain it. I did a check on the internet and found this which, if I can find would be the definite answer.

An order dated September 26, 1942 from the SS Economic and Administration Head Office to Operation Reinhard headquarters in Lublin. It detailed exactly to which agency any confiscated goods were to be sent. The list was exhaustive. It included amongst others things: all German money, all foreign money, rare metals, diamonds, precious stones, pearls, gold teeth, pieces of gold, watches, fountain pens, lead pencils, shaving utensils, pen knives, scissors, pocket flashlights, purses, men's clothing and underwear, women's clothing and underwear, feather bedding, blankets, umbrellas, baby carriages, handbags - the list is almost endless.


Rückerl, NS-Vernichtungslager, pages 109-111. See the entire list in English in Arad, op cit., pages 154-155.
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