German labor front

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Flag of the German Labor Front (factory flag)
Exhibition of works by the German Labor Front (1933)
Dortmund Monument for the DAF during National Socialism (1935)
DAF exhibition “Healthy Living, Happy Creation” (1938)
corruption of the song Brothers, about the sun, about freedom with baiting Jews

The German Labor Front (DAF) was in the era of National Socialism of the unit association of workers and employers based in Berlin (from 1935 in the service building Hohenzollerndamm in Berlin-Wilmersdorf ).

The DAF was on 10 May 1933 after smashing the Free Trade Unions founded. Their assets were confiscated in favor of the DAF and the right to strike was abolished. All professional associations of white-collar workers and workers were amalgamated with the law regulating national labor of January 20, 1934; the DAF was by far the largest Nazi mass organization. In October 1934 the DAF was officially affiliated with the NSDAP . It was organized according to the leader principle down to the block warden and was subordinate to the Reich organization leader of the NSDAP Robert Ley , who acted as "a kind of trustee of the national community ". Instead of representing the interests of a trade union, workers and entrepreneurs were educated in line with the Nazi ideology. Divided into 18-over operation Communities (later 16 professional offices) and 33 Gauwaltungen , the DAF was until May 1945 last 22 million members. Only those who were able to work had value; Excluded were all people who were classified as “Jews” or “Jewish first-degree mixed race” according to Nazi criteria and who were considered “of minor race” or “incapable of community” for other reasons. Work in the form of forced labor was also part of the persecution practice.

With the Control Council Act No. 2 of October 10, 1945, the German Labor Front was banned and its property was confiscated. With the Control Council Acts No. 40 of November 30, 1946 and No. 56 of June 30, 1947, the National Socialist company and service associations were abolished.

The purpose of the DAF

The DAF was supposed to integrate the German workers into the new “ Third Reich ” and thus undermine their previous organizations. Before 1932 the National Socialist Company Cell Organization (NSBO) had little success. Many former supporters of the Strasser wing were still anti-capitalist in 1933 and demanded that the NSBO ​​be turned into a National Socialist union. After the Reichstag elections in March 1933 , Hitler gave Robert Ley the task of ending the wild activities of the NSBO ​​and smashing the free trade unions. In an action planned by the general staff, after the celebrated Labor Day on May 2, the SA and SS occupied the trade union houses throughout Germany and took the leaders of the larger trade unions into " protective custody ". In contrast to the trade unions, the employers' associations were able to maintain their organized independence.

The DAF acted as a “national community service provider” to German “Volksgenossen” in a variety of ways. Although every employee had to have a work book as a check and a compulsory contribution averaging 1.5 to 2 Reichsmarks was deducted directly from the payroll, the workers and employees affirmed the DAF. When unemployment fell from 4.1 to 2.3 million between December 1933 and November 1934, the fear of losing one's job began to subside. The associated psychological upgrading of work was the counterpart to the actual disenfranchisement of workers. Initial attempts by the DAF to formulate labor and collective bargaining claims met with resistance from the employers. In June 1933 “ Trustees of Labor ” were appointed who were under the supervision of the Reich Labor Ministry. You should decide on the collective bargaining and company regulations as well as arbitrate in disputes. In November 1933, Robert Ley had to sign the “Appeal to All Working Germans” together with Reich Labor Minister Franz Seldte , Reich Economics Minister Kurt Schmitt and the party commissioner for economic issues Wilhelm Keppler . "This finally buried all hopes for professional or trade union interest representation or competencies in labor and social policy through the DAF." Thereupon the "leader" of the "Reichsstandes der Deutschen Industrie" Gustav Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach announced the following day his approval of entrepreneurs joining the DAF.

On October 24, 1934, Hitler signed an ordinance presented by Ley:

“The aim of the German Labor Front is the formation of a real people and performance community of all Germans. It has to ensure that each individual can take his place in the economic life of the nation in the mental and physical condition that enables him to achieve the highest possible performance and thus guarantees the greatest benefit for the national community "

- Hitler, Ordinance on the nature and aim of the DAF, 1934, § 2

On August 29, 1936, the performance struggle of German companies was launched by the DAF's social responsibility department . This "performance struggle" served to award "National Socialist model companies". From year to year the criteria were more and more geared towards the conversion of the companies to arms production.

In 1943, the German Labor Front, the performance struggle department of German companies, asked the Chamber of Commerce for an award for Opekta Cologne
Membership book of the German Labor Front (exhibited in the large shelter museum in
Hatten )

From the headquarters in Potsdamer Strasse in Berlin, the DAF directed various sub-organizations that were responsible on the one hand for the welfare and on the other hand for controlling the workforce (selection of sub-organizations):

DAF company

The DAF was the financially strongest organization of the “Third Reich”, it had “an extensive complex of very profitable companies”, which “in terms of sales came close to the world's largest chemical company at the time, IG Farbenindustrie ”. The group of companies included many union-owned companies that were expropriated as part of the Gleichschaltung, as well as start-ups. In the insurance sector, these were Volksfürsorge , Deutscher Ring and Deutsche Leben . In the banking sector, the Bank of Workers, Employees and Officials should be mentioned, which on October 31, 1933, was renamed Bank der Deutsche Arbeit . Also the bank of the Christian DGB , which later renamed the National Bank, the Deutsche Volksbank , the bank of the Deutschnationalen Handelsgehilfen -Verband (DHV), the German Employees Association Sparkasse (DAVS) and many smaller banks (e.g. the Deutsche Werkmeister- Sparbank AG, Industriebeamten-Sparbank eGmbH, Deutsche Wirtschaftsbank or the Bank for German Labor and Sparbank von 1820 AG) became the property of DAF. While the National Bank was sold over the years and converted into a regional bank, the other bank holdings were transferred to the Bank der Deutsche Arbeit in the 1930s.

DAF's publishing business was also essential. The most important publishers were the two publishers taken over by DHV, Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt (HAVA) and Langen Müller Verlag . From 1936 the newly founded publishing house of the German Labor Front (Zentralverlag) increasingly assumed the most important role of the three major publishers of the DAF. The publisher Otto Karl Stollberg published the newspaper “Der Deutsche - the daily newspaper of the German Labor Front” for the DAF .

On May 28, 1937, the DAF, as part of its sub-organization “Kraft durch Freude” (KdF), founded the Society for Preparation of the German Volkswagen mbH (GeZuVor) , which in May 1938 was renamed Volkswagenwerk GmbH . The company headquarters was in the house of the German Labor Front in Knesebeckstrasse 48/49, Berlin W15 ( Charlottenburg ). The Reichsheimstättenamt administered the housing and settlement construction. For the training of its functionaries, the DAF maintained a number of training centers, the Reichsschulungsburgen . The joint venture of the German Labor Front ( GW ), which essentially consisted of former consumer cooperative establishments, took over the business operations of the consumer cooperatives and their major purchasing companies on April 1 , in accordance with the ordinance on adapting consumer cooperative institutions to the wartime economic conditions of February 18, 1941 .

DAF officials

See category: DAF official

Working front receiver DAF1011

Working front receiver DAF1011

The German Labor Front also had a radio receiver developed: the German Labor Front Receiver DAF1011, the name of which was to commemorate a speech by Hitler in the Siemens factory in Berlin on November 10, 1933. Compared to the Volksempfänger VE301, it is a more complex, multi-circuit straight-ahead receiver with a powerful output stage. The device was designed for the collective reception of radio broadcasts in companies and communities, the DAF promoted it with the slogan radio in all companies .

See also


  • Claus Selzner : The German Labor Front. Idea and shape; Brief outline of the wishes of the head of the Reich organization of the NSDAP, Dr. Robert Ley. Junker & Dünnhaupt, Berlin 1935.
  • Social strategies of the German labor front. Sources . Microfiche, published by the Hamburg Foundation for the Social History of the 20th Century . KG Saur, Munich 1989 ff. (Contains: Yearbook. Ergonomic Institute of the German Labor Front. Volumes 1936 to 1940/1941)
  • Hermann Textor: Völkisch work suitability and economic structure. Ed. Research Institute for Work Design, for Aging and Consumption. Wilhelm Limpert, Berlin 1939
  • Bulwark in the west. Ed. DAF, Gau Saarpfalz, Gauwaltung, editor R. Schneider. Tree farmer, Neustadt 1938
    • similar: bulwark in the west. The country between Saar and Rhine greets its KdF guests warmly! German Labor Front, Gauwaltung Saarpfalz, R. Schneider. Tree farmer, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse , 1938
  • Statute of the German Labor Front. 1934, later mostly: Regulations on membership of the German Labor Front , numer. Ed.
  • Rüdiger Hachtmann Hg .: A colossus on feet of clay. The report of the auditor Karl Eicke on the German Labor Front from July 31, 1936. De Gruyter-Oldenbourg, Munich 2006 ISBN 3-486-57988-6 .
  • The Reich Organization Leader of the NSDAP, Ed .: The training letter. The central monthly newspaper of the NSDAP and DAF. From: Main Training Office of the NSDAP and Training Office of the DAF. Periodical since 1934. Central publishing house of the NSDAP , Munich 1934 - 1944 (last published double issue 3–4 / 1944)

Web links

Commons : Deutsche Arbeitsfront  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ District Office Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf of Berlin: Service building Hohenzollerndamm . Accessed March 7, 2017.
  2. a b c d e Rüdiger Hachtmann in Frank Becker , Ralf Schäfer (ed.): Sport and National Socialism. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2016, ISBN 978-3-8353-1923-3 , p. 28 ff.
  3. Michael Wildt : The ambivalence of the people. National Socialism as a Social History. Suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2019, p. 14 ISBN 978-3-518-29880-0 .
  4. Control Council Act No. 40 ( Memento of August 23, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Repeal of the "Law on the Order of National Labor" of January 20, 1934 of November 30, 1946., accessed on August 23, 2018
  5. Control Council Act No. 56 ( Memento of August 23, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Repeal of the Act on the Order of Work in Public Administrations and Companies of March 23, 1934 of June 30, 1947., accessed on August 23, 2018
  6. ^ Heinrich August Winkler : History of the West - The time of the world wars 1914 - 1945 , CH Beck, Munich, 3rd edition 2016 ISBN 978-3-406-59236-2 p. 682
  7. ^ Heinrich August Winkler: History of the West, The time of the world wars 1914 - 1945 , p. 694
  8. ^ Hans-Ulrich Thamer : The German Labor Front on the Future Needs Remembrance , created on October 6, 2004
  9. ^ Klaus Weber: Performance struggle of German companies on Lebendiges Museum Online , created on September 14, 2014
  10. ^ David Koser et al .: German Labor Front , In: Capital of the Holocaust. Places of National Socialist Racial Policy in Berlin Archived copy ( memento of February 17, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), Berlin: Stadtagentur 2009, place 85, p. 204, ISBN 978-3-9813154-0-0 .
  11. Otto Mönckmeier, Yearbook of the National Socialist Economy 1937, p. 454, cites as examples of “main areas of work”: “Securing social peace. Raising the standard of living "(the latter includes: Heimstättenamt, KdF and" Internationales Büro Freude und Arbeit "" with a magazine of the same name from Georg von Holtzbrinck ).
  12. ^ Personal union with the DAF: The Reich Chamber of Labor is headed by the head of the German Labor Front. He appoints the heads of the Reichsbetriebsgemeinschaften, the Gauwalter of the German Labor Front, individuals and the heads of the offices of the Central Office of the German Labor Front as members and assigns the Reich Chamber of Labor the tasks to be processed by it. A simultaneous decree regulates the formation of the chambers of labor in the 18 economic districts. Members of the Chamber of Labor are: in addition to the head appointed by special decree, all Gauwalter still belonging to the area of ​​the Working Chamber, one Gauwalterer from each Reichsbetriebsgemeinschaft that occurs in the area of ​​the Working Chamber, at the suggestion of the Head of the Working Chamber District Administrator of the German Labor Front, individual members and one each Head of department of the Gau leadership of the German Labor Front. Source: Yearbook for mining and metallurgy in Saxony. Born in 1936, - General manager: Jäckel, first name unknown, after 1945 FDP
  13. Rüdiger Hachtmann: The economic empire of the German labor front 1933-1945. Wallstein, Göttingen 2012 ISBN 978-3-8353-1037-7
  14. Bernd Wiersch: The Beetle Chronicle, The story of a car legend. 2nd Edition. Delius Klasing, Bielefeld, ISBN 978-3-7688-1695-3 .
  15. Textor understands “völkisch” here as “racial”. This Nazi work sociologist and frequent textbook writer has numerous writings for the DAF, also printed as Mskr., At the DNB . About him Hans-Christian Harten u. a. Ed .: Racial hygiene as an educational ideology of the Third Reich. Bio-bibliographical manual. Akademie, Berlin 2006 ISBN 3-05-004094-7 Readable and searchable online. He babbles about the “genetic structure” of workers
  16. Printed on the front title: " Dedicated to your men from Westwall at Christmas 1938 by Hoch-Tief ." Another copy: Preface Dedicated to your men from Westwall at Christmas 1938 by Dyckerhoff & Widmann Pirmasens. Introduction “This book was written for the Siegfried Line men. It wants to explain the historical meaning of their work to the men who worked hard to protect the empire.
  17. in the holdings of the German Historical Museum
  18. ↑ Readable in Google books up to page 179
  19. identical to the article on, see web links. No longer available as a print. Online also at BpB in section 6 of "Economy and society under the swastika"
  20. ^ Review of Deutschlandradio Kultur , July 15, 2012
  21. On November 10th (therefore = 1011) 1933 the first nationwide radio community reception took place on the occasion of the transmission of a speech by Hitler from the machine hall of the Siemens works .