Reichsfirmennummer - Reichsbetriebsnummer

Discussions on every day life in the Weimar Republic, pre-anschluss Austria, Third Reich and the occupied territories. Hosted by Vikki.
rmsbell200@yahoo.com
New member
Posts: 1
Joined: 08 Apr 2015 03:38
Location: Arizona

Reichsfirmennummer - Reichsbetriebsnummer

Post by rmsbell200@yahoo.com » 08 Apr 2015 03:54

Reich Betrieb Numbers

Many of you will recall that on German mail in WWII one can occasionally find Reichs Betriebs numbers on cards - these were a 9 figure numbers - some of the RB Numbers were actually printed on cards others used a rubber stamp.

These numbers were codes for companies and factories that contributed to the war effort. The numbers used provided information on country, type of manufactured items, company people to contact, etc., etc. The control of the system was in Berlin and a punch card sorting process was used. The Bundesarchive still has some of these cards in their collection, but many were destroyed in WWII.

The Reich Betrieb numbers are also to be seen after the war, which brings up the thought, did the allies use the system in the post war period to help with re-building?

A few months back I had contact with the Bundesarchive in Berlin. They report that the Allies did not use the system after the war. Consequently, any cards/mail seen after the war are old cards from the war time period and being used up during extreme shortages after the war.

I am still not sure why the numbers were on the cards when there was a chance the code could be broken by the allies with useful information.

And also, why are there are only a few of the postcards/mail seen with numbers on them? Which brings up the question, what was the purpose of the numbers on the cards? I would welcome readers thoughts on the use of the codes on the cards and why so few are seen.

RobB

GregSingh
Member
Posts: 2994
Joined: 21 Jun 2012 01:11
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: ReichsBetriebs numbers

Post by GregSingh » 09 Apr 2015 02:43

rmsbell200@yahoo.com wrote: I am still not sure why the numbers were on the cards when there was a chance the code could be broken by the allies with useful information.
And also, why are there are only a few of the postcards/mail seen with numbers on them? Which brings up the question, what was the purpose of the numbers on the cards? I would welcome readers thoughts on the use of the codes on the cards and why so few are seen.
By the law those numbers were required to appear together with the sender address on all business correspondence.
It was introduced mid-1942, so no numbers before that date. Originally they were called RFNr. (Reichsfirmennummer), not RBNr.
Goods were marked with Reichsbetriebsnummer.
Some businesses were late with applying for a number so they were not using it for a while...
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

Return to “Life in the Third Reich & Weimar Republic”