SS-wardresses

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
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mty
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Post by mty » 19 Apr 2005 11:38

jv: thank you for those photos :)

Are you sure those women are really KZ-aufseherinen (not for example SS-helferinnen)? I have seen around 10 photos of their uniforms and they seem to be different in every single photo! Were their uniform regulations for them at all, even the headgear seems to change from time to time, sometimes they wear EM field caps, sometimes overseas caps with or without SS eagles and so on.

Photo 1: the uniform seems that of SS-helferin to me, notice the SS breast runes and sleeve eagle

Photo 2: due to their assignment to SS, why do they seem to wear Wehrmacht-style breast eagle?

Anyone having uniform illustrations of them? Also, additional photos / infos are appreciated, but those already are a very good start for creating a look-a-like uniform for display purposes.

rappcom
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Post by rappcom » 19 Apr 2005 13:59

Yes MTY, you are correct. Those uniforms are of Helferinnen, NOT KZ-Aufseherinnen. The KZ-Aufseherinnen uniforms only had the eagle badge sewed onto the left arm, [the frontal breast area was always plain] containing no badges, except for the collars of course.

The KZ Aufseherinnen uniforms consisted of wool/cotton blazers along with the wool/cotton skirts, and underneath the main uniform they wore a full length thin cotton dress [buttoned down in the front] for casual [off duty] times and of course for extra warmth and protection during the cold seasons. Most wore the trademark black SS boots, but they were not required, they were an option. Aufseherinnen could choose to wear standard black lady shoes, along with stockings. However some wore cotton socks, especially as the war went on due to their lack of available nylon etc.

Their hats were almost identical to that of the Helerinnen, but were not always required to be worn [although they were suggested to appear in full attire during KZ duty].

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mty
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Post by mty » 19 Apr 2005 15:50

rappcom wrote:Yes MTY, you are correct. Those uniforms are of Helferinnen, NOT KZ-Aufseherinnen. The KZ-Aufseherinnen uniforms only had the eagle badge sewed onto the left arm, [the frontal breast area was always plain] containing no badges, except for the collars of course.


What kind of collar badges they had? If you could describe (or post some photos showing it) their collar and sleeve eagle insignia a bit more precisely, I would appreciate that a lot :). I think they had standard SS enlisted/NCO sleeve eagles as well as EM/NCO cap eagles in their overseas caps.

What colour was their uniform, field-grey perhaps? Could someone scan a few photos from that Camp Women book if its has photos showing insignia (and if the copyright regulations allow that, of course)?

Thanks,
Mikko

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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 21 Apr 2005 01:49

mty wrote:Photo 2: due to their assignment to SS, why do they seem to wear Wehrmacht-style breast eagle?


Because they're not SS-Helferinnen, but Kriegsmarine Helferinnen.

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mty
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Post by mty » 21 Apr 2005 08:53

Fraulein Valkyrie: ok, thank you :).

Are there anywhere good illustrations showing those different uniforms and their insignia placement in uniforms of female auxiliaries?

And yet another question about Aufseherinen uniforms; did they have orange/yellow piping in their overseas caps or Allgemeine-SS -style black/white piping like the earlies photos suggest?

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Post by Vikki » 22 Apr 2005 02:48

mty wrote:Fraulein Valkyrie: ok, thank you :).

Are there anywhere good illustrations showing those different uniforms and their insignia placement in uniforms of female auxiliaries?

And yet another question about Aufseherinen uniforms; did they have orange/yellow piping in their overseas caps or Allgemeine-SS -style black/white piping like the earlies photos suggest?


mty, you're welcome.

I'm not sure which type of uniform you're looking for details of. For photos of both SS-Helferinnen and SS-Aufseherinnen, see volume 3 of Michael Beaver's Uniforms of the Waffen-SS. For SS-Helferinnen uniforms, there are several good detailed pictures in Wenn alle Brüder Schweigen. For a quick overview and very good photos and line drawings of uniforms and insignia placement of Helferinnen of all branches, try the Osprey book World War II German Women's Auxiliary Services by Gordon Williamson (but don't give complete credence to everything in the text on this one).

SS-Helferinnen's caps normally did not have piping on them at all. If Aufseherinnen service dress was the same as for SS-Helferinnen, as per Himmler's order of 14 August 1943, then their caps wouldn't have had any piping either. However, at least by the end of the war, in pictures of them after capture, SS-Aufseherinnen were wearing uniforms that were quite different from the standard ones of the SS-Helferinnen: closed-collar tunics with two exterior or patch pockets at the hips, no breast pocket, and with a boxy, utilitarian shape compared to the tailored tunics of SS-Helferinnen. And of course, per Himmler's order, Aufseherinnen were not allowed to wear the breast patch or cufftitle of SS-Helferinnen.

See viewtopic.php?t=44635 for both Himmler's order on female uniforms and some photos of SS-Helferinnen and Aufseherinnen uniforms.

~FV

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Post by rappcom » 22 Apr 2005 04:50

As I have stated earlier, SS Aufseherinnen uniforms were as follows:
1- Plain hats [with NO piping & no patches/medals etc].
2- Cotton [knee length] underdress, buttoned down the front.
3-Wool/cotton top blazer, moderately pleated across the lower back area, with plain breast area on the front [no pockets or patches of any type on the front, just the eagle patch on the left arm sleeve, the collars were of 2 types: low cleavage cut or buttoned to the neck type, and only 2 square type pockets [one on each side at the bottom of the blazer], sometimes used to hold chained pocket watches for duty scheduling/timekeeping.
4- Wool/cotton skirt [customarily to the knee or further] with a large pleat down the front middle area and no pockets anywhere.
5- Black SS boots or black standard lady shoes with stockings [or plain socks]
6- Gloves were also an added part, but not required.

Actually, they were just plain dark, heavy uniforms of bland design.
Indeed, early Aufseherinnen recruitment ads show photos in them of Aufseherinnen wearing the piped hats with the eagle patch on the front of them, and the circular SS patch on the left breast area of the blazer, but this was not what later became the official KL-Aufseherinnen uniform by 1941 which was being issued at KL-Ravensbrueck .

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SS Wardresses

Post by jv » 22 Apr 2005 06:58

Here is another image of an SS Aufseherin in uniform. jv
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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 22 Apr 2005 07:04

rappcom wrote:As I have stated earlier, SS Aufseherinnen uniforms were as follows:
1- Plain hats [with NO piping & no patches/medals etc].
2- Cotton [knee length] underdress, buttoned down the front.
3-Wool/cotton top blazer, moderately pleated across the lower back area, with plain breast area on the front [no pockets or patches of any type on the front, just the eagle patch on the left arm sleeve, the collars were of 2 types: low cleavage cut or buttoned to the neck type, and only 2 square type pockets [one on each side at the bottom of the blazer], sometimes used to hold chained pocket watches for duty scheduling/timekeeping.
4- Wool/cotton skirt [customarily to the knee or further] with a large pleat down the front middle area and no pockets anywhere.
5- Black SS boots or black standard lady shoes with stockings [or plain socks]
6- Gloves were also an added part, but not required.

Actually, they were just plain dark, heavy uniforms of bland design.
Indeed, early Aufseherinnen recruitment ads show photos in them of Aufseherinnen wearing the piped hats with the eagle patch on the front of them, and the circular SS patch on the left breast area of the blazer, but this was not what later became the official KL-Aufseherinnen uniform by 1941 which was being issued at KL-Ravensbrueck .



rappcom,

Although you did not by any means state all the details you've given here in your "earlier" posts, we seem to agree on the essentials of what I posted in reply to "mty": plain cap (no piping), plain tunic with no breast insignia and only two pockets low (hip-level) on the jacket.

Since my area of study is really more directly about Helferinnen than Aufseherinnen, I have a couple of questions about your points:


1-Plain hats [with NO piping & no patches/medals etc].

So, did Aufseherinnen not wear the SS eagle on their caps as SS-Helferinnen did?




2-Cotton [knee length] underdress, buttoned down the front.

You also describe these in an earlier post:
...and underneath the main uniform they wore a full length thin cotton dress [buttoned down in the front] for casual [off duty] times and of course for extra warmth and protection during the cold seasons.

This I am really curious about, as I’ve never heard it mentioned for Helferinnen. What I have heard mentioned, have seen in many photos, and have handled several original examples of, is a rayon, or rayon-blend, work smock, which buttoned down the front, for SS Helfs was piped along the collar and front, and also usually bore the appropriately positioned eagle (breast or arm) for the branch of service. The work smock was worn on the outside of the wool service dress, to protect the uniform, or alone as casual work wear. The description of the two garments’ construction sounds remarkably similar…..

And I am curious where the Reich got cotton, in sufficient supplies to make underwear from, after 1941.



3-Wool/cotton top blazer, moderately pleated across the lower back area, with plain breast area on the front [no pockets or patches of any type on the front, just the eagle patch on the left arm sleeve, the collars were of 2 types: low cleavage cut or buttoned to the neck type, and only 2 square type pockets [one on each side at the bottom of the blazer], sometimes used to hold chained pocket watches for duty scheduling/timekeeping (emphasis added).

· Was the jacket wool/cotton blend (as is suggested to me by “wool/cotton”)?
· I agree that the jacket probably had no insignia on the front. But did it have “no pockets or patches of any type on the front”, or “2 square type pockets [one on each side at the bottom of the blazer]”?
· And I would also be most interested to know what kind of badges or insignia Aufseherinnen wore on their collars, if any, since in an earlier post, you did also state:

Yes MTY, you are correct. Those uniforms are of Helferinnen, NOT KZ-Aufseherinnen. The KZ-Aufseherinnen uniforms only had the eagle badge sewed onto the left arm, [the frontal breast area was always plain] containing no badges, except for the collars of course (emphasis added).




As I said, my area of study is really Helferinnen rather than Aufseherinnen. So I would also be quite interested in your sources for the information you’ve given above. And especially interested, since the uniforms you described “became the official KL-Aufseherinnen uniform by 1941 which was being issued at KL-Ravensbrueck”.


~FV

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Post by Francoise » 29 May 2007 23:31

Irma Grese wore a "mullet"??????????????

Alex Tijerina
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Re: SS-wardresses

Post by Alex Tijerina » 14 Oct 2008 02:40

I have also picked up the book "The Camp Women" and saw the picture of Hildegard Newmann. She looks very professional in comparison to the other camp women. However I could not find anything about her after she was acquitted. Is she still alive? What was her post-war life?

Bozena1602
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Re: SS-wardresses

Post by Bozena1602 » 16 Mar 2009 23:53

Im looking for information on Helena Kopper...ive found a bit but its not getting me anywhere...does anyone know any good sites where i can get deeper information about where she was from and abit about her family.
Thank you :)

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Heimatschuss
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Re: SS-wardresses

Post by Heimatschuss » 17 Mar 2009 00:58

Hello Alex,

Alex Tijerina wrote:I have also picked up the book "The Camp Women" and saw the picture of Hildegard Newmann. She looks very professional in comparison to the other camp women. However I could not find anything about her after she was acquitted. Is she still alive? What was her post-war life?


I don't know that book but the photo of Hildegard Neumann usually used is a photo of a Heer (Army) Stabshelferin, not that of a SS auxiliary. Perhaps Neumann worked for the Army in some kind of clerical position before changing over to the SS but I wouldn't be surprised if it's not a photo of her at all either.

Best regards
Torsten

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Re: SS-wardresses

Post by Ludger » 17 Mar 2009 19:00

Bozena1602 wrote:Im looking for information on Helena Kopper...ive found a bit but its not getting me anywhere...does anyone know any good sites where i can get deeper information about where she was from and abit about her family.
Thank you :)


Try these links:
http://www.bergenbelsen.co.uk/pages/Staff/StaffDefendantList1.asp
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~redcap70/The%20Belsen%20Trial.htm
Pictures of the defendants: http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk/
Greetings from
Ludger

Alex Tijerina
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Re: SS-wardresses

Post by Alex Tijerina » 18 Mar 2009 00:26

Thank you for getting back with me. I know that there are about 1200 hits on Google with her name and I tryed three or four pages but it was all about the same thing about her life.

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