Back

August Bier, Leistungsauszeichnung DAF

August Bier, Leistungsauszeichnung DAF August Bier, Leistungsauszeichnung DAF

Select product:

Price:

Description

Set of two 'DAF Leistungsabzeichen’ (awards) for the following achievements:
- ‘Vorbildliche Sorge um die Volksgesundheit‘ (‘for Outstanding Contribution to Public Health’);
- ‘Vorbildliche Förderung von Kraft durch Freude‘ (‘for Outstanding Support of the KdF organisation’).
Large iron plagues (73 x 53 cm) weighting 21 kilogram each. Works with a historical value, and aesthetical expressive design.

Provided on the back with two marks from foundry Preussag, the ‘Preussische Bergwerks- und Hütten AG‘, founded at October 9, 1923 in Berlin:
1. the Preussag-schield (the Prussian coat of arms from 1933 to 1935 consisting of an eagle with a swastika, sword and lightning bolts, and below a hammer and pick);
2.  the ‘Königliches Hüttenambt Gleiwitz’- stamp (crown and the letters HAG).

Left: the Preussag-schield.
Right: the ‘Königliches Hüttenambt Gleiwitz’- stamp.
  

Preussag advertising in the GDK-exhibition catalog 1941.



From Preussag to TUI…

In 1923 the Prussian state run coal mines, steel mills and salt works -not located in the Ruhr- were converted into stock corporations. Provided with a capital stock of 500.000 Goldmark ‘Preussag’ or the ‘Preussische Bergwerks- und Hütten Aktiengesellschaft’ entered into activity as a mining and steel company operating from Berlin (foundation October 9, 1923). Over time, the company grew out to an internationally operating conglomerate with interests in steel and other metals, mining, gas and oil exploration and production and other industrial activities. In 1997 the Preussag Group systematically repositioned itself. The acquisition of companies in tourism and the disposal of nearly all of its industrial operations created a new group. Today Preussag Group is an integrated European travel group, offering the full range of services, from its own fleets of charter airplanes to travel agencies, packaged tour operations, hotel and resort accommodations, and incoming services.


Designed by Prof. Dr. August Bier

According to the files of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, at least one of the four DAF-plagues ('Vorbildliche Förderung von Kraft durch Freude') was designed by the famous Prof. Dr. August Bier. Bier was awarded the title 'Geheimrat' by Emperor Willem II in 1916, awarded the Eagle Shield in 1936 and awarded by Hitler the German National Prize for Art and Science in 1938.

Similar to the Gaudiplom, the DAF issued from 1 May 1937 onwards four separate ‘Leistungsabzeichen’ (awards) for the following achievements:
- ‘Vorbildliche Berufserziehung’ (‘for Outstanding Vocational Training Programms’);
- ‘Vorbildliche Sorge um die Volksgesundheit‘ (‘for Outstanding Contribution to Public Health’);
- ‘Vorbildliche Heimstätten und Wohnungen‘ (‘for Providing Housing and Accommodation’);
- ‘Vorbildliche Förderung von Kraft durch Freude‘ (‘for Outstanding Support of the KdF organisation’).

Displayed at the 'Internationalen Ausstellung Freude und Arbeit'
The four awards were displayed at the exhibition 'Der Internationalen Ausstellung Freude und Arbeit', Deutschlandhalle, Bukarest, June-July 1939. Depicted in the exhibition catalogue.


In Bucharest the opening of the 'Internationalen Ausstellung Freude und Arbeit' (1939) took place in the presence of King Carol of Rumania. The photo (in possession of the New York Public Library) shows German Labor Front Leader Dr. Ley explaining a diorama of a Model Community in the German exhibit area to the King. A year earlier the exposition was held in the cities of Athens (May) and Rome (June).



Left: Leistungsabzeichen ‘für Vorbildliche Förderung von Kraft durch Freude‘. Depicted in ‘Betriebliche Sozialpolitik der Deutsche Werke Kiel AG 1933-1945‘, 2000, Magisterarbeit by Daniel Bejamin Roth.
Right: Leistungsabzeichen ‘für Vorbildliche Heimstätten und Wohnungen‘. Depicted in ‘Betriebliche Sozialpolitik der Deutsche Werke Kiel AG 1933-1945‘, 2000, Magisterarbeit by Daniel Bejamin Roth.
  


Left: Leistungsabzeichen ‘für Vorbildliche Berufserziehung, depicted in a company magazine of Hille Werke AG, Dresden, July 1940 (magazine is in the possession of the Deutsches Historisches Museum).
Right: Leistungsabzeichen ‘für Vorbildliche Sorge um die Volksgesundheit‘. Depicted in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, 1938.
  


Leistungsabzeichen ‘für Vorbildliche Förderung von Kraft durch Freude‘, depicted in 'Das Taschenbuch Schönheit der Arbeit'.
   




 

- condition : II   treated with a preserve (linseed oil and graphite, removable)              
- size : 73 x 53 cm    
- signed : created between 1937 and 1944. Two foundry marks at the back of Preussag
- type : iron cast, weight 21 kg                                     





Companies under National Socialism

‘Leistungskampf der Betriebe’ or ‘Battle of the Businesses’
As part of the synchronization of all state and social institutions under National Socialism (a process known as ‘Gleichschaltung’), the trade unions were dissolved in 1933 and their functions transferred to the Deutsche Arbeiters Front (DAF, German Labor Front). According to DAF’s philosophy, the German worker should become ‘an equal and respected member of the nation’. Intented was to unite working people, regardless of status or job, and to establish a National Socialist model for working life. A National Socialist company should be a living community, in which the factory leader and employee’s work together to promote its operational goals, for the common benefit of the entire economy and hence for the good of the people and the state. Company regulations governed working conditions, the care of employee’s, the maintenance of the factory community, and social welfare measures (‘Mahr exactly, -The history of a family enterprise since 1861’, 2017).
From 1935 onwards, the DAF department ‘Schönheit der Arbeit’ (‘Beauty of Labor’, founded in November 1933) organized campaigns to clean up and improve the workplaces of Germany’s industrial workers. Well known progressive campaigns by Beauty of Labor were ‘Sonne und Grün allen Schaffenden’ (‘Sun and Green for All Workers’), ‘Kampf dem Lärm’ (‘Battle against Noise’), ‘Gutes Licht –Gute Arbeit’ (‘Good Light – Good Work’) and ‘Gesunde Luft’ (‘Healthy Air’).

Gaudiplom and DAF-Leistungsabzeichen
In 1934 the concept of the ‘Leistungskampf der Betriebe’ (‘Battle of the Businesses’) was developed. From 1937 onwards the German Labor Front began awarding Gaudiplome to private and public institutions -industrial companies, banks, breweries, post offices- for outstanding achievement. The iron Gaudiplom plague -with the DAF emblem in the middle- was fixed to the wall of the institution earning the award. It was awarded for one year at the time. Only Aryan companies were able to get the award.
Similar to the Gaudiplom, the DAF issued from 1 May 1937 onwards four separate ‘Leistungsabzeichen’ (awards) for the following achievements:
- ‘Vorbildliche Berufserziehung’ (‘for Outstanding Vocational Training Programms’);
- ‘Vorbildliche Sorge um die Volksgesundheit‘ (‘for Outstanding Contribution to Public Health’);
- ‘Vorbildliche Heimstätten und Wohnungen‘ (‘for Providing Housing and Accommodation’);
- ‘Vorbildliche Förderung von Kraft durch Freude‘ (‘for Outstanding Support of the KdF organisation’).

‘NS-Musterbetrieb’ - National Socialist Model Company

Some of the companies awarded the Gaudiplom or one of the four DAF-Leistungsabzeichen, who demonstrated an ‘exemplary National Socialist attitude and structure’ were chosen to be ‘NS-Musterbetrieb’ (National Socialist Model Company), the highest honor. As well as rewarding performance, the ‘NS-Musterbetrieb’ award also contained a strong social element. In the words of the German Labor Front ‘It is the task of our German companies, in the interests of social and economic success, to achieve the right balance between leadership and economic endeavor, social performance and economic success’. At the instigation of the DAF, canteens, rest rooms, libraries, sports and sanitary facilities were set up in factories, and social evenings and factory sports days organized. The costs had to be borne by the businesses themselves.
The main assessment criteria for winning this ‘Model Enterprise Certificate’, determined by the DAF as well as by the Chambers of Industry, Commerce and Economics, included: the architecture and upkeep of the buildings; the design and maintenance of green spaces; the standard of work spaces, especially with regard to cleanliness, lighting, wall colours and ventilation’; the quality of bath- and washrooms;  the ornamentation of the factory’s interior with paintings and sculptures, and the provision and condition of canteens and community rooms, radio’s’, outdoor relaxation spaces, roof gardens equipped with spaces to sit and lie down, parade grounds, kindergartens, holiday homes, factory-owned flats for workers and homes for single mothers.
The NS-Musterbetrieb distinction, approved by Hitler on August 29, 1936, was awarded for one year at the time.

‘Kriegsmusterbetrieb’ – Exemplary War Company
After the outbrake of Wordl War II the social objectives of the National Socialist Model factory faded into the background.
In 1942 the NS-Musterbetrieb reward transitioned to the award of ‘Kriegsmusterbetrieb’ ('Exemplary War Company') and increased productivity, rationalization and labour savings became the main criteria.




Left: 'Schöne Arbeitsstätten - Grosse Arbeitsfreude' ('Clean Work Sites - Joy of Working'). Campaign poster of the DAF/KdF department ‘Schönheit der Arbeit’, 1934, depicting what a pleasant, cleaned up, well-mentained factory should look like compared to the sort of dirty, gloomy, chaotic site DAF/KdF wanted to eliminate.
Right: 'Arbeitsfreude durch grüne Werkhöfe' ('Joy of Working with green Workplaces'). Campaign poster of the DAF/KdF department ‘Schönheit der Arbeit’. Depicted in black and white in 'Arbeitertum. Blätter für Theorie und Praxis der Nationalsozialistische Betriebszellen Organisation', May 15, 1935; and in 'Die Form, Zeitschrift für Gestaltende Arbeit', Heft 7, 1935.
    

Left: 'Sonne und Grün, allen Schaffenden' ('Sun and Green for All Workers’). Campaign poster of the DAF/KdF department ‘Schönheit der Arbeit’.
Right: 'Schönheit der Arbeit,  Wir Helfen Mit' ('Beauty of Labor, We Support').  Campaign poster of the DAF/KdF department ‘Schönheit der Arbeit’.
    

'Arbeitsfreude, durch saubere Waschräume' ('Joy of Working', with Clean Washing Rooms'). Campaign poster of the DAF/KdF department ‘Schönheit der Arbeit’.


'Arbeitsfreude, durch freundliche Werkplätze ('Joy of Working', with pleasant Workspaces'). Campaign poster of the DAF/KdF department ‘Schönheit der Arbeit’.
'Arbeitsfreude, durch schöne Werkkantinen'('Joy of Working', with nice Work Canteens'). Campaign poster of the DAF/KdF department ‘Schönheit der Arbeit’.
Both posters depicted in 'Die Form, Zeitschrift für Gestaltende Arbeit', Heft 7, 1935.


Two posters displayed at the exhibition 'Ehemals jüdischer Besitz‘, Stadtmuseum Munich, 2018.
Left: 'Leistungskampf der Deutschen Betriebe', campaign poster.
Right: poster of the exhibition 'Ausstellung Schönheit der Arbeit und die Arbeit in der Kunst', 1937, Munich. Size 119 x 84 cm.




Worker affixing the Gaudiplom to the façade of the Berliner Bürgerbräu, Berlin’s oldest beer brewery (1753). Date unknown.


Gaudiplom awarded to the Leipziger Versicherungs Gemeinschaft am Dittrichring. Published in their company magazin on 1 June 1941.
 



'Leistungskampf der deutschen Betriebe', Decree of Hitler on August 29, 1936

'Betrieben, in denen der Gedanke der nationalsozialistischen Betriebsgemeinschaft im Sinne des Gesetzes zur Ordnung der nationalen Arbeit und im Geiste der Deutschen Arbeitsfront vom Führer des Betriebes und seiner Gefolgschaft auf das vollkommenste verwirklicht ist, kann die Auszeichnung "Nationalsozialistischer Musterbetrieb" verliehen werden. Die Auszeichnung erfolgt durch mich oder eine von mir beauftragte Stelle. der Deutschen Arbeitsfront. Die Verleihung der Auszeichnung erfolgt auf die Dauer eines Jahres, sie7 kann wiederholt erfolgen. Die Auszeichnung wird zurückgenommen, wenn die Voraussetzungen für diese Verleihung nicht mehr gegeben sind. Die Verleihung erfolgt am Nationalfeiertag des Deutschen Volkes und geschieht durch Aushändigung einer Urkunde an den Führer des Betriebes. Die Verleihungsurkunde hat die Gründe anzugeben, die für die Verleihung maßgebend sind. Ein Betrieb, dem die Auszeichnung "Nationalsozialistischer Musterbetrieb" verliehen ist, ist berechtigt, die Flagge der Deutschen Arbeitsfront mit goldenem Rade und goldenen Fransen zu führen. Die Verfügung tritt sofort in Kraft'.
München, 29 August 1936 gez. Adolf Hitler.'



‘Nationalsozialistischer Musterbetrieb‘, zinc plague. Size 48,5 x 38,5 cm.


‘Nationalsozialistischer Musterbetrieb‘, plague depicted in ‘Herz oder Fassade, Frontberichte vom Leistungskampf saarpfälzischer Betriebe Paperback – 1939‘.





NSDAP Nuremberg Rally, 7 September 1937, Cultural Congress in the Nuremberg Opera House. Second from Hitler’s right: August Bier.
Front row from right: party treasurer Franz Xaver Schwarz, Reich Minister of Defense Werner von Blomberg, Rudolf Hess, Goebbels, Alfred Rosenberg, Adolf Hitler, Gerdy Troost, August Bier, Ferdinand Sauerbruch, Bernhard Rust, Wilhelm Frick, Robert Ley, Martin Bormann and Max Amann. Seated behind Schwarz is Hans Frank. Behind Hitler: Wilhelm Brückner und Julius Schaub.



January 30, 1938, reception in the New Reich Chancellery. From left to right: Hitler, August Bier, Joseph Goebbels, Wilhelm Filchner (army officer, scientist and explorer), Reichspressechef Dr. Otto, Dietrich and  Hitlers personal Adjutant SS-Führer Julius Schaub.





August Bier
Prof. Dr. August Karl Gustav Bier (1861 - 1949) ), director of the University Clinic for Surgery in Berlin, was one of the most prominent German surgeons in the first half of the 20th century. He operated on prominent patients, such as Emperor Wilhelm II, President Ebert (who died on his operating table), family members of the Russian czar, and Lenin, but he also treated many others free of charge.
Bier was a man of many talents: an innovative surgeon, he discovered spinal anaesthesia in a self-experiment (he was the first to perform spinal anesthesia and intravenous regional anesthesia) and as consulting surgeon in WWI he designed (together with Friedrich Schwerd) the steel helmet that protected innumerable soldiers from injury and death. He was a great defender of gymnastics for the population in general; he founded a sports academy in the city of Cologne where the German Sports Gymnasium has a commemorative plate.
Later in his life, Bier also pioneered in forestry, conducting ‘ecologically’ sustainable experiments on his estate, where he transformed the local sand-and-pine steppe into a healthy mixed forest. Today this is the protected 'Sauen forest', where currently 172 types of trees and hundreds of other types of plants grow, making it the only of its kind in the world). His experiments with plant grafting were published i.a. in 'Neue Gesichtspunkte in der Vererbung', 1938, and in 'Der Zuchter', 1938: 'Weitere Mitteilungen über Transmutationen'.
German Emperor Wilhelm II awarded Bier the title of Geheimrat in 1916, and on 30 January 1936 he received the Eagle Shield of the German Reich. On 30 January 1938, Bier became one of only nine people to ever receive the German National Prize for Art and Science, an award created by Adolf Hitler that year as a replacement for the Nobel Prize, which he had forbidden Germans to accept.
According to the files of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Bier designed at least one of the four DAF-plagues ('Vorbildliche Förderung von Kraft durch Freude'). Clearly, the oak leaves -traditional German national symbols associated with patriotism and military prowess- can be traced back to his study of forestry.