WWII Nazi German SA Sports Pin, numbered

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The SA Sports Badge was a decoration of Nazi Germany that was issued between the years 1933 and 1945.   At its center was a 57mm high Roman broad sword superimposed over a Nazi swastika encircled by a wreath of oak leaves.   It was a pin-back badge and most numbered examples have maker marks on the reverse.

The SA Sports Badge was instituted on 28 November 1933 by then SA chief Ernst Rohm and originally only issued in bronze through the year 1935. On 15 February 1935, Hitler decreed that the badge be officially recognized and thereafter issued in three grades (bronze, silver, and gold). No longer was the physical fitness badge to be awarded only to SA members, but to youth of all German military and paramilitary organizations.  Originally the badge grade was awarded on degrees of “proficiency”, but in 1936, a points system was established.   In 1937, the requirement for the holder of the award was upgraded and each recipient had to pass an annual proficiency test to retain the badge.

On 19 January 1939, Hitler changed the name of the badge from SA-Sportabzeichen (SA Sports Badge) to SA-Wehrabzeichen (SA-Defense Badge).  Hitler challenged all able-bodied boys age 16 and up to compete for the award. Older military men were also encouraged to obtain it. The badge was one of the few political decorations that the armed forces allowed to freely be displayed on a military uniform.   By December 1936, one million had been awarded and by the end of 1943, over 2.5 million had been awarded.

The physical fitness program was divided into three sections, gymnastics, defensive sports and agricultural service. The badge was to be worn on the left breast, under the Iron Cross.

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